Games Lift - How to Apply
The Gamecity Incubator “Games Lift” is a program for students, start-ups, and developers that offers start-up financing, workshops, coaching, and mentoring for the development of concepts for digital games. Make sure to carefully read all information on this page before applying!
Who can apply for Games Lift?
All kinds of developer teams: students, developer associations, start-ups
Small and medium enterprises
- Founded companies as well as groups of natural persons
What are the criteria?
- Max. 5 members per team
- All team members should be available to attend workshops in Hamburg during the intensive phase
- Teams must be located in or in the vicinity of Hamburg
What kinds of projects are eligible?
- Project must be a game
- Project can be in any stage from concept to pre-release
What do we offer?
- Workshops and talks from experienced professionals
- Individual Mentoring
- Expense allowance of up to 15,000 euros
- Interdisciplinary networking
- Working and exchanging with other indie teams in an office in Hamburg’s HafenCity
- How to found a company
- Business Development
- Pitch Training
- Marketing & Distribution
- Project Management
- ...and many more
1. Check all information and documents on this page.
2. We recommend a consultation appointment in advance of your application. Please contact email@example.com for an appointment and prepare the following information:
- short project outline
- team introduction
- all your questions regarding the application
3. Submit your online application here.
4. Among all valid applications, an awarding committee will select teams to pitch their projects online.
5. The final decision on which teams enter the games Lift program will be made by the awarding committee right after the pitch.
All documents and templates are also available in German and can be downloaded here.
Who can apply for the Games Lift Incubator?↓
Eligible to apply are both natural persons as well as Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs); developers and developer associations, student teams, start-ups, and teams in the process of founding a company.
- Team size should not exceed 5 members per team.
- All team members should be available to attend Games Lift events and workshops during the incubator year. Please note that Phase 1 (September to early December) can be very time-consuming with several workshops and meetings per week.
- The precondition is always that the team is already based in Hamburg or can prove that they will relocate their residence to Hamburg or open a subsidiary or branch establishment in Hamburg upon entering the Games Lift Incubator program.
Can I apply if I already receive funding from another source?↓
If de minimis subsidies are involved, yes, but these may not exceed a total volume of €200,000 in three years from the first subsidy. Other public subsidies that are not subject to the de minimis regulation can be applied independently of this. Gamecity Hamburg must be consulted for a planned accumulation of subsidies for a project supported by Gamecity Hamburg.
If you are already receiving funding through the Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding Program, you cannot be granted funding through the Games Lift Incubator at the same time for the same project. It is however possible to receive both fundings for the same project if the funding periods do not overlap. If you are applying for the Incubator with one project while being granted the prototype funding for another project, this is generally possible if you can plausibly demonstrate how your team can handle each project and that it does not affect the timing or any other aspects of your prototype funding contract. Please make sure to discuss this in your consultation appointment before applying.
When and how can I apply?↓
Gamecity Hamburg runs one application period for Games Lift each year. The application phase for Games Lift 2023 runs from May 2 (1:00 pm) to June 20 (11:59 pm). To make sure you are up to date with all deadlines regarding our funding programs, join our Discord Server and subscribe to our monthly newsletter. A detailed document on How to apply for the Games Lift Incubator can be found here and will take you through the application form step by step.
We strongly recommend a consultation appointment before submitting the application. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and include the following information:
- Short project outline (max. half a page of text or a slide) of the project
- Background of the team (max. half a page of text or a slide)
- All your questions regarding the application
What happens after I submitted my application?↓
The awarding committee will review all valid applications and invite teams to an online pitch. Based on the pitches, the committee will give a recommendation on which five teams will enter the Games Lift Incubator program.