Magdeburg games developer aims to conquer the digital market
"Silver Seed Games" takes student projects to market maturity
"IT to touch" – such is the motto of the CeBIT theme day on the 19th March which is focusing on the dynamic and innovative environment for IT start-ups in Saxony-Anhalt, on the occasion of which the Investment and Marketing Corporation is inviting guests to stand C06 for Saxony-Anhalt in hall 9. In an interactive and varied programme, IT start-ups will be presenting their creative innovations live and enabling insights behind the IT scenes. Also participating: start-up company Silver Seed Games, a resourceful IT games design firm which develops games with added value.
Magdeburg / Hannover. Who would describe a board game or game of draughts as a pointless diversion? "Games with a learning effect are a cultural asset," explains 29-year-old games developer Enrico Gebert. With his company Silver Seed Games he and his two comrades-in-arms, Maria and Aljoscha want to position their "party games with added value" in the world of digital games: "Who wants to be an engineer" for example: this quiz app in a comic format conveys the content of a course in engineering. It was contracted by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg.
Signposts on the university campus lead to "The Experimental Factory" – the place where the initial thoughts at Silver Seed Games morph into ideas, where these ideas then mature, and can be put to the test until they attain practical suitability. The Experimental Factory also offers the right kind of relaxed environment that supports creative production processes. Enrico Gebert, managing director of Silver Seed Games, feels at home here, in the games studio that he established in 2013. The co-working rooms are also home to other start-ups that have been launched at the university. It is an environment that encourages discussions and the shared use of the available infrastructure.
Enrico Gebert and Maria Manneck make some space on their red sofa. "Aljoscha is sorry he can't make it, but he's revising for his exams," explains Maria. Aljoscha Börsch (27) is the third co-founder of Silver Seed Games. He is a game producer. Maria, 27 years old, is a digital artist, and Enrico a game designer. When they founded their company in 2013, all three were studying computer visualistics at the Informatics Faculty. Enrico and Maria have since successfully completed their master's degrees.
"The students develop great games with unique ideas. But once they've handed a project in, it and it's been marked, it often ends up gathering dust on a shelf," explain the young entrepreneurs. Creating games, only to leave them half way to the market, was an unsatisfactory situation, which brought them to the idea of creating a company to support the projects, take them to market maturity, and to ultimately market them.
The start-up network TEGSAS provided them with backing for their idea which they believed had the potential for the creation of a new company. The acronym TEGSAS stands for the provision of support to technical and technological foundations in the colleges and universities in northern Saxony-Anhalt. TEGSAS is supported by the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the EU, and with its network, which consists of business economists, tax consultants, management consultants, coaches and investors, it supports students along their journey to the establishing of their own company. With the help of the consultants, Maria and Enrico explain how they turned their basic ideas into a business plan. One thing became clear to them very quickly, however: they needed a sound financial basis to turn their project into a reality. Enrico points to the Silver Seed Games company logo: the founding idea is shown as a seed, which grows and sprouts leaves. The "Silver" in the name refers to the quality aspiration surrounding the games that Silver Seed Games wants to bring to market maturity.
"Being able to make a living from our games is naturally the goal of our business – yet without losing sight of the goals we have surrounding their content," highlights Enrico. The young entrepreneurs have recently found they are having to spend more time searching for new approaches than on the development of the games themselves. The fact that their studies were application-based, interdisciplinary and practically-oriented has been beneficial, however. The university cooperates with companies that are important in the country's leading markets. These partners include the Magdeburg Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), for instance, where Enrico completed his bachelor's dissertation. Maria also completed her bachelor's dissertation in a company – at Dornheim Medical Images GmbH. This Magdeburg-based software company also started life as a spin-off from the university and is successful in the field of medical technology.
Silver Seed Games is currently focusing on designing games that are therapeutic in character. One of their initial clients is the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Illnesses. Together with the scientists there, the Magdeburg game developers have developed an app, the purpose of which is to train memory functions on the basis of playing games. "The game encourages the user to compare images, which stimulates the hippocampus," explains Enrico.
The founders of Silver Speed Games find the opportunity their clients give them to think about so many different subjects to be "really interesting". Staying on the subject of the functioning of the human body: "Virus X" is a multiplayer arcade game in which the players assume the role of viruses with the aim of occupying all the cells on the playing field. At the same time they fight against antibodies and other virus strains. The game started life as a student project and is currently being developed to market maturity by Silver Seed Games. At the CeBIT 2015, the Silver Seed Games team will provide a live demonstration of the application, and in so doing, provide a behind-the-scenes view of their programming work.
Join in with the gaming and get to see the programming work behind the scenes: Experience the company Silver Seed Games and other creative start-ups from Saxony-Anhalt at the Saxony-Anhalt stand in hall 9, stand C06. All the information on: http://www.invest-in-saxony-anhalt.com/cebit-2015
Silver Seed Games