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Hot pitch wins over videogame Dragons

Date 29 May 2007
Author The Editor
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A Middlesbrough start-up company has won a Dragon's Den-style contest to find the hottest young talent in North East England's videogame development sector. Codeworks GameHorizon's Game Academy saw local companies and graduates practise pitching their ideas and concepts in a live situation and gain valuable feedback from an expert panel.

Lo-Jen, set up by Teesside University graduates Caleb Lowe and Tom Jenns along with University of East Anglia graduate Jesse Roberts, took first place, beating off competition from five other start-up companies and graduates. Lo-Jen's pitch, a remix of the classic turn-based strategy genre aimed at the Handheld Console market, was seen by the judges as a strong and commercially viable proposition, winning them the first prize of a training and mentoring package worth more than £2,000.

Jesse Roberts, managing director, said: "Winning Game Academy is an important step for Lo-Jen. The chance to get in front of industry professionals, to take on board their criticism is extremely useful, and to win is a satisfying validation of our ideas.”

Caleb Lowe, operations director, added: "We're surprised and thrilled to win the competition against some big local names. "The feedback on the day from the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Codemasters was fantastic, but to win the additional mentoring package means we'll have expert support to help turn our ideas into reality."

Nina Cliff, business development manager of Codeworks GameHorizon, said: "Game Academy helps these talented businesses ensure their products are up-to-scratch by giving them invaluable experience of a live pitch situation and feedback from industry experts. Last year's winner, Teesside University graduate Jeremiah Alexander, used his prize to set up an educational games company, Babel Digital."

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