WORK HARD, PLAY HARD FOR CARDIFF START’S INNOVATORS

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Members of Cardiff’s Tech Cluster Challenged to Develop a Game in Six Hours, Will Showcase World-First Game-Unlocked Feature Film and Lead Discussion on Business Communities.

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Members of Cardiff’s business-led tech cluster, Cardiff Start have innovated and combined work with play, with projects such as a game built in six hours and an interactive film being exhibited at Digital Cardiff Week 2013.

The four-day event showcases the digital and technology sectors thriving in South Wales. Delegates include members of the Welsh capital’s private-sector tech community, Cardiff Start, who will be exhibiting their work and playing a key role in showcasing Cardiff’s digital future.

On Wednesday, Tradebox Media will exhibit at the Wales Games Development Show. The app development firm have been experimenting with mobile games and are excited about the future of games in Wales. Founder Stephen Milburn, who is also co-founder of Cardiff Start said: “We had a Hack Day in the office a few weeks ago and experimented with a few game ideas. We set ourselves a challenge of creating a game in a six hour window period and we’ll have a functioning demonstration at the Games Development Show. It’s not perfect, but we’ve got something to work with, and hopefully we’ll be one of a growing number of games developers emerging in Cardiff. We have already attracted studios such as Cohort Studios to relocate here, with such a welcoming community providing a great place to do business.”

One of the main features of Wednesday’s Games Development Show will be Banshee, a feature film unlocked by completing a Facebook-based game. Writer/Producer Simon Stratton, of Mr. Dog Films, is a member of Cardiff Start’s Collective, a knowledge sharing group at the core of Cardiff Start. He said “DCW is a great platform to showcase how the Welsh game and movie industry have joined forces to announce their presence on the international scene. We’re proud to be involved with our flagship project Banshee”.

Neil Cocker, another co-founder of Cardiff Start said “We already have a tech startup community in Cardiff that is contributing millions of pounds to the local economy. Now is the time to harness it, support it, and make Cardiff a city that is recognised worldwide as a city of innovation, and one that is worth investing in.” Cocker will be speaking on Thursday’s Digital Economy Day, using Cardiff Start as a case study during a round table on tech clusters and digital investment opportunities.

The work of independent businesses and CICs such as Cardiff Start is vital to Digital Cardiff Week and Welsh business as a whole. The week-long programme in conjunction with BBC Academy is in stark contrast to the Welsh Assembly’s Digital 2013 event. “There was general consensus that it felt very much like a public procurement event. Whilst a worthwhile endeavour, it did nothing to aid startups and independent companies,” said Milburn. “But Digital Cardiff Week gives us the opportunity to showcase our work for ourselves. We won’t have a public body dictate how we should produce our work. We’re going to take the lead and that is why Cardiff’s digital sector can be so successful.”

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