Launching sustainable game studios by marginalized founders

A free program for founders from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds ready to start a game studio. Explore ethical labour frameworks, alternative financing and structures that centre cooperation.

This project is made possible with the support of Ontario Creates.

Ontario Creates logo

Social Finance and Investment

Learn about repayable investment, and build your knowledge and experience in the use of social finance mechanisms and tools to create cultural impact.

Structuring the Business

Learn how to create a social-purpose enterprise, incorporate, or form an artist-run, worker-owned co-op. You'll receive focused mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.

Product Development and Pitching

Learn how market research and design impact your road map and business plan, and hone your pitching chops with support from producers, studio heads and platform representatives.

Cohort 1 Showcase

"I learned so much, found a sense of community I was missing and had a shocking amount of success thanks to all of the mentorship from you all and peers."

Emily Flynn-Jones

Founder, Killjoy Games

"As Damage Labs wraps up, I want to say again how grateful I am. I see the work they poured into this program and our cohort. It's no understatement that they helped me realize my potential."

Helen Cheng

Damage Labs Participant + Game Designer

Mentor Partners


  • Build your game studio from the ground up, with a focus on sustainability, inclusivity, ethical labour principles, and cooperative business models and structures
  • 24 weeks of hands-on learning, workshops and critical feedback from experienced entrepreneurs
  • Expert social finance coaching to learn how to prepare to pitch for repayable loans that align with your values and capacity
  • A new community of founders you can lean on for support as your studio grows
  • Focused mentorship from studio founders and heads from around the world

Key Dates Studio Startup Cohort 2

  1. April 15-May 14 Applications open
  2. April 28 Info session
  3. May 25-27 Shortlist interviews
  4. June 3 Final notifications
  5. June 20 - November 30, 2022 Program duration

Program Schedule

  • Month 1

    Company structures and contracts

  • Month 2

    Market research and revenue streams

  • Month 3

    Concept development

  • Month 4

    Product development

  • Month 5

    Basic accounting and financial modelling

  • Month 6

    Investment readiness