It’s always gratifying to hear about projects in the interactive media sector which receive support from Creative Scotland. Yet it’s surprising when the project in question is a technology company rather than a content creator. Even more surprising when it’s a company we’ve not yet covered on the Scottish Games Network…
Yesterday however, Zapcoder in Glasgow announced just such support, raising £75,000 for the creation of its new app, that allows enables simple programming on smartphones, tablets and home computers.
Zapcoder’s app is designed to enable the creation and sharing of games, programs and interactive content, while introducing programming skills – for everyone, not just hardcore coders.
The company has worked with the University of the West of Scotland, with funding from Scottish Enterprise, to create proof-of-concept for the app, working closely with experts from the creative technologies, computer and information systems, game-based learning and e-learning.
The £75,000 comes from Creative Scotland’s Innovation Fund. Zapcoder will use the funding to bring its app to market. The company plans to increase its workforce over the coming months as the app is released and seek further investment as the app gains market share.
Zapcoder isn’t going it alone. The company is part of the Entrepreneurial Spark (ESpark) business incubator and accelerator programme in Glasgow, receiving free mentoring and infrastructure support in ESpark’s ‘hatchery’ since August this year.
More than 30 million people in the UK carry smartphones yet less than one per cent of us program computers because it’s viewed as being too complicated. Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices and our app opens up their potential as a creative tool for everybody.
It is our aim to have people all over the world creating and sharing Zapcoder games and apps by spring 2014.
Public funding is a lifeline for new businesses in Scotland: this support from Creative Scotland gives us the start we need to lever in private investment both in the UK and overseas. We’re very grateful for the opportunity which this gives us to grow and create new jobs as the project progresses.
Zapcoder plans to work with artists and developers across Scotland to create content for the app so users can immediately start to create their own games and apps.
Aly Barr, Development Officer at Creative Scotland, said:
Anyone with a smartphone can easily create and share their own games. As a tool to both innovate and educate, this is really something special.
Jim Duffy, ESpark’s Chief Executive said:
It’s exciting for me and the team to be working with such a fast paced Scottish tech company. I’m sure this investment is just the beginning as Roger works to grow Zapcoder and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Zapcoder have partnered with software developers Planys Cloud Ltd in Dunfermline to build the system.
Steven Wexelstein, Chief Operating Officer at Planys Cloud said:
We are thrilled to be working on this project. The rising popularity of systems like Steam and Minecraft shows that modifying and creating content can be as engaging as just playing games.