Specific Experts / Lecturers
Short-term engagement of experts for specific topics.
Scenarios for Short-Term Engagements for Expert Training
In this category, we refer to experts who are being commissioned for a specific task and topic on a short-term engagement. For an incubator, this probably belongs to the more ambitious elements of the incubation programmes. It implies the question of quality and costs.
Drawing on external experts usually covers topics at the opposite ends of the range of topics. You might want to involve experts for “universal topics”. These are not specifically game-related but are generally useful and important for business development. Such topics are e.g. legal aspects, accountancy and taxation. They can also be more universally IT-related business elements such as marketing workshops, data-driven development, or user acquisition.
On the other hand, you might have teams with specific needs that require specific external expertise. Those could be serious game development for clinical implementation. Those could also be games for a specific cultural region. In this case your staff might feel that additional expertise would be needed to support them adequately.
Obviously, this is strongly related to the level of quality you want your programme to reach, from width to depth. Your staff will likely already have a wide range of knowledge on the whole lifecycle of creating a game business. They will also have knowledge on producing a game. Thus, they will be able to cover most topics to a certain extent.
Usually, an external expert will mean remuneration. This will most likely be the determining factor whether or not to engage external experts, and which.
Alternatives to Remunerated External Experts
If the incubator doesn’t have those kinds of resources, then the alternatives that present itself are that the teams can get the expertise elsewhere and the incubators point them into the right direction:
- For more “universal” topics, teams could always get this type of knowledge with regular start-up offers (e.g. at universities, or from job centre programmes, or dedicated workshops offered by private or public organisations).
- For highly specific topics, the team could look for a mentor who could help with contacts in their network or who themselves have experience in the field in question (e.g. a serious game maker having experience with therapeutic applications or with a certain cultural region).
If you have started an incubator and if there is no strongly organised community with broad networks to help you find such experts, then one way to find experts or even provide expertise is to check out the programmes of pertinent conferences or MOOCs. You could also browse social tools such as SlideShare or YouTube for experts that are sharing their valuable knowledge publicly.
Schools & Universities
You could also connect to local schools and universities, in particular if your incubation has been initiated within or to a university environment, even if there is no specific game-related study programme. For example: within universities of applied sciences, there are often teachers teaching specific topics like Unity, Project Management, Programming, Game Engines, etc. (for example at the HTW Berlin, Germany or Dania university of Grenaa, Denmark). This would also allow for a stronger collaboration with the university, specifically in preparation of students setting up their own company.