MIT’s Play Labs Accelerator Opens Applications for Startups

A year ago Bayview Labs, LLC and Seraph Group announced a technology accelerator programme called Play Labs, held on campus at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The first batch of startups took part in the summer of 2017, with 13 startups each receiving an initial investment of $20,000 USD from the PlayLabs Fund. Today, Play Labs, LLC and the MIT Game Lab have announced that applications are now open for the second batch of startups.

Rizwan Virk - Bayview Labs Director

Just like before, the accelerator is looking for specific areas of technology to promote and invest in. Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are still topics of interest, with Digital Currency/Blockchain, eSports and Machine Learning/AI now included. Candidate startups may apply these technology areas into any industry, including videogames, eSports, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.

Startups that are accepted into Play Labs will each receive an initial investment of $20,000 in either cash or Bitcoin in return for common stock. Those startups that graduate from the program and meet certain criteria will be eligible for up to $80,000 in additional funding from the Play Labs Fund and its investment partners.

The program will be run by Bayview Labs and its executive director, Rizwan Virk, an MIT alumnus. “MIT has been the starting point for many successful startups over the years. We had a successful first batch and we are excited to see what exciting technology projects MIT students, alumni and the greater community will come up for this second batch,” said Virk in a statement. “We started the accelerator because a lot of focus for these areas has been on the West Coast, but I believe that the eco-system around MIT in Boston has great talent and startup ideas in these areas.”

Virtual Reality - Play Labs

Scot Osterweil, Managing Director for Ludus, the MIT Center for Games, Learning, and Playful Media, said: “MIT students thrive on innovation and creative exploration. We are pleased that through Play Labs we will help them move their most imaginative ideas into the realm of the possible.”

Deadlines for applications are due by 15th March, 2018, after which time, finalists will be selected, and a subset of those finalists will be given offers to participate in the program. Applications are open to both MIT-affiliated startups, and startups with no MIT affiliation that wish to come to MIT for the summer to participate. For further details head to the Play Labs website, and for any more updates keep reading VRFocus.