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  Ukie and Nesta announce games mentoring pairs
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Tuesday 22nd July 2014 - London, United Kingdom

Ukie and Nesta’s Video Games Mentor Network launched in April to enable businesses to access help and advice from established industry leaders to support their growth.

Following an open call for applications, eight mentees have now been chosen and paired with a mentor whose skills, expertise and knowledge matched their business needs.

The following are the Video Games Mentor Network partners for this year:

Thomas Bidaux ( ICO Partners )       Paired with     Richard Flower ( Fuzzy-Frog )

Noirin Carmody ( Revolution )         Paired with     John Reynolds ( Tall Studios Ltd )

Matt Carroll ( Disney Interactive )    Paired with     Graham McAllister ( Player Research )

Andy Payne ( Mastertronic )            Paired with     Phil Gaskell ( Ripstone )

Miles Jacobson ( SI )                      Paired with     Iain Gilfeather ( Fat Pebble )

Nicholas Lovell ( Games Brief )         Paired with     Claire Hill-Whittall ( Super Icon )

James Brooksby ( Born Ready )       Paired with     Kostas Zarifis ( Kinesthetic Games )

Jon Hare ( Tower Studios )              Paired with     Chris Kempt ( Kempt )

The programme, which last for 12 months, is designed to provide businesses with one-to-one mentoring sessions, coaching support and the opportunity to attend valuable workshops and events throughout the year where they can meet other mentors and mentees.

The Network was developed out of Nesta’s wider  Creative Business Mentor Network which has been running for four years.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said “The scheme is a fantastic way for SMEs to get first hand expert advice from people with proven track records in the games industry. The UK games industry is especially good at collaborating, sharing stories and experiences and we believe the companies involved in the games mentor scheme have a great opportunity to get critical support in order to thrive.”

Games network mentee and CEO of game development studio Kempt, Chris Kempt said: "Working with Jon has been amazing - like an adrenalin shot in the arm of the business - his deep understanding of the industry and innate understanding of our position within it has allowed us to cut through all the waffle and get straight to dealing with the challenges - this has already made us a stronger and more confident outfit"

Mentor James Brooksby, CEO of Born Ready Games and Ukie board member said “I was a beneficiary of the same mentoring scheme in 2009 and am glad to now be putting something back in. Personally I found the system to be excellent and benefiting to both parties, I am to this day in regular contact with my mentor, and we have become good friends.”

Jackie Brennan, programme manager for Nesta’s mentoring networks added: “We are delighted to be working with Ukie on this programme.  It builds on our already successful Creative Business Mentor Network and we look forward to seeing lots of business successes among the games companies participating. ”

Contact if you are interested in becoming a mentor of if your business wants to be mentored.



For all press enquiries, please contact the Ukie press office on T: +44 (0)20 7534 0580 or E:

About Ukie

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.

We also have distributors, academic institutions, new publishers, and media outlets that are integral to the lifeblood of the industry as part of the family.

Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

One of Ukie’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.

We also offer comprehensive events programme to give the games industry access to key information, leading industry figures and give everyone the chance to network. You can see our events programme here

In addition, Ukie compiles weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.

Some of the campaigns Ukie has been working on include the next gen skills campaign which pushed for computer science to be put back onto the national curriculum, - a website where families can learn about playing games safely and sensibly and Ukie Student Membership which bridges the gap between education and industry for students leaving higher education.


Twitter: @uk_ie

Facebook: Ukie

Linked in: Ukie

About Nesta: ( ) is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.

Creative Business Mentor Network: The Creative Business Mentor Network provides creative businesses with access to experienced and commercially successful mentors. Focussed on film, TV, games, digital media and advertising, the Network is now in its fourth year..  Run by Nesta, Creative England and Ukie have joined forces with the programme to give creative businesses in the UK even greater access to mentoring support.