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Everything you missed at the GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit

Expert advice from investors on securing the best deal, the dangers of crowdfunding and the earning potential for VR developers

More than 150 developers, publishers and investors headed to Birmingham NEC last week for this year's GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit.

While they may also have been among the 80,000 people that attended EGX, these industry professionals dedicated a day to our sold-out summit. The event began with a morning of talks and panel sessions, followed by a networking lunch and an afternoon of one-to-one meetings between developers and publishers.

During the main panel session, Mercia Technologies' Mike Hayes discussed the need for patience when waiting for the virtual and augmented reality markets to take off, and he urged games businesses to continue exploring the possibilities they offer.

"I fear that we're in danger of talking ourselves out of VR and AR, which is going to be a fundamental category in all walks of life over the next few years," he said. "Yeah, okay, maybe we're not downloading as much on PlayStation VR as we would have liked, but this is just the foothills of something that will be quite revolutionary."

Later on, Hayes and his fellow panelists - Miniclip CCO Saad Choudri, Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok, Altara Games' Ella Romanos and UK Games Fund's Kirsty Gibson - offered advice on how developers could distinguish reliable investors from less trustworthy ones.

"Steer clear of city boys," Sulyok warned. "There is an ego thing there and the fact that they can somehow control you as an investor is very, very dangerous"

Meanwhile, Romanos offered a talk on the various sources of finance available to developers. During this session, she described crowdfunding as "the single hardest way to raise money that I've ever seen."

She also touched on emerging forms of fundraising, such as Initial Coin Offerings: "If you thought Kickstarter was the Wild West, cryptocurrency is taking that to another level. I expect we're going to see even greater failures and greater successes through that in the not too distant future so if you want to look at that, now's the time because I don't know how long that's going to last."

The meetings in the afternoon saw developers pitching to publishers looking for new games to sign and investors. Meeting hosts included Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Amazon AppStore, UK Games Fund, Catalyst Global Interactive, Green Man Gaming, Sega Europe, All 4 Games, BFI, Miniclip, Rising Star Games, Good Shepherd, Mercia Technologies and Wales Interactive.

The Investment Summit was organised with the support of Game Republic's Jamie Sefton. It was followed later in the day by our inaugural Best Places To Work Awards. You can find out more about our winners here, and read their advice to start-ups here.

There are also photos from both the Investment Summit and Best Places To Work Awards on our Facebook page.

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