Interview with Guy Bendov, CEO and Co-founder of Sidekick.
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
CEO and co-founder. I make sure Side-kick grows and expands, and in general make sure that everyone is happy.
What did you do before creating your company?
I created other companies, DoubleFusion and CellularMagic. I have been in the Israeli video games market for almost 20 years.
How you do feel about being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Thrilled. This acknowledgement makes the crazy ride of opening a video game studio in Israel worthwhile. When Microsoft selected us to be featured, the entire team felt very proud.
What is your company’s mission?
Create fun and cool games for new platforms.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Side-kick provides fun games to cutting edge platforms and new interfaces.
How did you get the idea for your company?
A few video game industry veterans in Israel decided that we want to build a games studio in Israel that will cover console-level productions. We were looking for an edge and got excited about motion interfaces and the type of new gameplay we can create with it.
Tell us about your funding history. A re you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We raised $1.5M from angel investors, mostly from the media sector. We are now raising additional $2M to grow our business in the Smart TV market.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 15 full time employees and additional contractors. About a third of our employees are programmers. The rest are focused on creative and art and 3 people who do administration and sales.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We look for game designers, art directors and programmers for new projects, mostly for our office in Israel.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We developed up until recently for Windows PCs and Xbox360, as these platform used motion controlled interfaces, like the Kinect™. In the past year, we expanded to Smart TVs and tablets. We got a lot of requests for games on these new platforms and we have created a toolbox of controls that allows us to rapidly develop or port games to them.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I am excited about connecting people together via new experiences. New platforms and new interfaces that are coming out, such as handheld devices and connected TVs, offer new territory to explore.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
BizSpark helped us to get set up when we started and helps us with understanding what solutions are out there or will be coming in. The immediate support from the program as well as access to trends is where BizSpark bring a lot of value to us.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Ship and test. Repeat. It is easier than ever to get a product out, get it in front of millions and get feedback. There are so many tools and great advice online to figure your plans and be efficient and lean.
Who’s your role model?
We are looking at independent studios that changed their markets. The paths Blizzard and Valve took, has a lot of effect on our decisions.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
The world is changing very fast. When you start a new initiative, make sure the change you make is big, and good.