Joystick Labs accelerator shuts down
Another accelerator sadly screeches to a halt. Joystick Labs, based in Durham NC, is shutting down according to numerous sources. Joystick, which focused on gaming apps, had probably been slowing down for some time: their last blog post (as of this morning) was April 5, 2012 and they hadn't tweeted for 53 days. It's a cautionary tale for accelerators and startups alike that hope to get rich from gaming.
John Austin, Joystick's managing director, was quoted in newsobserver.com as saying that the prevailing economics of the video game market – which have changed considerably since Joystick was launched in 2010 – requires more financing than Joystick and its investors could afford. “It has become very difficult for an independent developer to get noticed,” Austin said. “For every ‘Angry Birds,’ there are literally tens of thousands of great companies not getting noticed.”
Joystick launched in 2010 with $500,000 from N.C. Idea, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs, and angel investors. They offered selected startups offered up to $18,000 plus standard accelerator services in a 12 week program.
This isn't the first accelerator to close down in the Raleigh-Durham area. Last year LaunchBox Digital shut its doors.