Scrypted Inc has joined the residency program at the Virginia Serious Games Institute (VSGI) Excellerator, a business incubator funded in part by George Mason University and Prince William County. The company sits at the intersection of virtual world design and blockchain technology, with a focus on the rapidly evolving technologies powering decentralized finance and non fungible tokens (NFTs).
“The VSGI incubator has a solid history of graduating successful companies, including the recently acquired Citadel Studios, and we’re absolutely stoked about bringing those same resources to bear on our exciting Metaverse tech,” said founder Tim Cotten. “We just launched Scrypted in January 2022, and we’ve wrapped a $100k pre-seed investing round.”
Cotten is a veteran game and virtual world developer with over 20 years of industry experience. He wrote his first video game at 9 years old with a hand-me-down Commodore 64, dropped out of college, and joined the Ultima Online team at Electronic Arts to chase his dream of building massively multiplayer online games, eventually relocating to Virginia following EA’s acquisition of Fairfax-based Mythic Entertainment.
In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Cotten is also known for his security and blockchain research: receiving a Google bug bounty prize for his work in discovering Gmail vulnerabilities; publishing research on Bitcoin payment trails; and conducting technology interviews with outlets like Vice News and CNN.
“The VSGI board and leadership have been welcoming because they can see that NFTs, the digital assets or ‘stuff’ of the future Metaverse, is just the beginning of this technology,” says Cotten. “Our company passion and plan are to build the technology for artificial intelligence (AI) assisted content generation, and our ultimate goal is to develop virtual worlds that build themselves.”
VSGI’s Excellerator program provides access to leading commercialization and marketing channels; student development talent; research faculty; industry experts; mentors; business counseling support; and the exposure to funding opportunities with foundations and equity partners.
“The Metaverse is a legendary concept in gaming and science fiction, and the public has already been experiencing it through virtual and online interfaces for decades,” says James Casey, VSGI Director and Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design. “We’re excited to see what companies like Scrypted Inc can do to further that technology in commercial spaces.”
Ideally situated IRL in Prince William County’s Innovation Park, a collaborative epicenter of corporate and university-research and technology, VSGI is housed in a core blend of teaching, research, faculty, and administrative offices in George Mason’s Science and Technology Campus.
“This residency will give us the access to talent and connections that will grow our business,” said Cotten. “With goals like being able to move our digital selves seamlessly between competing platforms, the Metaverse has very lofty problems to solve—and we’re excited about embracing that future.”