GG Interactive sees incubator opportunity after staff cuts

CEO of tech company, formerly called GarageGames, will continue to focus on growing local ecosystem

Eric Preisz

With efforts to sell game-based interactive software to educators going slower than expected, Vancouver’s GG Interactive has cut staff and is taking on a new project.

GG Interactive, formerly known as GarageGames LLC, relocated to Vancouver from Las Vegas in 2014. The company applied its video game technology to new products meant to help educators teach game development and programming to high school and college students.

“We offer two main products,” said Eric Preisz, GG Interactive CEO. “One we give away free, the other we sell. Three-fourths of our customers went for the free product.”

Teachers, he said, like what GG Interactive is offering, but getting school budgeting approval for a purchase might take two years or longer.

“Our time horizon is much farther out than we thought,” he said. “We learned that there is a chain of people we have to sell to.”

Teachers in 50 states are using GG Interactive products with as many as 67,000 students involved with the game design and programming software, he said. A teacher a day continues to sign up for products at gginteractive.com, where the business will continue to sell its DevPro computer science and game design offerings.

According to Preisz, the plan going forward is to maintain and support current products, but because of revenue shortfalls the company laid off a nine-person staff this month at its downtown Vancouver fourth floor space at 805 Broadway. Preisz, 37, who has been with the business for seven years and CEO for the past five, remains with the operation.

Downsizing opens up as many as 14 spaces for people looking for incubator desk space in the company’s 2,500-square-feet office. There’s also a common area for presentations.

Since coming to Vancouver, Preisz has been a key player in developing an organized “tech meet-up” group that began a couple of years ago with just a few attendees. The group now has 377 members and about 40 people who regularly attend networking meetings.

“Our goal is to help grow the tech eco system in Vancouver,” Preisz said. “We see a strong demand for this kind of startup space and are getting the word out,” he said.

Informational meetings are under way.

Meanwhile, the good news, he said, is that nearly all the laid-off GG Interactive employees already are looking at new jobs because their job skills are in demand.

To learn more about the new incubator space, visit www.prototypecoworking.com or contact Preisz at ericp@gginteractive.com.

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