Level Upstate Summer Program

The Level Upstate Summer Program is an intensive opportunity for game developers looking to commercialize their creative ideas. We combine the expertise of industry experts in our local region, our faculty and international presenters to fill knowledge gaps in your enterprise. You will pitch, prototype and playtest game ideas, and work on refining your products, understanding of the market, and business goals and strategies. We encourage applications from teams working in any area of games: indie games; VR or AR applications; serious games, educational games, and other simulations; AI or other technologies for games; analog and tabletop games; or other innovative concepts in games and related interactive forms.

Summer 2022 Information

Applications for the Summer 2022 Program are Open! 

Program Dates: July 11 to August 19, 2022
Application Deadline: May 15, 2022

Level Upstate is open to students, companies, and teams residing in New York State or with significant business involvement in New York State. Participants can be at any stage – you may be at the early concept stage, or have a product in development, or you may have released games already. We look for applicants with evidence of strong team dynamic and potential for success. Solo developer applications will also be considered. Individual applicants seeking to join a team will also be considered.

For support, all teams receive:

  • $3500 Stipend per Member
  • Access to Industry-Focused Expert Content
  • Mentors from RPI Faculty and Local NY Games Community
  • Public Pitch Day Event
  • Project File Hosting
  • Note: Stipend amounts are based on a team size of three with full-time commitment. Stipend requests for larger team sizes, participants with part-time availability, or other unique situations will be determined on an individual basis.

    Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we have yet to determine if Level Upstate will be held in person, online, or in a hybrid format. Please be sure to note your team’s preference on your application.

    Application Process

    Applications may be submitted as a text document (Word, PDF, Google Doc or OpenOffice document), presentation file (PowerPoint, Google Slides deck, Keynote presentation, or OpenOffice presentation), or a video pitch presentation (YouTube link or video file). Feel free to use whichever format presents your team best!

    Click Here to Upload Application

    In your application, be sure to address the following questions:

    • Company Name
    • Primary Contact
    • Company Website and/or Social Media
    • Company Description
      • What does your company do?  What is your primary product or service?
    • Who is your market or audience?
      • Does your product provide a solution for a specific problem?
      • Do you have an idea for a game, or an area of emphasis, that is overlooked in the market?
    • Team Members
      • List all members of your team with contact information.
      • For each team member, indicate their role; if they are a current Rensselaer student; if they will be working full- or part-time on Level Upstate; and if they are requesting stipend support.
    • Tell us about your company or team.
      • Help us get to know you. What makes you stand out?
      • Do you have prior successes working together?
      • Do you have a uniquely strong team dynamic?
      • What makes you awesome?
    • What stage is your company at?
      • Are you just getting started?  Do you have a product already in progress?
      • Have you released games already and are you hoping to expand?
      • Have you incorporated as a business? Are you in early-stage development?
    • Work Samples
      • Provide one (1) or more samples of your work. If you have them, show projects you have completed together as a team. If not, highlight other prior experience by showing projects your members have produced individually. .
    • What are your goals for participating in Level Upstate? What do you plan to accomplish this summer?
    • What will “taking your company to the next level” mean for you?
    • What are your key needs?
      • Are there roles in your team you need to fill?
      • Do you need to gain technical expertise?
      • Do you want to develop a business plan?
      • Do you need design mentoring? Other mentoring?

    For more information, please email:

    Ben Chang
    Director, Rensselaer Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development

    2019 Showcase

    Previous Participants:

    List of companies who have been through the program