Nintendo is on the hunt for innovators who can build new technology for its popular Switch console platform.
The Japanese gaming giant is teaming up with San Francisco-based venture capital firm Scrum Ventures for the new Nintendo Switch + Tech program, which is accepting applications until June 9.
Nintendo is looking for people from across the industry — startups, research groups, corporate teams, etc. — who have ideas ranging from hardware to software that “can expand the scope of Nintendo Switch, in gaming and beyond.”
The two-month program is virtual, with the teams receiving mentorship and support. They will eventually pitch their ideas in person at Nintendo this fall. The program does not offer funding to accepted applicants.
Leading the program is Yohei Nakajima, a venture partner at Scrum Ventures who joined the firm in January and is based in Seattle.
“This is really about finding technology to create new experiences on the Nintendo Switch,” he told GeekWire.
The Nintendo Switch debuted last year is already one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time, with sales nearing 20 million units. It’s helped Nintendo rebound from its previous console launch, the Wii U, which wasn’t as popular with gamers. Nintendo this week released details about its new Nintendo Switch Online subscription service.
Scrum works closely with Japanese corporations as part of its studio arm. It announced a joint venture with Panasonic in March.
The 5-year-old firm also has around 50 companies in its portfolio, but none hail from the Pacific Northwest. That could change with Nakajima joining the investment team. He’s a Bellevue, Wash. native who was previously in Los Angeles running the Disney Accelerator for Techstars.
“I’m starting to get to know the Seattle startup community,” he said. “I’m excited about what I’ve seen and I’m looking forward to working with some of the founders here.”