Play Labs, a Summer Accelerator at MIT, Announces 2018 Class of Playful Startups and Demo Day


Cambridge, MA -- July 18, 2018 -- Play Labs, a summer accelerator hosted at the MIT Game Lab, has announced its second batch of startups that have been admitted to the program.  The current batch runs from June-August, and the Demo Day will be on August 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm EDT at MIT in classroom E51-115.

The Demo Day will be open to investors, members of the MIT community, and the general public. In addition to the physical event, Play Labs Demo Day will be streamed live on the web for those not in the Boston area.  

Sign up to watch Demo Day in person at MIT or online at

The overall focus of the accelerator is on startups that employ “playful tech” in a variety of industries.  This batch of startups was selected with a concentration on esports, gaming, blockchain and educational technology.

The second batch consists of startups spanning a wide breadth of categories, including:

  • eSports (2 startups)
  • VR/AR (2 startups)
  • Educational Technology (2 startups)
  • Blockchain (2 startups)
  • AI & Machine Vision (2 startups) 
  • Voice Applications (2 startups)

“We are excited at the quality and depth of startups that we have in our summer, 2018 batch,” said Rizwan Virk, Executive Director of Play Labs @ MIT. “Being on campus at MIT gave us access to many innovative entrepreneurs and technologies, and while we had many applicants, the startups we selected in this class represent the best applications of playful technology. I’m personally inspired to help the next group of MIT startups go on to great success.”

Scot Osterweil, Managing Director for Ludus, the MIT Center for Games, Learning, and Playful Media, said: “MIT students thrive on innovation and creative exploration. We are pleased that through Play Labs we will help them move their most imaginative ideas into the realm of the possible.”

The following is a list of the startups in the first batch (in alphabetical order):

  • BitMovio is a blockchain enabled video entertainment marketplace, connecting forward-thinking content creators with passionate consumers. (
  • BlocksCAD 3D modeling software fills a critical need for teachers in elementary and middle schools seeking ways to leverage engaging 3D printers with teaching math and coding fundamentals. (
  • BUTTON WALLET is developing a multi-crypto-currency wallet called BUTTON and crypto exchange which works inside Telegram (the key messaging platform in the crypto/blockchain industry).  (
  • InTheGame creates apps gamifying the viewing experience of esports and live broadcasts, powered by our computer vision & ai technology. (
  • LUI, a new Human-Computer Interface for interactive media on large screens and AR/VR platforms. (
  • PlaySpark is creating the next generation of social gaming in Augmented Reality.  (
  • Realism is a 3-d science simulation platform that teaches secondary school science concepts through real world labs and engages students through gamificaiton. (
  • SitNPlay Games is an E-Sports platform that connects players all around the globe providing ad-hoc competitions for real prizes that can be cashed out by the users trough PayPal, Bitcoin, Rixty Credits or even Steam Gift Cards.  (
  • Toucan AI is the only platform that allows you to create conversational AI characters with their own memories and personalities.  (
  • Whetstone Technologies is a software company building a platform to enable easy creation of voice applications for Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and other voice technologies with a specific focus on the healthcare vertical (  

To learn more about these startups, to attend Demo Day or view it online, visit or contact the Play Labs contacts below.


Play Labs ( is an incubator/accelerator at MIT which invests and mentors startups that are utilizing playful technology in a variety of industries.   This includes VR/AR, esports, 3d modeling, streaming, gamification, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. 

Play Labs is run by by Bayview Labs (, and its executive director, Rizwan Virk, an MIT alumnus (MIT ‘92 BS Computer Science & Engineering), and a prolific Silicon Valley angel investor, advisor and mentor, in conjunction with the Seraph Group (, a seed stage venture capital investment firm founded by Tuff Yen.


Ludus, the MIT Center for Games, Learning, and Playful Media, coordinates the efforts of MIT labs and research groups exploring games and play with a community of member practitioners. Research groups include the MIT Game Lab (; The Education Arcade (; the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (; the Trope Tank (; the Creative Communities Initiative (; and the Open Documentary Lab (


Play Labs
Rizwan Virk

Kate Pietrelli for Play Labs
+1 760-518-2633

MIT Game Lab and Ludus
Rik Eberhardt