Skip to main content
Enter search terms below…

Member News

Video Game Studio Investing $630,000 Into New Downtown Troy Offices



Albany Business Review

Guha and Karthik Bala are investing more than $630,000 into their video game studio's new offices in downtown Troy, New York. The brothers started a new video game company, Velan Studios, in 2016 after exiting their first business, Vicarious Visions.

The new 7,600-square-foot office is spread across several buildings and floors on Third Street in Troy. The more than $600,000 investment includes fitting out that space, as well as new machinery and equipment. Empire State Development is providing up to $200,000 in a performance-based capital grant. The company plans to create at least 49 jobs over the next few years.

The studio has seen fast growth, and already sized out of its first office at 225 River St., next to the empty One Monument Square. That office accommodated 20 people. Velan Ventures employs 40 people now.

The new office, at 5 Third St. above Spill'n the Beans coffee house, has high ceilings, arched windows and classic moldings. The office was transformed from a former, neglected union hall into an office befitting one of the area's fastest growing tech startups.

The move gives the Bala brothers multiple floors and spaces to grow the business, with up to 10,000 square feet to lease. David Bryce owns the building, which is being renovated in phases.

Since starting the company in 2016, half of Guha and Karthik Bala's hires have been recruited from outside the Albany area, including Austin, Boston and parts of Europe. More than half of the employees are based in downtown Troy, walking distance to the office.

Velan Studios is focused on research and development of augmented reality, robotics, the integration of hardware and software and other emerging technologies in gaming and entertainment.

The studio is not ready to disclose current projects or partnerships.

Karthik and Guha Bala say there is potential to grow the area's video gaming industry, which employs about 450 people, to 3,000 people in the next 10 years. The region faces competition from places with better weather, such as southern California, and better tax benefits, such as those offered in Quebec and Austin, Texas.

They have been pushing for New York state to give digital media and gaming companies a 25 percent tax credit. It would be an extension of the film industry tax credit that offers $420 million a year in tax breaks for film and movie productions.

Eight in ten Capital Region employers are optimistic about job growth in the new year, but more than ever, filling open positions remains a significant challenge. That’s according to the Fall 2019 Alaant Hiring Index, an exclusive analysis of the area’s labor market prepared by Alaant Workforce Solutions, the Capital Region’s leading professional…
Christopher D' Allaird, a local CPA located in Troy, NY, has successfully completed the requirements to earn the designation of a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS). This dignified certification is earned by good standing members of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS).  Christopher D' Allaird was first required to be…
Hudson Valley Community College’s Viking Child Care Center has received an annual grant of $121,000 for up to four years that will be used for tuition subsidies for low-income families in the daycare center. The center provides care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and serves parents attending the college as well as community parents. The…
Dec
17
We’re giving thanks for our members by offering an exciting contest for two members to win customized Chamber marketing packages valued at $1,500 each! It…
Register By 12 p.m. on December 17, 2019
Dec
18
Join the festivities at our most popular and final NetworkingPlus event of 2019. Get connected, develop leads and build relationships at this fast-paced…
11:30 a.m. Check-in & Luncheon; 12 - 1:15 p.m. Networking
Jan
08
Join the Chamber at the 2020 State of the County Breakfast and learn what's ahead for Rensselaer County and the business community in the new year. …
Check-in & breakfast 7:30a.m.; remarks and Q&A 8-9:00a.m.