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.

The Tech Valley High School (TVHS) Operating Board voted to appoint the school’s next chief academic officer/principal at a special board meeting Tuesday night. Dr. Amy W. Hawrylchak, who has served as the assistant principal of Guilderland High School since 2015, will become the school’s next leader, effective January 4, 2021. Capital Region…
Integra HR and the Defreestville Fire Department are partnering again with the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, Snelling Staffing Services and Capital Region Cares to give to those in need. We are grateful to the community for helping us to collect hygiene products, hoodies, socks, and underwear for children and families in need. The…
On December 4th at 12:00 p.m., Marvin and Company, P.C. will be hosting a virtual meet and greet for students and professionals of all ages regarding available jobs at their firm followed by a firm presentation. Please register for the event to receive more event details. Friday, December 4, 2020 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Online live FREE event: Register…
Dec
03
In 2015, the Chamber developed CEO Roundtable Discussions with much success.  The purpose is to bring together small groups of CEOs, presidents and/or…
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. EST
Dec
14
Kick off your holiday season and finish 2020 strong with our Virtual Holiday NetworkingPlus! Get connected, develop leads and build relationships at our…
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST
Dec
17
Designed to help individuals new to WordPress environment, join Training and Development Specialist, Eleonora Morrell, MicroKnowledge, Inc. to learn how…
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. EST