GDC Grant for Students

UPDATE: This grant existed in 2016 and 2017. Due to the low number of applicants, the organiser and the sponsors have decided to cancel the grant. There is still some budget left over and together with the sponsors we decided to use this for students who can use support. To read more about this, please check this page


There are two things I hear over and over again:

  • GDC San Francisco is a great event for aspiring game developers
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if industry veterans could invest in the new generation of talent

I decided to combine those things and set up a grant for Dutch game development students. The grant covers flight, hotel (max 1000 euro) and an Indie Game Summit pass (appr. 400 euro).

How it works

  • Companies/organization make a donation (50 euro or more).
  • As soon as I receive the needed funds (minimum 1400 euro per grant), I will send out an open call.
  • The schools promote the call among their students.
  • The students send in their application to me.
  • I’ll forward these submissions to the selection committee and they pick one winner for each 1400 euro in received donations.


I want to make a donation. How can I do that?
If you want to donate, please fill out this online form.

How can I become a member of the selection committee?
If you donate money, you can indicate that you want to be on this committee. If we get too many volunteers for this, we will rotate committee members each year.

I’m not Dutch, but I study in Holland. Am I eligible?

I graduate this year. Am I still eligible?
To be eligible for the grant, you need to be a student registered with a Dutch school at the time of submitting your application. If you are no longer a student when it’s GDC time, thats ok.

When is the next open call?
If you want to let us know when there is a new open call, please sign up for the newsletter.

How will you announce the open call?
I do have a pretty long contact list myself, but I will also post the open call on various social media, and I will ask others, like Control Magazine, to help me spread the word.

Tell me more about the open call.
The open call has to be accessible to all students, whether they are programmers, artists, game designers. Therefore, I’m thinking about a one page essay about why the student thinks he/she will benefit from a visit to GDC and how they will make the most out of it.

Will you book my flight and hotel?
No, you are responsible for booking your own hotel and flight, but I can help you with useful tips. If you spend more than the maximum amount you will have to pay the difference yourself.

Can you please keep me informed about this project?
If you want to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter here.

Is this grant supported by GDC?
No, this is not an official GDC grant.

Whose idea is this and who is in charge?
This grant is set up by Alessandra van Otterlo. She will take care of all the logistics, communication and things like that. She will not take place in the selection committee.

Will you use this money to pay for you own GDC trip or to fly any of the selection committee members to GDC?
Absolutely not!

How can I make sure that the money is used for the grant and not for other things?
I will keep track of all donations and money spent on the grant(s.) I will not use the money for other things and I will also donate myself. After each GDC, I’ll send all the people/companies/organizations that have made a donation a full financial breakdown. Any money that is left over will be put forward to the grant for the next year (Yes, I do hope to make this a recurring grant.)

I have never been to GDC or San Francisco so I could use somt tips.
GDC veteran Martine Spaans gathered some very useful information. You can find it all here.

I have another questions, that is not addressed in this FAQ
Please send an email to alessandra [at] soops [dot] net