Technology incubator, CodeBase, has launched a creative industries accelerator – Creative Bridge – in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, Napier University and Creative Edinburgh.
Over the next three years, around 220 creative professionals are set to join the programme as part of the £7.6 million Creative Informatics initiative linked to the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
The Creative Bridge accelerator is aimed at priming candidates for what the team describe as “entrepreneurial journeys” in being part of or founding creative ventures of all sizes. The pilot cohort is underway right now, and participants come from backgrounds in theatre production, music, interior design, data visualisation, photography, and publishing. Participant Tom Smith, freelance musician and educator, said: “Creative Bridge is giving me a clearer sense of the viability of my idea and providing the toolset to turn that idea into a business. I’m only part of the way through the course, but the lessons learned and connections made are already invaluable.”
CodeBase’s Head of Bridge Programmes, Oliver Littlejohn, who is the Creative Bridge lead, said: “Scotland has an amazing creative scene, and we’re really excited about the partnership we’ve built in Edinburgh to help bridge the gap between creatives and tech. We’ve been blessed with multiple tech success stories here in Edinburgh, but we know there are many more great ideas that need support be realised”.
Littlejohn added: “It’s also the case that many of the technology startups are starved of the kind of creative and design talent that can really help them to scale. The best startups in the world are those that realise the value of creativity and include it as a core part of their culture”.
A mix of domestic and international entrepreneurs, founders and senior industry executives are teaching on the accelerator – including Elva Carri of Dublin-headquartered GirlCrew, New York-based Narie Foster of MM.LaFleur, Pasabi co-founder Chris Downie and CodeBase’s Chief Strategy Officer Steven Drost. The 10-week accelerator programme is funded by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme managed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Industrial Strategy with additional funding from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and The Scottish Funding Council, and Creative Bridge is in the process of selecting the next cohort of 25 candidates for July. Modules cover areas including what it takes to make a great product, the importance of a strong culture and how to scale operations.