Indielab Accelerator 2021 call for applications

Indielab Accelerator has announced the call for applications for its 2021 edition of its growth programme for independent production companies (indies) looking to achieve scale and develop their business.

The sixth edition of the programme will build on the launch of the Indielab Connect platform by hosting a blend of virtual and physical masterclasses and seminars with UK and global speakers.

Every year, Indielab Accelerator provides 15 early and mid-stage production companies with a programme that enables them to hone their USP and business vision and explores the growth opportunities that are specific to their businesses.

The programme, which includes masterclasses from leading industry experts and consultants, provides bespoke seminars and mentoring to each indie to enable growth for their businesses. In 2020, combined with its first ever virtual programme, Indielab helped facilitate first look deals for Afro Mic and Chatterbox along with investment deals for Yeti and both investment and first-look deals for Proper Content.

The programme has been re-formatted to deliver around the key issues for indies in 2021 and beyond, and now takes place via a mix of virtual and physical events. Wayne Garvie, president of Sony Pictures Television will make the keynote opening speech.

In partnership with Indigo Talent, the programme will once again recruit top industry names to serve as mentors to the 2021 cohort. 2020 mentors included some of the most prolific producer names in the UK such as Andy Harries, Sally Woodward Gentle, Shane Allen, Sam Barcroft, Magnus Temple and Alex Fraser.

Victoria Powell, Founder of Indielab Accelarator said: "Last year has forced us all to innovate and consider how we do things differently. Indies need to adapt and identify their unique opportunity in the domestic and global markets. Times of rapid change and crisis can be a huge challenge and threat to existing revenue, but for those thinking strategically they can also present new and lucrative opportunities.

"Indies on the 2021 programme will have the opportunity to sharpen their focus and accelerate their growth with our bespoke seminars, masterclasses and mentoring. For 2021 we are delivering our programme virtually and physically, and an upside to virtual delivery is that we can field leading industry speakers from around the world, location is no longer a hurdle."

Jane Rogerson, Joint Managing Director at Red Sky Productions said: “You simply won't get an opportunity or expertise or find the time to really work on your business and fulfil your potential without Indielab. Given the uncertainty over everything at the moment, this is a really good time to be doing this… shared knowledge is always beneficial, and seeing the benefits of working 'on' the business will help us focus on growth.”

In recognition of Indielab Accelerator’s strategy of distributing support evenly and fairly across the UK’s indie community, the 2021 programme welcomes back Screen Scotland to the growing roster of supporters alongside long-time partners Channel 4 and the BBC.

The BBC is continuing to be a core investor in Indielab as part of its long-term commitment to the growth of small companies across the UK, through its Small Indie Fund and wider commissioning strategy. C4 will also contribute to the 2021 programme via its Indie Growth Fund and Nations and regions content spend.

Returning sponsors include Sony Pictures Television who will continue to provide The Sony Indielab Diversity Bursary Scheme, supporting Indielab Accelerator’s commitment to indies founded and owned by individuals from under-represented groups. Content provider Getty Images, global distributor Banijay Rights, law firm Harbottle & Lewis, accounting and tax consultants Ecovis Wingrave Yeats and Nyman Libson Paul. Each sponsor specialises in a different field, ensuring that the programme’s participants have access to 360-degree support and services.

Last year due to COVID restrictions, Indielab Connect was launched, a virtual community platform that took the place of Indielab Accelerator’s 2020 live programme, showcasing a bespoke virtual training and conference suite. Further supporting services to indies will once again include one-to-one mentoring; a free legal helpline available to all alumni, sponsored by leading media law firm Harbottle & Lewis; and a finance helpdesk, managed by accountancy firm Ecovis Wingrave Yeats, advising on government support available to indies. The close of the programme will see the live gathering of all indies at the Indielab Indie Showcase in central London.

As in previous years, Indielab Accelerator’s 2021 cohort will be will balanced across scripted and non-scripted producers, male- and female-owned businesses and a minimum of 50% of the cohort will be based in the UK’s nations and regions, in line with the programme’s mission to help nurture diversity and sustainable production hubs outside of London.

Applications

Indielab is actively seeking applications from companies across all genres, including both scripted and non-scripted.

To be eligible, indies must be founded and registered in the UK, with less than £6m in revenue in non-scripted. In order to support the burgeoning scripted sector as well as non-scripted, the cap on turnover has now been lifted to £10m if the company can demonstrate some scripted production.

Participants must have had at least two or three broadcast credits within the last three years.

Entries for the 2021 programme will be open from Friday 15 January, with an early bird deadline of Friday 5 February, and final deadline of Friday 12 March 2021. Production companies can apply via the Indielab website: www.weareindielab.co.uk.

The successful applicants will be notified in March 2021 and invited to nominate two employees to take part in the programme, which will run from 26 April to Friday 25 June 2021.

For more information on Indielab and key dates, please visit: www.weareindielab.co.uk.

About Indielab Accelarator

Founded in 2015 by senior TV executive and industry leader Victoria Powell, Indielab Accelerator seeks to promote a sustainable and resilient independent TV sector. The accelerator programme aims to equip companies with the knowledge, skills and networks needed to achieve their full potential. Through a series of workshops, lectures, panel discussions, networking events and one-to-one sessions across four months, indies gain invaluable insight into and training in a range of subjects, including business planning, distribution, revenue-stream maximisation, corporate finance and investment readiness.