Indielab Launches 2023 TV Accelerator Programme

Indielab is opening its annual TV Accelerator programme once again to ambitious scripted and non-scripted British indies looking to capitalise on domestic and international opportunities and become the best they can be, both commercially and creatively. 

Indielab has started welcoming applications for its 8th annual programme from existing UK early and mid-stage production companies wanting to take the next step, from 30 January until 17 March.

The fifteen successful applicants will join the programme on its launch date of Tuesday 25 April. This year Indielab is delighted to welcome bursary places supported by Screen Scotland, Creative Wales, via the Creative Skills Fund and Sony Pictures Televisionfor Scottish, Welsh or diverse indies meeting the relevant criteria. 

“The content landscape continues to change, the route to production is increasingly more complex and the burden of navigating this path falls on the indie.” Said Victoria Powell, CEO of Indielab. “It’s an incredibly competitive market out there, and being creatively distinctive on a global stage, as well as commercially incredibly savvy are vital now. Access to insight, support and connections to capitalise on this environment and build a stable, successful production business has never been more valuable.” 

As any indie entrepreneur can tell you, launching a business is easy - the real challenge is growing your indie to profitability and sustaining it. A vital part of Indielab’s TV Accelerator is connecting indies to a network of partners and industry leaders in the screen sector, chosen specifically to help bolster and drive forward growth for them.  Alongside the partners to whom we introduce them, we also provide routes to and relationships with professionals who can help them really hone and develop their commercial and business skill sets, enabling them to tackle current sector specific issues, from strategy to sustainability, cashflow to communications, inclusion to investor readiness, deficit funding to distribution and beyond. These connections are provided alongside giving participants the tools to address the changing nature of content production, consumption and the ability to commercialise it effectively – whilst growing a healthy, inclusive creative business. 

Chris Wood, Osprey Television, Indielab cohort 2022 said “Osprey Television was part of the Indielab 2022. For a new company, it was invaluable in providing us with the opportunity to meet commissioners from the broadcasters and streamers, as well as other influential industry leaders. It was a luxury to take time out of our busy schedules to focus solely on our company’s short and long-term growth, which was made easier by having the Indielab experts on hand to facilitate our strategy development. At the end of the programme, we had grown in confidence and had a clearer vision of who we are as a company.  

Since the course, Osprey Television was accepted onto the Channel 4 Emerging Indie fund Scheme and we are currently working on a number of un-scripted programmes,Indielab put us in the right place, with the right people. We are looking forward to the future with a smile.”  

The BBC continues to be a core funder of 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. Also returning as funders in 2023 are Channel 4, Screen Scotland and Creative Wales, alongside returning sponsors - international distributor Banijay Rights, Sony Pictures Television, Harbottle & Lewis LLP and Nyman Libson Paul LLP. Each partner specialises in a different field, but give Indielab participants a 360 degree business support, including a free legal helpdesk provided by Harbottle & Lewis LLP.  

“We are proud to have supported the Indielab TV Accelerator since 2017, and to continue our support into 2023. The ambition and creativity of the businesses selected for the programme always shines through, and our support allows us to invest in the next generation of British content creators, connecting with them at a crucial point in their growth. It’s fantastic that so many of the previous cohorts have gone on to build impressive companies that make great commercial content, and that Indielab has played a small part in their success.” Said Simon Cox, EVP Content & Acquisitions, Banijay Rights.  

As in previous years, Indielab’s 2023 TV Accelerator cohort will be selected from scripted and non-scripted producers, male and female-owned businesses and will have a minimum of 50% of the participants from the UK’s nations and regions, in line with the programme’s mission to help nurture diversity and sustainable production hubs outside of London.  

Indielab Accelerator Criteria & Key Dates  

  • 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.  

  • Participating indies must have had at least two broadcast credits within the last two years or, if a start-up, the founder must have three credits as a producer, series producer or EP within the past three years.  

  • Bursary places are available for indies meeting regional criteria from Creative Wales via the Creative Skills Fund (2 places) and Creative Scotland (3 places), and from Sony Pictures Television (3 places) whose places are reserved for diversity and inclusion. 

Entries for the 2023 programme are currently open, with an early bird deadline of 14 February and final deadline of 17 March 2023. Detailed and a fully accessible interactive background briefing about the programme will take place on 22 February.  

The successful applicants will be notified in late March and invited to nominate two employees to take part in the programme, which will commence on 25 April. 

Indielab modules cover: 

  • Your Indie Now - Take a good look at where your business is now. Planning effectively involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses; this stage will guide you through evaluation, help you to develop your unique offer, understand the current position of your business and consider the wider market. 

  • Your Future Indie -  Consider your options and develop a plan for where you want to go and what you want to be. Clarifying your vision and honing your USP will develop a clearer understanding of your growth path. This is your chance to think about where you want to be in the long term. Develop your relationships with SVOD, broadcaster and distribution partners across a range of bespoke sessions, and position your indie to take full advantage of opportunities beyond your existing business, in the UK and global markets. 

  • Growth Readiness - We will give you the tools and insights you need to manage the growth curve of your business including production, commercial, legal and financial best practice. In addition, we will help you in exploring potential new revenue streams for your business; understanding and leveraging production finance; and developing distribution strategies to grow your revenue. 

  • Innovation & Creative and Inclusive Leadership - Shaping an inclusive culture and nurturing your talent are key to both your creative and commercial resilience. We will guide you through leadership and creativity techniques to grow and foster an engaged culture, develop your leadership skills, and explore opportunities for collaborative and innovative thinking. 

  • Founder Path and Indie Showcase - We explain current funding, investment and corporate finance options, and give you the tools to decide which, if any, is best suited to your growth plan. Then you’ll be ready to join our Indie Showcase, meeting with carefully selected distribution partners and investors. Many Indielab companies have secured distribution deals and investment through these events. 

  • Network and Alumni  - Meet our network of global executives and industry leaders who contribute to the programme. Once you have completed the Indielab programme, you will automatically become part of our alumni, and have access to our alumni events and benefits.