Indielab Accelerator, has announced the call for applications for its first TV and Games Accelerators in West Yorkshire.

The two programmes, a TV Accelerator and Games Accelerator, are looking for TV indies and Games studios keen to achieve scale and develop their business.

The TV Accelerator is open to 10-to-15 early and mid-stage West Yorkshire-headquartered content creators working in TV, as well as social content, film and animation.

The programmes, which represent a first for the region, have been designed to facilitate and accelerate the growth of West Yorkshire’s growing creative sector by enabling companies to refine their business vision and explore growth opportunities.

The programme includes masterclasses, seminars and panel sessions with national and regional industry leaders, including managing director of nations and regions at Channel 4 Sinead Rocks, True North creative director and founder Andrew Sheldon, Matt Richards, managing director of Air TV and John Hay and Nicola Hill, joint CEOs of The Garden.

Companies on the TV Accelerator will also get access to sessions co-designed and delivered with leading broadcasters, including the BBC, C4 and Five, where there will be a focus on developing and building lasting relationships across the channels as well as winning high value, high volume work.

The TV Accelerator will deliver targeted modules over a five-month period, commencing in February 2022. Alongside the Accelerator masterclasses and seminars, indies will also have access to a package of additional support including coaching and mentoring, a free legal and accountancy helpdesk, as well as access to the Indielab Connect, the social network launched by Indielab in 2020 in response to the lockdown, and Indielab’s Lab book a virtual business growth tool which indies can use to develop their growth plans.

A focused investment-readiness strand will culminate in an investor pitch showcase, open to all participants — an event that has historically delivered a 20% conversion rate for participating indies.

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s founder and programme director said: “The creative industries in West Yorkshire are at a pivotal moment as the government and broadcasters continue to deliver on nations and regions investment and the Levelling Up agenda. But as well as the abundance of opportunity out there in the UK and global markets there are significant challenges for small indies today, and these are the issues that these programmes are designed to address. In short, the launch of Indielab West Yorkshire and investment by Channel 4, the BBC, Sky and others in the region are creating significant opportunities for the local creative community, to the benefit of all.”

Sinead Rocks, managing director for nations and regions at Channel 4, said: “The breadth and range of topics and talent that will be available to the applicants has not been seen before in a programme focused for this region.”

The TV and Games Accelerators are a strand of West Yorkshire’s The Creative Catalyst, a £1.5m wider programme of support that not only demonstrates the LEP’s commitment to the creative industries, but delivers on one of West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin’s key pledges: Lead a Creative New Deal to ensure the region’s creative industries are part of a broader recovery strategy.

Indielab West Yorks is delivered in partnership with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), and aims to support the growth of the screen sectors in West Yorkshire.

Tracy Brabin said: “Cross-sector knowledge share across content production businesses in tv production and games is an excellent way of building a connected and more buoyant ecosystem. By giving the people in these businesses the opportunity to focus on their objectives and drive their vision forward, we put the power in their hands to help us build an even more resilient content production sector.”

Matt Richards from Air TV, a previous attendee at Indielab Accelerator said: “This is a truly fantastic thing for the region. I can honestly say that taking part in Indielab was one of the key turning points for our company. What we learnt, and the new contacts we met, has meant we have seen huge growth over the last two years. It’s amazing that this opportunity will now be available to more of the great companies here in the region.”



Jon Creamer

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