Indielab Accelerator has announced the 2020 edition of its growth programme for indies. 


Every year, Indielab Accelerator provides 15 early and mid-stage entertainment production companies with a programme that explores the growth opportunities that are specific to their businesses. The programme, which includes masterclasses from 50-plus industry experts and consultants, provides global market insight, investment-readiness analysis and an investor-pitching event. Last year’s speakers included Richard Parsons, COO of International Production at Sony Pictures Television, Gregor Sharp, Commissioning Editor, BBC Comedy, Chloe Tucker Commissioning Executive, Drama and Bill Hobbins Commissioning Editor – Entertainment and Arts at Sky. 


In 2020, there will be a focus on international production financing, the potential and challenges involved in doing business in the US, forging relationships with SVOD platforms and developing podcasts. 


The BBC is committing to a longer-term partnership with the programme, having become a full sponsor in 2019. Creative Scotland has also come on board as a new partner alongside long-time supporter Channel 4. The latter will invest in the 2020 programme via its Indie Growth Fund and Nations and Regions content spend. 


As in previous years, Indielab Accelerator’s 2020 cohort will be will balanced across scripted and non-scripted producers, male- and female-owned businesses and 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. 


Victoria Powell, founder and CEO of Indielab, said: “Over five years and 60 alumni, we have gained a rich and unrivalled insight into the UK’s indie sector, which remains the lifeblood of our world-class creative industry. The biggest take-away is that our programme is more relevant than ever in today’s market, which is facing unprecedented change. UK indies can no longer survive purely on domestic commissions, they must look to the global market. This requires constant focus on building new skills and new relationships. In addition, M&A activity is predicted to rise after a quieter 12 months. Our aim is to use our network and knowledge to provide UK indies with the tools and intelligence they need to navigate these challenges.”


New to the Indielab sponsor roster this year is Getty Images with returning sponsors including interantional 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.


Mike Benson, founder and creative director of Chalkboard TV and a 2019 cohort member said: ‘Do it! It’s a rare thing on the commission-chasing hamster wheel of TV production to stop, take a breath, take some advice and look at what you’re doing, why and where you want to get to. Indielab gave us that opportunity in spades – as well as a brilliant network of similar but diverse companies all looking to share and support rather than out-do and out-brag. The sessions were informative, engaging and most of all useful to us as a creative and commercial business going forward. We also got a WhatsApp group out of it.’


Staff Reporter

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