Indielab’s 2022 Accelerator programme for UK indies looking to grow their business and understand how to fully capitalise on opportunities in both the UK and international markets, is now open for applications.

Building on the success of the past six Accelerators, which last year saw the 2021 participants attribute a combined £15.5m of new business to their involvement, this seventh programme will deliver its established core modules covering topics such as investment and business planning, while adding new sessions to reflect the changing television business and cultural landscape. These include exploring changing revenue streams and building relationships with global SVODs, an accessibility and inclusion panel, backed by Channel 4, and sessions on supporting founder development. The latter will give indie principals the necessary tools to help them be the best possible leader as their business grows, while creating and sustaining an inclusive workplace and healthy culture.

The Indielab 2022 TV Accelerator will be open to at least 15 early and mid-stage UK production companies and actively welcomes applications from disabled, diverse, and female founders/senior executives. Indielab would also like to encourage previously unsuccessful applicants to re-apply.

The 2022 programme will be delivered through a mix of virtual and in-person bespoke masterclasses and seminars from leading industry experts such as Liam Keelan, VP original content, Europe and Africa at the Walt Disney Company. Previous Accelerator participants, such as Matt Campion from Spirit Studios, will also share their experiences and learnings. Virtual events will take place on the Indielab Connect platform.

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s founder and programme director, says: “We have an excellent track record in giving indies the focused tools they need to grow, and the highly commercial and bespoke nature of our programme is what continues to set it apart. However, a UK indie today needs to be so much more than its UK commissions. Our new sessions will help them better navigate the evolving opportunities in the global market and ensure that the creatives at the helm become excellent leaders as their businesses change. Truly successful companies are positive and inclusive places to work, so we will also be making sure the cohort members have what they need to develop a healthy culture alongside a healthy slate.”

Matt Campion, founder and creative director of Spirit Studios, was a member of the 2021 cohort, he comments: “The sessions we attended and the people we worked with through the Indielab Accelerator proved to be a great catalyst for Spirit and helped put us on a new growth trajectory. We came out with a focussed vision for our business around entertainment with hidden purpose, a unique position for our content. Our creative mantra, ‘the funny and the feeling’, has not only brought broadcasters as well as on and off-screen talent directly to us, but also a given us new-found confidence in our abilities. Importantly, our revenues increased more than 60% last year and we’ve also received investment from the Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund. We cannot recommend the programme highly enough.”

The Indielab Accelerator programme has a wide range of supporters committed to helping grow and sustain a thriving UK indie sector and this year it is pleased to welcome The TV Foundation, the umbrella charity of the Edinburgh TV Festival, to that list.

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. Channel 4 will continue to support the programme too, this year also contributing funding to ensure that the Accelerator is as open and accessible as possible. The 2022 programme is also pleased to welcome back Screen Scotland and Creative Wales. Other returning sponsors include Sony Pictures Television, which is proud to deliver a diversity bursary scheme. Additional supporters are global distributor Banijay Rights, law firm Harbottle & Lewis LLP, which provides a free legal helpdesk, accountancy firm Ecovis Wingrave Yeats, which provides a finance helpdesk advising on government support available to indies, and Nyman Libson Paul LLP which provides financial, tax and commercial advice. Each sponsor specialises in a different field, and together they ensure that the programme’s participants have access to 360-degree support and services.

As in previous years, Indielab’s 2022 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.

Entries for the 2022 programme will be open from 14th February with an early bird deadline of 28th February and final deadline of 31st March 2022. Detailed and fully accessible interactive background briefings about the programme will take place on both the 21st and 28th February. All details about the application process and briefings can be found on the Indielab website.

The successful applicants will be notified during early April and invited to nominate two employees to take part in the programme, which will commence on 9th May.

Pippa Considine

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