2021 has been an eventful year for us at Creative Enterprise as well as our cohorts and alumni. Here is a selection of highlights that have brightened our year and made us excited to see what lies ahead for the companies that come through our programmes.
Creative Enterprise has been developed by Creative England with National Lottery funding from the BFI, to increase the sustainability of the moving image sector in the English regions outside of London.
Two Evolve Alumni Raise Impressive Investments
Creative Enterprise: Evolve prepares high-potential screen businesses for growth capital. With the help from mentors, the participants perfect their proposals and gain exclusive opportunities to engage with investors. In 2021, two Evolve alumni INTERFLIX and Charisma Entertainment have been able to secure investments to develop their business.
INTERFLIX is the first solely interactive production house in the UK. They work with brands to create advertising and entertainment that is unique viewing experience – allowing the audience to choose where the story goes. After their participation in Evolve, INTERFLIX was able to raise and impressive seed round that was oversubscribed.
Charisma Entertainment creates a two-way viewing experience with interactive stories that have believable virtual characters. Their platform uses dialogue engine that players and audiences can meet and converse with. Charisma Entertainment have raised their investment from venture fund WiSE as the investors acknowledged the developments of Metaverse as “a natural evolution for multi-platform audiences.”
Female Founders Participants ‘Peanut and Crumb’ & ‘Story Juice’ Join Forces to Create Brand New Collaboration/Mobile Game
Creative Enterprise: Female Founders is a prestigious programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs in screen-based companies. The programme equips female entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence to scale their business and form a cohort of female business leaders across the regions.
In 2021, Jane Gerber (Co-Founder, Peanut & Crumb) and Hannah Wood (Founder, Story Juice) met through Creative Enterprise’s Female Founders programme. Getting inspired by one of the workshops, Jane was able to talk to Hannah about collaborating on a new mobile game ‘Get Birding’ that would fit in with Peanut and Crumb’s existing brand of content. With the help of Creative Enterprise team, they were able to put together a successful application for a New Ideas Fund. Currently they are hoping to have a working prototype by March 2022.
Games Scale Up alumni Flick Games transform the mechanics of a classic card game while highlighting indie artists
Creative Enterprise: Games Scale Up is a prestigious programme, developed in partnership between Creative England and games trade body Ukie. The programme supports to support games developers, publishers and support services.
Flick Games is one of the first games companies supported by Creative England that has a patent pending for their game mechanics. Formed in May 2019, as a home to Flick Solitaire, a new genre-defining solitaire game for mobile. Flick raised an angel round in April 2020 and Flick Solitaire launched on iOS and Android mid-June 2020.
Flick Solitaire also stands out amongst the competition with its unparalleled focus on championing independent artists. By commissioning a diverse portfolio of artists, they are able to create beautiful card decks that keep players coming back.
Creative Enterprise Showcase 2021
The annual Creative Enterprise Showcase took place on the 30th of April 2021 where we celebrated the achievements of our participants in the 2020-21 Creative Enterprise programme. The keynote speaker was Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE DL, the beloved children’s presenter, actress, writer, award winning independent producer, politician and active advocate. Watch her impassioned advice to creatives on resilience and success here:
New Creative Enterprise Business Support for Early-Stage Businesses
Over the years of running business support programmes, we have noticed that there is a lack of targeted support for Film, TV and Games companies that are in the initial stages of their development. That is why in October 2021 we announced three new Accelerator programmes.
Accelerate: Film & TV focuses on content makers working in scripted or documentary Film & TV while Accelerate: Games have launched with two specifically targeted strands: Accelerate: Game Developers and Accelerate: Games Tech and Services. Some spots Accelerate: Games have also been sponsored by the Scottish organisation InGAME. This means that also some amazing Scottish companies can participate in these Accelerators.
The response to these Accelerators has been great with strong application numbers and we are excited to get the programmes going in the new year.
Awards & Accolades
Here is a selection of Awards and Accolades our cohorts and alumni has received this year. Congratulations to all!
🌟 Evolve alumni Charisma Entertainment were recently awarded the ‘Responsible and Ethical Tech Pioneer’ at The Digital Catapult Awards.
🌟 Des Gayle from Altered Gene, current Evolve cohort member, won an “Leadership Hero” Award at the Game Dev Heroes 2021Awards at Develop:Brighton
🌟 Singer Studios were nominated for Best Immersive Game and Discovery Award: Best Debut at Raindance Immersive for their game ‘The Pirate Queen’ that was developed with the grant from New Ideas Fund.
🌟 Alex Kanaris-Sotirou, Creative Director at Polygon Treehouse, was named one of BAFTA Breakthrough UK winners. Polygon Treehouse is one of 2021 New Ideas Fund grant recipient.
🌟 Sketchbook Games, current Games Scale Up participant, won Develop Star Award for Best Innovation at Develop:Brighton.