Creative Enterprise / Investment

Evolve

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Creative Enterprise: Evolve is a unique nine-month long programme designed by investors that prepares high-potential screen businesses for growth capital. Create and perfect your proposal with direct access  to leading experts and gain exclusive opportunities to engage with investors.

The Evolve programme is only available to businesses based in the English regions outside of London (any address based inside the M25) at the moment. If you are based in London, your application will be automatically declined. If you are based in any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) please get in touch with our team at  if you would like to apply.

Apply Now – The deadline for applications is Sunday 26 June, at midnight.

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“The Evolve program has given us a very well rounded understanding of the fund raising process. We would not be in the position to raise investment without the knowledge we’ve gained on the Evolve program. The Evolve program has been invaluable in helping us to prepare the business for investment.”

Find out more about Evolve – investment readiness programme for screen businesses from our Programme and Engagement Manager Kate Adam

 

Who is it for?

Led by Creative England and made possible by funding from the British Film Institute and National Lottery, the programme is for high-potential screen-based companies and technology platforms that innovate across video-games, visual effects and animation, immersive media and film and TV.

The Evolve programme is only available to businesses based in the English regions outside of London (any address based inside the M25) at the moment. If you are based in London, your application will be automatically declined. If you are based in any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) please get in touch with our team at  if you would like to apply.

Games Companies from Scotland and Northern Ireland can apply for a limited number of seats on this programme, made available through support from inGAME and Northern Ireland Screen. If you are based in any of the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) please get in touch with our team at  if you would like to apply.

What is involved?

The bespoke programme has been designed by investors, and is delivered over a period of nine months through a sequence of one-to-one mentoring sessions, peer-to-peer group meetings and pitching platforms to prepare you for your investment round and facilitate investor introductions.

Successful applicants will join a cohort of 12-15 creative company founders to complete a 4-stage pathway (support valued at £4,999):

  • Diagnostic – a review of your business model and initial investment proposition
  • Define – your business growth plan and set your investment goals
  • Craft – designing an investment strategy and helping with its presentation, including pitching practice and presentation design support
  • Connect –introductions to appropriate investors, including intimate investor roundtables and a pitch presentation showcase for suitable companies 

Why apply?

Perhaps you’ve not raised investment before and don’t know where to start or you’re already in the process of raising and you need some help – on this selective programme you will evaluate your business offering, define your investment goals, and connect with experts and investors who can help you take your business forward.

 

Evolve  2021/2022 Alumni

Don’t just take our word for it.  Here’s what the most recent Evolve 21/22 cohort had to say about the programme: 


 

“The thing we find really useful about Evolve is the fact we get so much one-to-one time with our mentor – because every business is different and this way the advice can be much more tailored to what we’re doing specifically.  Literally ‘Evolve’ is the name of the programmeThere’s very much this idea of moving on and taking the next step. I don’t know of another way we’d be able to get this level of advice if it weren’t for programs like Evolve from Creative England.”

Rob Hewson, Huey Games 



 

“I’ve been on a couple of other programmes that provide advice and information towards raising investment and growing a business – but one of the things that the Evolve programme and Creative England has is a good amount of focus aimed towards the gaming sector. Broader investment programmes tend to be quite generic.  What’s great about Creative England is they focus on screen, digital and creative businesses – and that way, I know there’s going to be a lot more direct help.”

Olly Bennett, Cardboard Sword 



 

 “It’s been amazing. It’s helped us learn some self-confidence when talking about the business. The networking, the accountability, getting feedback from a mentor or other cohort teams that are on your level – all that is just priceless.” 

 

Alixe Lobato, FedUP Studio Lab 



“I had the business intuition but I’m an artist, not a full-on businessman, so I needed help with that element of the job. Like: how can I grow the company? How can I get investment and put together an investment deck? It’s been super helpful so farI would never have known any of the stuff I’ve learned without the help of our mentor [Tim McSweeney.] His techniques about putting together an investment deck and how it should be presented are really interesting. He’s helped us put everything together in a really simple and clear way so anyone who sees our deck can understand it.” 

 

Emrah Elmasli, Mooncolony 



When you’re developing your pitch, your company really changes as a part of that process because you’re really honing down your messageThere’s so many of these types of programmes out there – but this is probably the only one I’ve been on that I’ve actually found really useful.” 

Nidhi Gupta, Busy Doctor 



 

“It’s hands-down one of the best things I’ve been on.  It has taught us that we really need to narrow down exactly what we’re asking for, how we’re going to use the investment money, how we’re going to ask for it and what our story is.  It’s basically given us rocket fuel so we can triple what we’re already doing.” 

Andreas Firnigl, Nosebleed Interactive 



 

I’m more of a creative person than a business person and it’s been really eye-opening in terms of getting to grips with the business side of things, what investors are looking for and how we can appeal to themIt really asks you to drill down into what our secret sauce is and what we can provide that’s different. It forces you to ask lots of hard questions about your business and look at it from an investors point of view too.” 

 

Michael Groom, Laal Blue Dot 



 

“Who wouldn’t want to be involved with Evolve?  It came at the exact right time. It’s been really amazing and the individuals working with us have been fantastic. Travis’s [Baxter] weekly mentorship and the tasks he sets us behind the scenes are great. They’re exactly what we needWe knew the amazing advertised benefits going in but what’s been really beneficial is all the additional support and guidance which can’t be advertised because it’s very bespoke.”

 

Paul Butler, Dark Rift Horror 


Apply Here

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the programme start?

The programme will commence in Summer 2022, with bespoke mentoring sessions starting in September 2022.

How much investment will I receive?

No investment is committed or guaranteed through the programme. Applicants will have an opportunity to present their investment proposal to private investors.

What type of investors are involved?

The programme will connect you to a range of investors with experience across multiple sectors, not just creative industries. You will have the opportunity to engage with suitable investors from angels to institutional funds

The programme will commence in Summer 2022, with bespoke mentoring sessions starting in September 2022.

No investment is committed or guaranteed through the programme. Applicants will have an opportunity to present their investment proposal to private investors.

The programme will connect you to a range of investors with experience across multiple sectors, not just creative industries. You will have the opportunity to engage with suitable investors from angels to institutional funds

How much does it cost?

Evolve is a sponsored program and there are no costs for selected applicants. However, cohort companies are required to contribute to the cost of any associated travel.

How much travel allowance will I receive?

A small travel allowance can be available at the discretion of the Creative Enterprise team.

Where does the programme take place?

The global pandemic has changed the nature of how we work. Evolve will be a hybrid program with both virtual and in-person engagements. At all times we will follow public health guidelines. In-person events will typically be held near or at Creative England offices in Bristol, Manchester, and London.

Evolve is a sponsored program and there are no costs for selected applicants. However, cohort companies are required to contribute to the cost of any associated travel.

A small travel allowance can be available at the discretion of the Creative Enterprise team.

The global pandemic has changed the nature of how we work. Evolve will be a hybrid program with both virtual and in-person engagements. At all times we will follow public health guidelines. In-person events will typically be held near or at Creative England offices in Bristol, Manchester, and London.

How much time would I have to commit?

Evolve’s purpose is to support companies who are preparing for their investment journey. As investment is a critical part of a company’s growth journey, we expect cohort members to stay with the programme from start to completion. This activity will be, on average, 2 days a month over a period of 9 months.

What will I get out of the programme?

Subject to your commitment throughout, by the end of the programme you will have, at minimum, an investment strategy and proposal capable of soliciting growth capital. Companies will also benefit from informal discussions with appropriate investors to help shape their investment proposal.

We need investment to develop our slate of content projects, can the programme help us?

Evolve is not designed to support investment strategies for single project investments or slate funding, though we will consider proposals that can demonstrate how this will lead to business growth.

Evolve’s purpose is to support companies who are preparing for their investment journey. As investment is a critical part of a company’s growth journey, we expect cohort members to stay with the programme from start to completion. This activity will be, on average, 2 days a month over a period of 9 months.

Subject to your commitment throughout, by the end of the programme you will have, at minimum, an investment strategy and proposal capable of soliciting growth capital. Companies will also benefit from informal discussions with appropriate investors to help shape their investment proposal.

Evolve is not designed to support investment strategies for single project investments or slate funding, though we will consider proposals that can demonstrate how this will lead to business growth.

Does the support qualify as state aid?

No, the business support provided by Creative Enterprise Evolve does not qualify as state aid support. A full definition of State Aid can be found here.

Yes. However, your business proposal must include moving image for storytelling as a significant component.

No, the business support provided by Creative Enterprise Evolve does not qualify as state aid support. A full definition of State Aid can be found here.

Should you have any access or communication requirements relating to our applications and guidance, then please contact the team at creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk or 0333 023 5240. Subsistence contributions are available to assist with the costs of travel and accessibility of the programme. Funds are limited and at the discretion of Creative England.

If you would like to discuss any accessibility requirements prior to applying, please get in touch with Creative Enterprise Team at creativeenterprise@creativeengland.co.uk.