Indielab West Yorks – Inaugural TV and Games Accelerator opens for applications

Updated: Mar 22

Two pioneering Creative Catalyst programmes aim to drive growth in the key creative industries

Indielab has opened applications for the inaugural TV and Games Accelerators in West Yorkshire. The two programmes, a TV Accelerator and Games Accelerator, are looking for TV indies and early-stage game developers keen to achieve scale and develop their business. 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.

Both Accelerators are open to 10-to-15 early and mid-stage West Yorkshire-headquartered content creators working in games, TV, 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 burgeoning creative sector by enabling companies to hone their USP and business vision and explores the growth opportunities that are specific to their businesses.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

"This is an exciting day for the creative industries across West Yorkshire. This fantastic new initiative, which we are extremely proud to support, is vital to the success of the sector in harnessing and honing skills and boosting growth. 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.”

The TV Accelerator programme, which includes masterclasses, seminars and panel sessions with national and regional industry leaders in the sector; 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 will also get access to sessions co-designed and delivered with leading broadcasters, including the BBC, C4 and Five, amongst others, 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 Games Accelerator is curated in partnership with industry leaders, with support from the Ukie (Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) and key organisations in the field, The Games Accelerator will include masterclasses delivered by experts from across the sector including well-respected industry facilitators Oscar Clark and Ella Romanos, and speakers drawn from across the publishing, platform, streaming, investment, legal and financial sectors, include the founders of several leading games studios including Phil Mansell of Jagex, Saad Choudri at Miniclip and Patrick & Tamsin O’Luanaigh from nDreams

Both Accelerators 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.

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 leading to numerous investment deals for previous Indielab Accelerator attendees.

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s founder and programme director said:

“The creative industries in West Yorkshire are at a pivotal moment. The local TV sector is seeing broadcasters continue to deliver on nations and regions investment. And the regions games sector is one of the UK’s top 10 games hubs. With these new programmes we aim to boost that position even further for the local creative sector. The games industry is growing rapidly, but as well as the abundance of opportunities that are out there, there are significant challenges for small studios. Working with our partners from across both sectors we have designed these two bespoke growth programmes to significantly accelerate opportunities for these businesses in the region’