Indielab opens applications for 2018 emerging indies support scheme | Major Businesses | Business
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Indielab, the annual business-growth programme for independent TV production companies that in 2017 guided three companies into investment and first-look distribution deals has announced that its application process is now open for next year.

indielab 1Dec2017The initiative returns for a third year with new sponsors, an expanded region and genre reach and a renewed commitment to support BAME- and female-owned companies. The 2018 programme will offer 15 up-and-coming production companies a tailored consulting process designed by the sector for the sector. The programme is crafted to provide cross-sector support, with each indie receiving specialist training from 50-plus industry leaders. Then, if relevant, the participating companies are put forward to pitch to a network of industry investors.

Supported since its inception by the Mayor of London’s office, the new Indielab programme has also attracted investment from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, supported by a roster of new and returning sponsors. These partners, selected for their range of services and ability to support creative businesses include Barclays Bank, law firm Harbottle & Lewis, media investment specialists Ingenious, distributors Banijay Rights and Passion Distribution, accounting consultants Ecovis Wingrave Yeats and Nyman Libson Paul, and post-production facility The Farm. Channel 4 has also expanded its commitment to the scheme this year, investing specifically from its Growth Fund, Nations and Regions and Creative Diversity departments.

“There are more start-up indies than ever, which shows a robust sector,” remarked Indielab Victoria Powell, founder. “It’s a very competitive environment and it’s vital for both our sector and the wider economy that we create an environment in which small businesses can start, survive and flourish. Look back 10 years and the industry was populated by 50 to100 Indies all making shows for the same broadcasters. Look forward 10 years and it’s clear that production and distribution will continue to globalise and move online. It’s the indies emerging now that will find new and inventive ways to navigate this landscape. Our aim is to help them to get there, super-charge their growth potential and maintain the UK’s edge in the world market.”

Indielab is actively seeking applications from companies across all genres and from both scripted and non-scripted. To be eligible, applying indies must be founded and registered in the UK, with less than £5 million in revenue in non-scripted projects. In order to support the burgeoning scripted sector as well as non-scripted, the cap on turnover has now been lifted to £8 million if the company can demonstrate some scripted production. This said Indielab was in recognition of the differing economic structures under which these productions function. Participants must have had at least two or three broadcast credits within the last three years and be 75% independently owned. Indies backed or owned by broadcasters do not qualify.

Entries for the 2018 programme will be open from now until 7 February 2018. Production companies can apply to the programme via the Indielab website: