Indielab, the annual business-growth accelerator for independent TV production companies, seeks to promote a sustainable and resilient independent TV sector in the UK. The programme aims to equip companies with the knowledge, skills, networks and insight needed to achieve their full potential and provides its participants with cross-sector support, with each indie receiving specialist consultancy from 50-plus industry leaders.
As specialist media accountants and tax consultants, Ecovis Wingrave Yeats have been involved with the accelerator programme for a number of years, often running workshops as part of the programme. Kate Barekati, Head of Media said “Ecovis are extremely proud to be sponsoring Indielab for the 3rd year running, as part of our ongoing commitment to support independent television productions and to help them flourish. We look forward to getting to know this year’s cohort, hearing their story and journey so far, and to sharing our experience and advice with them over the coming weeks. The Indielab programme is a fantastic initiative and provides a great learning platform from which Indies can broaden their horizon with the help of a great group of both peers and sponsors.”
Victoria Powell, founder and CEO of Indielab, said: “In a TV landscape transforming at great speed, competitiveness, talent and resilience have never been more important for indies. It was to help sustain and nurture the UK’s indie community — wherever they are based, and whatever the gender or ethnicity of their founders — that Indielab Accelerator was launched. We are very grateful to our sponsors for supporting us in our mission to support a vibrant and successful UK Indie sector that reflects and represents the UK in the 21st century.”
Since Indielab launched in 2015, the industry’s definition of diversity has broadened to include a more evenly distributed production network across the UK, as well as support for BAME- and female-led companies. Reflecting this, more than half of the indies selected to join the 2019 programme have their full-time headquarters outside of London and half are owned by BAME and/or female founders. As in previous years, the participants of the 2019 Indielab Accelerator have been drawn from a diverse range of production companies from across the UK. The selected participants are: Afro-Mic Productions, Air TV, Appeal TV, Chatterbox Media, Chalkboard TV, Curious Films, Loud Minds, Mam Tor Productions, Marble Films, Minnow Films, Proper Content, Red and Black Films, Rockerdale Studios, ScreenDog Productions, Tigerlily Productions and Yeti Media.
Andrew Eastel, co-founder and creative director of Middlechild Productions and a participant in the 2018 Indielab Accelerator, said: “Indielab has provided Middlechild with a whole new way of envisaging our future — one that will help us make more strategically minded decisions. We would wholeheartedly recommend the programme to all indies with ambition to scale.”
Survey results for the 2018 Indielab Accelerator:
- 100% of participants said Indielab had already had a positive impact on their growth, estimating an increase in revenue over the following 18 months totalling £7.8m, or an average of £500,000-plus per indie.
- 100% of participants said Indielab had prompted them to implement changes that would make them more financially sustainable.
Actual benefits to participants within 12 months of the 2018 programme ending:
- Five indies secured first-look deals worth a total of £1.6m, averaging £320,000 per indie. (The individual deals were for £650,000, £350,000, £200,00, £200,00 and £200,000).
- Ten indies had undertaken meetings regarding potential investment.
- Five of the six indies who pitched for investment had received investment offers.
The 2019 Indielab Accelerator runs from now to the end of May.
Ecovis built its foundations based on working with those in the Media and Entertainment space, from successful broadcast production businesses and award-winning digital content producers to leading suppliers of post-production and broadcast equipment. Within the broadcast production space, we act for several true Indies, as well as those who partner with minority investors and others who have sold majority stakes to third party investors. The sector continues to see repeated consolidation and the spending spree looks set to continue. All the while new and exciting Indies continue to set up with ambitions to harness the UK’s ability to produce highly desirable creative content and maintain the lucrative IP retention as far as is possible. We work closely with both PACT and the UK Screen Association, as well as being a sponsor and supporter of the Indielab growth accelerator programme. We build close, personal, long-term relationships with our clients to become a trusted advisor, always on hand to provide practical support and solutions.