Creative Futures Incubator – Cohort Two is Coming to Town!
There’s something exciting happening in Leamington Spa, the town with the largest creative cluster outside of Greater London. There’s a rustle in the leaves of trees lining the wide boulevards, a skip in the step of people, whether out for their daily exercise or “out out,” as the nation gradually returns to work.
Leamington is the place to be now, in person or virtually, especially if you work in the creative industries. Even more so if you’re part of the University of Warwick’s Creative Futures Incubator, based at the town’s new co-working space, 1 Mill Street.
The first cohort of five digital and creative businesses has been part of the Incubator for the past six months. During this time, bids have been successful, programmes have been commissioned and new networks have been formed. The next cohort is about to start and it’s another varied group of brilliant businesses from across the region.
Portopia Productions develop diverse and innovative content for film, TV and digital platforms. The co-founder is author and Leamington resident Kit de Waal, whose best selling novel “My Name is Leon” is currently being filmed in Birmingham and will be airing on the BBC later this year. Portopia’s current projects include two series in development with Sky and running an Arts Council Writer Development Scheme for six emerging writers from underrepresented backgrounds.
The Point Insights is a market research consultancy, working with streaming services and games companies, to help them make their content more appealing, compelling and enjoyable. They are looking to leverage new relationships with some of the 80 plus games companies based in Leamington.
Led by Adam Short, Alex Nketiah and Ollie Willis, they have over 15
years’ experience helping to guide brand, product and service strategy for tech, entertainment and sport clients.
Another new production company in the region is Bluebell Films, which produces documentary, narrative and animation. Founded by Bhulla Beghal, in 2021 they received no less than four Royal Television Society Midlands nominations and are committed to the development of the screen industries in the Midlands. Focussing on documentary and narrative films for marketing and educational purposes by allowing creative writers and directors to find the story behind the subject.
Jessie Danger is a reusable fabric wrapping company led by Jessie. She makes and sells hand-printed reusable wrapping cloths and gift bags with her own original designs.
The company has recently expanded into selling eco-friendly gifts and offers the fabric wrapping as part of a gift-wrapping service. She is creating a sustainable gifting company, with stylish, high-quality and sustainable presents.
Finally, Saldo work in mental health, delivering well-being programmes using new live virtual engagement technology. Their workshops will be targeted at the tech and gaming industry. For businesses who are looking to use quality, evidence-based workshops to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.
During their six months in the Creative Futures Incubator, each business will be given free access to 1 Mill Street and the University will help develop their business. This will include weekly coaching sessions, access to enterprise experts and mentors and the ability to network and learn from other businesses in the Incubator and Mill Street members. The scheme is supported by the University of Warwick, 1 Mill Street, BT and Warwickshire County Council, all keen to embrace, champion and grow the creative industries in the region.