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The Northern Business Incubator’s Summer School


Colin Pons introduces Mike Gubbins at 2012 Summer SchoolThe Northern Business Incubator’s Summer School took place 16 - 20 July 2012, aiming to help participants develop their business and entrepreneurial skills for setting up or developing a film enterprise in the UK regions. The call for entries for applications to join the course is now closed but we plan to run the course again in 2013. If you would like to receive notification when the call for applications opens, please email us your contact details.


Overview of the course

The course, designed for professionals already working in the film and media industry, was an intensive and immersive experience; it took a collegiate approach to learning where peer-to-peer interaction and real life networking are key. For the participants, the aim of the Summer School was to provide inspiration as well as practical skills.

Over the course of the week, participants worked to develop their business ideas. At the end of the week, they were given training in how to pitch their business plans before pitching their ideas to the Northern Business Incubator’s panel. selected participants were then offered a place in the Northern Business Incubator in the Workstation for up to a year to develop their businesses and/or a series of high level industry mentorship sessions. Those in the Incubator will receive collaborative office space, mentoring from high level industry professionals, access to the ongoing networking activities at the Showroom Workstation and placement in the Creative Industries hub for Sheffield, providing excellent opportunities for progress.


John Kawalek with Summer School ParticipantsThe course covered finance and business planning, the importance of networking and collaboration, and creating a clear business identity. Sessions supported successful collaboration on creative projects by not teaching skills in isolation, but linked directly to the participants' ongoing professional lives.

Masterclasses were presented throughout the week from high-profile industry professionals sharing their success stories and advice. There were also several screenings of films by filmmakers who have successfully turned theory into practice in order to produce high-quality British independent feature films.

Just as important as the workshops and masterclasses were the networking opportunities the Summer School offered. Throughout the week participants met industry professionals. Creative England hosted a networking event in the Workstation in the middle of the week bringing together film, TV and digital sector professionals from around the region, giving the Summer School participants a chance to network with those already established in the industry.



Speakers included

Mark Herbert from Warp Films

Al Clark from Wellington Films

Samm Haillay from Third Films

Sol Papadopoulos from Hurricane Films

Mia Bays (Marketing Consultant)

Dr John Kawelek (Head of the MBA Programme at Sheffield University) Alex Usborne (Picture Palace North / 104 Films)

Matt Harlock, director / producer of American: The Bill Hicks Story,

Emily James, director of Just Do It.

Maggie Ellis (Film London)

Charlotte Appelgren (Cine Regio)

Tristran Goligher (Creative England iFeatures)

Hugo Heppell (Screen Yorkshire)

Rune Gregers Meyer (European College of Innovation)

Mike Gubbins (former editor Screen International)

    Download a copy of the course handbook giving details of all of the speakers and sessions.


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