Announcing the Northern Business Incubator’s Summer School

Posted 16 May 2012

Announcing the Northern Business Incubator’s

Summer School

After submitting a successful bid for Creative Skillset film skills funding, Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre (SMEC) in partnership with Studio of the North, are delighted to announce the Northern Business Incubator’s Summer School. 30 participants will get the chance to develop their business and entrepreneurial skills for setting up or developing a film enterprise in the UK regions.



Overview of the course

The course will run for one week, 16-20 July 2012 and will be an intensive and immersive experience; it will take a collegiate approach to learning where peer-to-peer interaction and real life networking are key. The course is designed for professionals already working in the film and media industry. For the 30 participants, the aim of the Summer School is to provide inspiration as well as practical skills.

Over the course of the week, participants will work to develop their business ideas. At the end of the week, they will be given training in how to pitch their business plans before pitching their ideas to the Northern Business Incubator’s panel. Up to six participants will then be offered a place in the Northern Business Incubator in the Workstation for up to a year to develop their businesses. They 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.

In preparation for the business pitches on the last day of the Summer School, the course will cover finance and business planning, the importance of networking and collaboration, and creating a clear business identity. Sessions will support successful collaboration on creative projects by not teaching skills in isolation, but will link directly to the participants' ongoing professional lives. By working in partnership with CollaboJam, this theme will be explored with an intensive cross-platform development session which will offer real collaboration opportunities across sectors.

In order to contextualise the work they undertake, the Summer School will be punctuated by masterclasses from high-profile industry professionals and organisations sharing their success stories and advice. There will also be 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 are the networking opportunities the Summer School brings. Throughout the week participants will meet industry professionals who may potentially become collaborators in the near future. Creative England will host 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.

Colin Pons, Course Leader said:

“Sheffield has long been a hub for media activity. This summer school is our latest manifestation of concrete confidence in the future of the sector in the region. We are delighted to be working with Creative Skillset in this initiative to ensure the consolidation of new regional talent around the Sheffield hub.”



Working outside London

Courses of this nature are common in London, but few opportunities of this kind exist elsewhere in the country. The Summer School looks to redress the balance. One of the key objectives of the course is to embed a new understanding of the ‘film industry’ in the UK and recognition of the Northern regions of England as fertile ground ripe for development.

Frequently young people leave degree courses in film and media from all across the North of England and move to London to find work. This project aims to establish sustainable roots for the film industry in Yorkshire and beyond by offering appropriate training, knowledge and crucially a head start to participants who want to establish a business in this area. Additionally it will contribute to the growth of a professional regional network of peers. It is hoped this new scheme will provide a foundation for the future ‘Warp’s’ of England. Importantly the project will support professionals into self employment by offering ongoing collegiate and mentor support through access to the Incubator.

Dan Simmons, Head of Film at Creative Skillset said:

“At a time where business models are rapidly changing, it is crucial that creative companies across the UK have access to industry support and guidance to help develop successful, sustainable businesses. The Northern Business Incubator will nurture entrepreneurial spirit, creating and bolstering an exciting hub of business activity in the North and strengthening the diverse pool of business talent on offer here in the UK.”




Applications are now open for places at the Northern Business Incubator’s Summer School. Applications are welcomed from film industry professionals with talent, commitment, passion, a distinctive voice and a willingness to collaborate with others. The Summer School is designed to assist those already working in the film industry in the advancement of running their own business or in the setting up of a new business.

The course is appropriate for producers and those with film and media industry experience in other roles who would like to team up with others to bring a good business idea to life, such as directors, script writers, location managers, casting directors, post production professionals. Joint applications for those wishing to attend the Summer School as a team with whom they are developing a business idea will also be considered.

The closing date for applications is Monday 18 June.

More information and application forms can be found at:  

The full programme of speakers for the Summer School will shortly be announced.



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