On Thursday 15th April we were delighted to present the Investing in Innovation and Creativity pitch event, run in partnership with UKBAA and the BFI as part of the Creative Enterprise Evolve programme, which saw a group of innovative screen-focused businesses deliver their 5 minutes pitches, as well as take part in a proceeding online Expo. The event marked the culmination of their involvement in our year-long programme, as well as a chance to put their refined offerings in front of a large, engaged group of investors from across the UKBAA community.
The event kicked off with scene-setting from Mehjabeen Patrick, Chief Financial and Investment Officer at Creative England, reminding us that prior to the pandemic creative industries were responsible for injecting a staggering £115.9bn gross value into the UK economy, created over 2 million jobs, accounted for over £36bn of our global service exports and, by the end of 2019, was growing at four times the speed of the whole UK economy. As well as outlining the creative industries overall contribution to the economy, she referenced the support that Creative England has been able to offer throughout the pandemic, including: crucial early-stage investment, business loans and mentor-led advice to high-growth-potential business. She finished her talk with a quote from David Bowie: ‘‘The future belongs to those that see it coming’, which seemed an especially fitting phrase given the creative, forward-thinking founders involved in the event.
It was then over to UKBAA’s CEO Jenny Tooth OBE who reiterated our pride at having been involved in this programme, specifically ‘during one of the most challenging times ever known for small businesses across the UK’. She also reminded attendees that the work UKBAA has undertaken as part of the Evolve programme has been focused on bringing greater awareness and understanding to the investment community to the creative industries, who sometimes overlook the sector, and the important opportunities that exist throughout its subsectors, which was very much at the heart of this event.
The businesses that delivered live pitches as part of the event covered all corners of the sector, from Parity Pictures – an organisation seeking to connect otherwise overlooked writers and stories (something Netflix are prioritising more and more) with commissioners to Stage Screen, who are focused on making video recordings of theatre productions more readily available. Others involved are already working with industry giants, including Moonraker, a VFX studio whose customers include the likes of BBC, National Geographic, History Channel and Amazon. We were fortunate to have a software-focused businesses take part too, in the form of Kinicho, making the sound in your headphones more lifelike via their Sonic Reality Engine® software, meeting the increasing demand for more realistic media experiences. You can read up more on all of the businesses that were involved in the event, both those that pitched and those that exhibited via the innovative online booths, here.