Creative Business Mentor Network: meet the year 3 companies
Meet the companies selected to take part in the third year of our Creative Business Mentoring Network programme.
Map view of our 25 companies
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Meet the Mentees:
These are the 25 companies we have on board from our first cohort:
- Star dot Star
- Hurricane Films
- Brandwave Marketing
- The Connected Set
- The Operators
- Do Tank Studios
- Fold 7
- The Skinny
- Tern TV
- The House London
- Less Rain
- Shoot Media
- Cwmni Da
- Angel Eye
- Icon Films
- Oliver's Island
- Catalyst Outsourcing
- Legendary Games
Angel Eye was established with a commission to produce the C4 documentary Edinburgh or Bust, a returning series over five years. Since then, they have produced more than 70 programmes for UK terrestrial television combining the genres of comedy, factual and learning. While Edinburgh or Bust was comedy and factual, BBC4's highest-rated programme Hattie was comedy drama. They have also used this cross genre formula online, as with the comedy learning animation series featuring the voice of David Mitchell. Angel Eye takes delight in thinking out of the box and creating innovative digital productions - from the first ever interactive sketch show on BBC3 online, to the first 50 iTunes U courses, released in association with the Open University and Apple for their new ITunes U app in 2012.
Brandwave is a full service marketing agency that deals exclusively in the action sports market. Specialising in sports such as surfing, climbing, biking and snow sports, their clients include dedicated sports hardware brands as well as fashion brands aimed at the sports and youth oriented markets, such as Henri Lloyd, Lucozade, O'Neill, Adidas, and Berghaus and The North Face. Their services cover all aspects of marketing, from advertising, POS, website design, events and photography, to viral campaigns, motion graphics. They also have a consultancy side of the business which deals with B2B/B2C marketing guidelines, visual identity guidelines, and tone of voice guidelines.
Caper builds prototypes and develops digital campaigns. Recent work includes a content and communications strategy for the British Council Architecture exhibition at the Venice architecture Biennale, a website and participatory phoneline to celebrate John Cage's centenary, and a one-day event for the RSC to celebrate the Olympic Torch relay. They also offer a consultancy service, working with clients to help them develop their social media offer around content, strategy, communications, audience, or organisational change. They use a set of practised tools, including desk research, digital auditing and reporting, paper protyping, audience segmentation and insight development.
Formed only three years ago, Catalyst has established itself as the one-stop service provider for the video game industry, providing a complete production and outsourcing solution for both video game publishers and development studios. Catalyst identified that more and more game developers were using external production services but struggling to get the best out of this approach. The company formed to help developers and publishers manage what happens outside of their studios. By assuming total control of ancillary production for developers, they can focus entirely on the key development process of making games. They have a strong, established network of major service partners across the globe that enables us to provide a full spectrum of production services including game design, product evaluation, project management, artwork, and graphics creation.
Cwmni Da (Welsh for 'Good Company') is an independent television production company based in Caernafon, North Wales, that was established in 1997. They produce wide-ranging content in all genres, including factual, entertainment, sport and drama. The business has been mainly built in Wales, producing content for S4C, ITV Wales and BBC Wales. One ongoing factual production is the Pethe series, which has been S4C's main Welsh arts and culture output since 2009. Cwmni Da is also active on the international co-production front and recently made Toilets: An Unspoken History for BBC4/S4C with Western Front Films. Productions have won several Bafta Wales awards and been shortlisted for RTS, Bafta UK and Grierson Awards. The company has diversified into digital media and established a creative digital team who led the bid for the company's latest success, a Nesta HyperLocal bid, Papur Dre.
Based in Clerkenwell, London, Do Tank is a service agency that currently specialises in strategy, design and development of mobile apps, as well as some social (Facebook, Twitter) and web development for clients. Their mobile and social studios provide clients with vital customer insights about purchasing habits, trends, and audience demographics. The other arm of their company is involved with Innovation, exploring and analysing new and emerging technologies to ensure they are one step ahead. They develop prototypes and proof-of-concepts to share with clients, which include Net-a-Porter, Mulberry and Big Brother South Africa, and as a result they are experts in specific sectors from luxury fashion brands to interactive television.
Fold 7 is an independent communications agency based in London that was founded in 1995. The partners have a variety of extensive experience in all aspects of the advertising industry, from branding, marketing, communication design, as well as in the music industry. Fold 7 has been behind memorable campaigns including the global launch for Carlsberg's new tag line 'That calls for a Carlsberg' and Carlsberg's 'Fan Academy'.
Founded in 2000, Hurricane Films is a production company founded by former photographer Sol Papadopoulos and former musician Roy Boulter. With extensive experience in documentary-making and television scriptwriting respectively, they have collaborated to work on a diverse range of projects, telling fascinating stories of both fact and fiction. Whilst predominantly working for broadcasters they have offered their skills in film production, event coverage and advertising to use in educational material for museums. As well as feature films, Hurricane has produced social projects that involve collaboration with individuals and communities.
Based in the centre of Bristol, Icon Films was founded in 1990 and has since been one of the UK's fastest growing independent producers, having delivered over 250 hours of high-end factual content for both the UK and international market. They are constantly evolving, with productions ranging from Animal Planet US highest rated series ever 'River Monkeys', to documentary series 'Sandhurst' for BBC4. They have a track record of ratings, originality and entertainment across the breadth of factual genres.
Founded in 2010, Legendary Games aimed to introduce a series of online strategy games into the growing social games market. With a keen interest in both board games and video games, directors Ewan Lamont and Gavin Rummery had a shared vision of the future of social gaming. As well as making social games supported by internet devices from Console to Kindle, they would like to involve the community in game production. Notable games include Shuuro: Wrath of the Elements, a virtual rendition of board game Warhammer; Kings of Chess, an online version of the classic game; and Year 0, a post-apocalyptic strategy wargame.
Although a small company, Less Rain has been delivering world-class digital production for major brands since 1998. They conceive, design and build customised, intuitive digital interfaces for information, entertainment and participation. This takes the form of games and apps, telling digital stories, and delivering user experiences across various platforms and devices. Over the years the company has won numerous digital production awards, including Cannes Lions and Bafta.
Established in 2006, Obergine is a creative web design and digital marketing agency based in central Oxford. They specialise in the creation of multi-channel marketing and business solutions. Founded by highly experienced digital professionals who have been working with the internet since the early nineties, the company has developed a diverse range of online marketing and business solutions across many industry sectors, from government, arts and culture and finance, to environmental conservation, and retail.
Oliver's Island was set up in 2010 by award winning director and producer team, Patrick Schulenburg and Simone Radclyffe. Having worked together for a number of production companies we decided it was time to create our own company, with the aim of making beautiful films, with strong narrative and engaging content that didn't cost the earth.
Onimobi is a small independent games studio based in Oxford. Founded by Dave Mitchell - a coder by trade but an artist and designer at heart - the studio is working on their first iPhone game, Leaf Rider. Shown at the recent Eurogamer Expo in London, this is due to be released towards the end of 2012.
Paper is a creative agency established this year, that collaborates with a huge variety of organisations from different sectors, from scientists to florists, policy geeks to fashion designers. Whether in the form of app design, stage events, organising marches, printing t-shirts or building websites, they do whatever they can to make a difference for a brand. Currently they are working with clients such as St John Ambulance, Marie Curie and PhotoBox on diverse, channel-agnostic ideas which encompass experiential, digital, offline, strategic and delivery work.
Based in London, Playniac makes games for browsers, mobiles, tablets and PCs, working extensively with clients as well as creating their own IP. Organisations they have produced games for British Gas, BBC, CBBC, Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. Currently they are making the transition from commissioned games to making their own IP, and are taking the game 'International Racing Squirrels', originally made with Channel 4, forward as a commercial release for iOS, Android and PC. It was finalist in the Develop Indie Showcase 2012 and is one of only four UK games in IndieCade 2012. Their next fully independent title, codenamed 'Consumed', has won funding from the Abertay Prototype Fund.
Established this year, Screenburn provides Facebook Video on demand solutions. They work with film distributors and TV networks to distribute premium video content on Facebook on a pay per view basis. Content owners can integrate Screenburn's 'watch now' button into their existing Facebook Fan pages to monetize their existing Facebook audience. Any consumer interaction with the content is broadcast via their activity feed, meaning Screenburn facilitates any video content growing virally across the world. They work with a development agency in Zurich to develop the platform, and having undertaken research with major UK film distributors and gained investment to take development forward, they hope to go to market at the end of the year.
Shoot Media produce video and digital content for a range of blue chip brands and broadcasters. They have created numerous films and series for Channel4.com and the NSPCC, and won awards for the Financial Times. Significant achievements include a viral video for the launch of the Nokia N9 that won recognition as Stuff magazine's viral of the week, and a major new short film for ChildLine which has had the most views of any NSPCC issues-based film. Although Shoot Media has traded for seven years, they have grown from a one-man company to a team of six creatives.
Star Dot Star are a creative digital agency that produces websites, games, softward, iPhone apps, user interface design and user experience, starting with the end user and adding the right technology to meet their needs. They have won multiple awards including three BIMA awards in 2007 for their keystage two road safety campaign 'Safe and Sound', and two more in 2009 for their 'Things to Come' pilot with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent projects include madewithjam.org, designed especially for charities and not-for-profit organisations to build audience-focused websites.
Based in Birmingham, Switch have been operating for 24 years as an integrated creative communications consultancy. Their services range from branding and advertising to web design and producing literature such as brochures, for companies such as Thames Water, e.ON, and British Energy. Recent work includes digital design for Key Forensic Services and a brand refresh for family business Helping Hands.
The largest locally owned production company in Scotland, Tern was established in Aberdeen in 1988 and has since opened in Glasgow and Belfast. Their core output is Specialist Factual, for clients such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4, UKTV, and National Geographic, however the company also produces comedy animation, archive, traditional observational documentary, constructed reality and drama documentary. Recent major achievements are being recognised as a core supplier for BBC, and two big international commissions for BBC World News and National Geographic. They have a digital wing, dedicated to developing and producing digital and multiplatform product, which is currently particularly excited about iPhone game GUTS, a spin-off from Slabovia.tv.
This company's name embodies their approach: connected, cross-platform and collaborative, they are a hybrid of a TV producer and a digital agency. They partner with broadcasters, content owners and publishers to develop innovative entertainment formats and digital products. From linear television formats to synchronous second screen applications, connected TV services to games & online extensions, they design and build engaging and entertaining content for many of the UK's best known entertainment brands, including Channel 4, VirginMedia, TATE, and MSN.
The House is a creative agency based in Camden, London. They develop brands, build websites, and create innovative marketing campaigns, make videos and drop experiential stunts in public to get brands talked about. Although they have a small team, there is a broad level of skill and experience between them, and their strength lies in the ability to combine those for each project to deliver the best results. Clients include The Commonwealth Foundation, National Trust, Design Council, and The Royal Albert Hall.
Founded in 2008, The Operators creates content across print and digital media for global advertising agencies, leading commercial photographers, directors and brands. They deliver full media solutions including CGI, IMAGEmotion, Post Production and Motion, as well as expertise that covers creative direction, technical proficiency and production management. With a background in photographic realism, they have translated their assets from CGI and vector artwork with seamless compositing and colour grading for multiple advertising platforms.
The Skinny began in 2005 with the aim of informing people about Scottish culture. At the time, it filled a gap in the market, as a free magazine that covered cutting edge, forward-thinking culture as a priority, directly engaging with the creative populations of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The magazine grew and in 2007, they expanded to Dundee. By 2009 it was verified as Scotland's largest entertainment and listings magazine, third largest in the UK after Time Out and Big Issue. As well as reporting, The Skinny has made its mark with a range of events, sponsorships and associations, including parties, conferences with top speakers, and exhibition openings. In 2010, media partnerships were established with Edinburgh International Art, Book Fringe, and Film Festivals, as well as Glasgow Film Festival.