Bridging the gap
Katharine Gemmell checks out a new scheme helping people in the creative industries get their heads around the business and
tech knowledge they need to thrive
& D E S G N
P H O T O :
K S S P H O T O G R A P H Y
P H O T O :
T H E W L D S E E D S
T o work in the creative industries today, you will almost certainly need to skill-up outside the realm of the arts. Whether it’s knowing how to make a sustainable income from your craft, how to run your own business or how to use data to understand your market, these skills are now the backbone of a creative career.
The Creative Bridge programme, a creative industries accelerator run by Edinburgh-based technology incubator CodeBase, ﬁ rmly recognises this. They realised that to help creative people thrive, business and tech knowledge needed to be more accessible.
Running over ten consecutive weeks, the programme is designed for people working in the creative industries in Edinburgh and south-east Scotland who want to learn start-up best practice and how to take an idea for a digital product and get it off the ground . For one afternoon a week, participants take part in a combination of theory and storytelling sessions, where they hear from successful entrepreneurs about what’s gone well for them – and what hasn’t. Theory sessions cover understanding markets, funding and how to create a minimum viable product, among other useful tools they don’t teach you at art school. Essentially, they hope participants will gain ‘valuable insights into both what deﬁ nes success for them and how to get there’.
Creative Bridge is part of Creative Informatics, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Creative Edinburgh and CodeBase. It nurtures local talent through ﬁ ve key funding programmes and regular events that support Edinburgh’s creative industries to do inspiring things
16 THE LIST 1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020
with data. Places on Creative Bridge are fully funded by the initiative, so successful applicants don’t have to pay to attend.
One recent participant, Fiona Luing, is a designer and maker with her own business, Luing Smith Jewellery. ‘Creative Bridge gave me the rare opportunity to step away from the day-to-day running of my jewellery business for a few hours a week to think about where I would like my company to be in ﬁ ve years time and what I could do to make that happen,’ she says.
Luing had no tech background before starting the course and she learned that thinking bigger and integrating software into her business was the ideal way to grow and stay relevant. ‘The course gave me a clear framework for streamlining my idea and making a conﬁ dent start on the necessary market research,’ explains Luing. Yasmin Sulaiman, programme lead for Creative Bridge, says: ‘The programme will run every few months until the end of 2021 and two cohorts have graduated from the scheme already. We’ve seen a range of ideas and businesses progress since then, including Delic, an asset management tool for musicians and record labels; Scottie, an off-the-shelf platform for theatre websites; and Catch Up Social, a new network to enable easy, private sharing for family photos. The next cohort runs from January to March 2020 and applications re-open on Monday 4 November – so if you’re interested in applying, do get in touch to ﬁ nd out more and ask us questions.’
Social SONICA Cutting-edge Bite ﬁ rst started in 2012 performance by established as one sandwich shop on international artists, crossing the Edinburgh’s Rose Street. It has boundaries of music, theatre, now mushroomed to include visual and electronic art. Produced 5 shops across Scotland, two by Cryptic, the Glasgow-based staff canteens in the capital, a producing art house. Various production kitchen in Livingston venues, Glasgow, until Sun 10 Nov, and a corporate catering output. sonic-a.co.uk
A quarter of Social Bite’s staff are HAVANA GLASGOW FILM homeless and the organisation is FESTIVAL A celebration of the largest distributor of free fresh the culture of Glasgow and food to the homeless in the UK. Havana with a programme of ﬁ lm, dance, music, social events and discussions across the city. Various venues, Glasgow, Wed 13– Sat 16 Nov, hgﬁ lmfest.com
EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR A showcase of publishers and speakers with a programme of 20 events organised by Edinburgh’s radical bookshop, the Lighthouse. It shines a light on radical histories and the 2019 theme is ‘radical hope’. Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, Thu 14–Sun 17 Nov, lighthousebookshop.com
WORLD’S BIG SLEEP OUT Join the ﬁ ght to end homelessness by taking part in this global event, which will see 50,000 people sleep outside in 50 cities around the world. The Scottish leg of the movement will be hosted by Social Bite in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens. Worldwide, Sat 7 Dec. bigsleepout.com
EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY Edinburgh’s world-famous Hogmanay celebration ushers the new year in with a bang. Expect a torchlight procession, a massive street party with music from Mark Ronson, midnight ﬁ reworks and a Loony Dook (in the Firth of Forth) for the brave ones on 1 Jan. Various venues, Edinburgh, Mon 30 Dec–Wed 1 Jan, edinburghshogmanay.com