Creative Bridge: Learn how to take an idea for a digital product and get it off the ground

Creative Bridge: Learn how to take an idea for a digital product and get it off the ground

credit: KISS Photography & Design

We find out more a new scheme helping people in the creative industries get their heads around the business and tech knowledge they need to thrive

To 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, firmly 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 defines 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 five key funding programmes and regular events that support Edinburgh's creative industries to do inspiring things 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. She said: '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 five years time and what I could do to make that happen.'

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 confident start on the necessary market research,' said Luing.

Yasmin Sulaiman, programme lead for Creative Bridge, said: '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 find out more and ask us questions.'

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