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Tomb Raider, Hitman and TouchMagix April 21, 2011

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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Recently I was fortunate to be a part of the YCE awards arranged by British Council and was also lucky to be the winner of “International Young Creative Interactive Entrepreneur 2010” award in London. I feel along with the award, it was the journey that was quite exciting and here is a summary of my experience and thoughts of the tour.
On winning the national YCE awards, 12 winners from different countries like Poland, Columbia, China, India, Mexico and many more assembled in London to compete for the International YCE award and go on a 10 day creative industry road-trip in UK. This full trip was sponsored by British Council to promote cross border collaborations in creative economy.

On arriving in London on 13th, our first meeting was with Ian Livingston, who is regarded as founding fathers of interactive entertainment in UK. His company is well known for creation of game characters like “Tomb Raider” and “Hitman”. The key learning was how he took his hobby of traditional games to modern computer video games to create a successful venture. We also met the UKIE, the trade body for UK’s interactive entertainment industry on the same day.

After our presentation day, we had a some free time to explore London and places around. I also found some time to visit our customers in Cambridge and a few more companies who were intending to do business with TouchMagix in London. On 17th, some of us took an early train to Edinburgh so that we could explore the beautiful city. I met with Shadab, a friend of mine who was studying at University of Edinburgh. He showed me around the university and we were discussing the similarities and dissimilarities between the UK and Indian education systems. On 18th morning we headed out on a road trip to Albertay University in Dundee. I was quite amazed to see a college who was training talent for the interactive and gaming industry. This kind of education is unheard of in India. We visited their game development studios and got an overview of the type of courses that were being offered there. We met with some interesting companies in the area like Digital Goldfish, a start-up who develops iPhone games and Tag games which was a big company developing mobile and online games. After quite a busy day, we headed back to Edinburgh to catch a train to Middlesbrough.

On 19th morning, we visited the Teeside University, which was one of the highlights of the trip. Dr.Simon, the dean of School of Computing was kind enough to give us a tour of the university and the various activities that were happening out there. We met with some students who were part of an entrepreneurial fellowship program conducted by the university. This program was conducted to encourage creation of start-ups in interactive media space. We then visited a cluster called Digital City, which was a hub for many start-ups in interactive media. We met with founder of Assyria games, Twisted and Iguana who were based in the cluster.

After returning to London on 20th, we visited several digital agencies like RGA, Unit9, PlayGen, IShift, Trampoline Systems, Moving Brands to name a few. It was very interesting to way these companies were working to serve different niche needs of the growing interactive creative economy. There were wide range of target customers these companies were serving. PlayGen was a company who was specialized in making serious games especially for the government sector where as Moving Brands was a company who were helping brands connect with people through interactive media and fun. On 22nd we visited Wired UK the popular magazine which showcases latest innovations. We also met with Paul Croft from Mediatonic who design online games and work with large publishers to tailor and distribute their IP. The day ended with a networking event of people from digital media industry. Made some new friends there and also got a change to present our companies in brief.

Just to summarize, the whole trip was filled with great learnings and following were some key ones –

  • Interactive industry is evolving as a modern story telling mechanism.
  • Forming small and efficient teams is the way to start a business in game development.
  • Creating your own IP or riding on someone else’s IP is an important part of being in creative business.
  • Talent hunt problem is common everywhere. Universities like Albertay and Teeside are helping reduce those by imparting right training.
  • Interactive industry clusters are a neat way to create good companies who contribute towards creative economy.
  • UK market is a growing market for creative companies to work with.
Anup
Post by – © Anup Tapadia

Young Interactive Entrepreneur from India, shines at BAFTA October 27, 2010

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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The Indian YCE Interactive winner, Anup Tapadia competed against the brightest and best young talents working in the business of interactive media in emerging markets around the world to win British Council’s International Young Interactive Entrepreneur Award.

Chosen from a short-list of 25-35 year-olds from Argentina, China, Colombia, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam, Anup received his award at a ceremony at BAFTA in London on 20 October.

Anup is the founder of TouchMagix, a next generation digital technology company that engages consumers in interaction with large scale displays. TouchMagix currently exports products to more than 20 countries serving clients such as Nike, Intel, Reebok and Nokia. The company received the ‘Best Upcoming Company in India’ award at the 2009 Proto Conference. For more information on TouchMagix visit http://www.touchmagix.com

Anup was announced the winner of India YCE Interactive on 1 September at a gala awards ceremony along with winners of six other sectors. He has been in the UK for a programme of meetings in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee and Middlesbrough to build the understanding of, and make contacts with the interactive industry. He will receive support from the British Council to develop subsequent projects linking their countries and the UK.

The awards are part of the British Council’s wider Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) programme, which includes awards for entrepreneurs in the fields of publishing, music, performing arts, design, screen, visual arts, interactive media, fashion and communications.

The jury commended Anup for his entrepreneurial spirit, emphasising that “He inspired the entire panel and convinced them that he is a leader of the future”. The Interactive Award was judged by:

  • Angel Gambino – entrepreneur/investor formally of Bebo and MTV
  • Paul Croft – founder and Creative Director, Mediatonic and winner of the UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur award 2009
  • Deborah Dignam – Digital Advisor, British Council
Anup Tapadia with Nayla Al Khaja

Anup Tapadia with Nayla Al Khaja, International Young Screen Entrepreneur winner at the Award Ceremony at BAFTA.

India’s Got Talent September 10, 2010

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Everyone loves award ceremonies: the glitz, the glamour, the fabulous dresses…

We’re no different at the British Council, so September kicked off with our own award ceremony, an evening to celebrate India’s creativity, inspiration and entrepreneurial talent.

The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur programme (YCE) has been running in India since 2005, the only programme of its kind in India, unique in its focus on creative entrepreneurs. This year for the first time, the programme included its own award ceremony, announcing India’s brightest emerging entrepreneurs in seven different sectors – Interactive, Screen, Communications, Design, Performing Arts, Publishing, and Fashion.

Till date the programme has reached out to 763 entrepreneurs, making India’s network of creative entrepreneurs the largest within the International YCE programme. The entrepreneurs are all attracted by the chance of winning a prestigious award, of course: but it’s also a great opportunity to network with like-minded creative minds, both in India and the UK.

Crucially, the programme couldn’t be as successful without the support of partners who share our vision and bring in expertise. Elle India, Elle Decor and Oxford Bookstore worked with us for awards in fashion, design and publishing respectively; while the programme also tied up with the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s largest business angel network with over 120 individual and institutional members worldwide. Sunil Kalra, Sandeep Goyal (Dentsu India), Abhishek Rungta (Indus Net Academy) and Jai Vikram Bakshi (Digiqom Solutions) represented IAN on the judging panels, and provided their expertise and feedback on revenue models, business skills and opportunities to scale up.

And even when the awards were over, the night had just begun: a showcase of works by YCE alumni, illustrating the programme’s larger cultural impact, culminated with YCE Fashion awardee Varun Sardana giving an exclusive preview of his Spring / Summer 2011 collection in his characteristically theatrical and innovative style. It was the first time in India that a designer has presented his Spring/Summer collection in a venue other than the Fashion Week, and we were particularly pleased because Varun was recently signed up by Blow PR, a fashion PR agency based in the UK, after he worked with the British Council to participate in the Alchemy Festival in London earlier this year.

Ruth Gee, British Council Regional Director, India & Sri Lanka was seen wearing a creation by Namrata Shah, the runner-up awardee of the 2009 YCE Fashion award, who works with crafts people in the remote villages of Karnataka. Ruth’s creation came from Namrata’s Woven Wonder collection, in which each bead is meticulously woven in to form exquisite patterns on a silk sari, proving that the fabulous dresses weren’t just confined to the catwalk.

The 2010 YCE winners are some of the brightest from within India’s creative industries:

YCE Interactive Anup Tapadia, TechnoKarma Labs & TouchMagix Media
YCE Screen Yugandhar Tammareddy, Pixelloid Computer Services
YCE Communications Sandeep Maheshwari, Mash Audio Visuals Ltd
YCE Design Preksha Baid, Y-walls Design
YCE Performing Arts Magesh Kumar Gurumurthy, IndianStage
YCE Publishing Leonard Fernandes, Cinnamon Teal Publishing
YCE Fashion Sanjay Garg, Raw Mango

Special commendation was given to YCE Performing Arts: Kanak Gupta and YCE Fashion: Rixi Bhatia

The judges this year included sector leaders:

  • Mahesh Murthy (Pinstorm)
  • Naved Akhtar (The Shop)
  • Rajesh Dahiya (Codesign)
  • Wendell Rodricks
  • Girija Goswamy (Marks & Spencer)
  • Amit Gulati (Incubis Consulting)
  • Douglas Rintoul (Complicite)
  • Charanpreet Singh (Praxis Business School)
  • Rajesh Rao (Dhruva Interactive)
  • B R Sharan (Saregama)
  • Anjum Katyal (Saregama)
  • Debashis Biswas (Macmillan India)
  • Xavier Rashid (Raindance Festival UK)
  • John Kirk (Birmingham City University UK)
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