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London Experience January 12, 2012

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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About YCE

The British Council has been pioneering to build a strong community and professional network of creative businesses, through the reward programme Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards. The awards help nurture enterprise across seven categories – design, music, fashion, screen (film, TV and animation), interactive (software, entertainment, games and social media platforms), performing arts (theatre, dance and “live” art) and publishing. It aims to inspire and facilitate the sharing of best practices in building skills and access to resources, professional development, markets, mentoring and resources to increase business opportunities between India, UK and internationally.

YCE  2011 -Designs

YCE 2011 award was very special because unlike other awards it did not end on stage with trophy, but it actually started on the stage. YCE opened a new stage for us and offered an amazing journey , which even if you pay millions you would not get. As a part of YCE winner, British council planned a visit to UK for almost ten days, with events packaged for us with interaction, exposure, fun and learning. I was looking forward to meet other 23 winners from over 19 countries, truely once in a lifetime opportunity.

London

  

London is awesome for many things but I specially like  sweet smell in the air and seasonal day ( there are seasons in a year, but in London you might get all of them in a day ! ). It is fun to walk all around in London, and  nothing like exploring the city on bicycle, thanks  to awesome support system created for hiring , returning bicycling ..

Truly International

23 winners from 19 countries, I couldn’t even imagine what it will be like to meet and spend time with such a diversed  set of talented people. In my wildest dream I wouldn’t have imagined that I would know so much about design and life in Estonia, Poland, Syria Turkey, Vietnam , Mexico and more.  Each one of us had a very unique style of work and cultural values, but there was one thing in common; entrepreneurial energy. Everyone was on the same path of exploring their dream but on different stages of evolution and experiences. It was nice to see how each one has his/her own way to manage their own context and create magic  with their work. Thanks to British Council for putting all of together, it was decade worth experience condensed in a week.

London Design Festival

London Design Festival and London Fashion Week happens  at same time of the year, and i guess , it is not a coincidence, it is planned to pack as many design activities to promote London as creative hub of the world. Other interesting fact, all these events are privately run organizations. In context to Indian scenario, whole lot of us were hoping that Indian Design council, NID, or CII will run such activities, but I am convinced that it is not sustainable. We also need entrepreneurs initiating such activities here, and I think IDC, CII or Govt will happily support.

100% Design

100 % Design is been great platform for designers to showcase their talent in home products, furnishings, and lighting. Visitor ranging from buyers, stores, distributors, and general people make the show very special. it has become launch pad for many upcoming designers to show case their talent.

100%  Design is very keen to have India pavilion in 2012 show and we have initiated the discussion amongst IDC and NID to explore this further. I will be personally pleased if we could take part in next edition of 100% Design and share new and notable with rest of the world.

 

Investing in Indian Creative Industry

One of the key program of YCE award was to connect all designers to investors and see how design could play larger role in creative industry economy. There is great deal of interest from investors in Indian creative industry , especially in Design. This was the really the key outcome of  YCE award, and this program includes mentorship to the Indian design firms to make them investor friendly and bring investment and partnerships which will impact the overall economic contribution in big way. It will also open up opportunities for many international collaborations with Indian design firms.

I would like to thank British council for creating such wonderful launch pad for all of us, especially  BC teams from India and London for making our experience  memorable and enriching . Beyond all the business rewards from the program, there is one more thing I value the most; friendships with  people from so many countries, truly a treasure.

Post by – © Abhijit Bansod

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
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