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Young Creative Entrepreneur 2011 Winners July 25, 2011

Posted by rwituja in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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Here are the background details of the 2011 winners of the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards from India.

Publishing

Ganesh Ram, eMahatva Technologie

Using Mobile for a Positive Change is the focus of Ganesh Ram’s eMahatva Technologie. It is a technology start-up that was developed with support from VIT University’s Technology Business Incubator, working on technologies catering to the Future of Publishing, i.e., on Mobile Phones, Tablets and enabling publishing in Indian languages even on devices that do not support this natively. www.mobileveda.com

Screen

Pranav Ashar, Enlighten Film Society

Having launched Enlighten Film Society in 2007, Pranav Ashar has been able to createIndia’s largest film society. In 2008 Enlighten launched its DVD label and has been able to launch upto 100 titles in the market including masterpieces as The Bicycle Thief (1949) and Children of Heaven (1997). His expanding film society has about 1000 members and growing. In 2009, Ashar bought DearCinema to create a basis for sharing knowledge with the public on varied and dissimilar platforms. He has now started working on distributing film merchandise, an untapped market inIndia, to further diversify the platform for sharing information and transforming it into knowledge.
www.enlighten.co.in

Design

Abhijit Bansod, Studio ABD

Abhijit Bansod is a quirky designer whose products connect deeply with the user by telling vivid stories, by overlaying the familiar with the new and surprising. He believes in celebrating creativity that combines fragments of Indian tradition with cutting-edge technology, and fuse cultural motifs with new age thinking. Propelled by humour, craft, rituals, people, situations and Indian heritage, he creates products that speak a unique language – an Indian design vocabulary. Abhijit’s Studio ABD, is a multi disciplinary design studio that works on design experience services (product, branding and spaces) for clients and creates and markets their own products. His creations have won him many national and international awards, including the RED DOT DESIGN AWARD 2010 and Best Designer Award in 2008.
www.studioabd.in

Performing arts

Vijay Prabhat Kamalakara, Storytrails India

Vijay Prabhat is the founder of Storytrails, a company that uses storytelling to design alternative tours for visitors and to design curriculum based workshops and experiential outings for children. Storytrails is based on the core belief – that there is a fascinating story behind everything we see and it is an attempt to research, script and creatively present these stories through theme based trails. Their work involves using storytelling as a communication tool. All their trails are completely scripted and hosted by storytellers and use a mix of storytelling, theatre, music, dance and hands-on activities to make the process of discovery an enjoyable one for the audience.
www.storytrails.in

Interactive 

Titash Neogi, Sievelogic Software

Titash is a software engineer by profession and a business management / IT major by qualification who worked with Symantec Corp, US for 7 years before starting his own company – Sievelogic Software and building bibkosh.com. Bibkosh is the world’s first Knowledge Curation platform that allows academics, students and professionals to create and curate knowledge and collaborate with friends over this created and curated knowledge. With information having become truly democratised, Bibkosh gives everyone the opportunity to become a social knowledge curator using both the information from the net as well as the social web.
www.bibkosh.com

Fashion

Aneeth Arora, péro

Aneeth Arora calls herself a ‘textile and dress maker’, an artist who weaves her own canvas, before starting to paint on it. Her label péro ‘ means ‘to wear’ in Marwari and interprets international  aesthetic using local material and skills, taking inspiration from the surrounding to make a product that connects with people, wherever in the world it is placed. The organization is into menswear, women’s wear and kids wear employing over 80 craftspeople. The label currently sells through 60 shops, across 15 countries. They participate in the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week and since September 2009 have been showcasing consistently at the Tranoi Fashion week in Paris, White Basement in Milan, Gallery in Copenhagenand Coterie in New Yorkin 2010.  
www.pero.co.in  

Music

Aishwarya Natarajan, Indianuance

Aishwarya is the director of Indianuance, an artist management and concert programming outfit that is dedicated to Indian classical music and its allied forms. Under the realm of artist management it acts as representatives to musicians for live performances, new media channels, recording contracts and is ever alert to unconventional, new avenues and formats. Aishwarya considers herself to be a creative person; an artist and believes that there is always that ‘other’ idea that nobody has explored.
www.indianuance.com

From Pixel to Pixelloid April 21, 2011

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Our day in London started with ‘Power to the Pixel’ a digital distribution and film innovation forum where presenters like Michel Reilhac, Exceutive Director of ARTE France Cinema talked about ‘Gamification of life’. Where he explained different behavioral changes with games from disorder to order and how people get attracted more towards games as players can be anyone in their fantasy games and do anything they want, that is something not possible in real life.

Mike Monello, co-creator of highly successful cross-media film project ‘The Blair Witch Project’ shared ideas on how to design and develop a cross-media project and cleverly market it. Few points: Design for communal experiences where many people can participate. He mentioned how to create sensational news and get extra publicity by quoting ‘Stolen Audi in a car expo’ incident which created a lot of hype. He also mentioned, one should build a larger world than the characters and have tangibility.

Among all the presentations, WireWAX was one of the most exciting new technologies that were showcased. WireWAX is a clickable interactive video service where you can tag people and products. It opens up huge doors for advertisers, sellers and for interactive information.

The next day, the first meeting was with Protagonist films at British Council, London. They do lot of distribution and rights management for films. They produced world’s first 3D dance movie ‘Streetdance’.

Second meeting was with Film London. It’s the capital’s film and media agency. They explained how they promote London for filming and the services they offer. Film London plays a major role in helping film productions and makers to find suitable locations, post-production facilities and to avail government tax credits. One of their recent projects was ‘Inception’.

Rebecca O’Brien, Co-founder of Sixteen Films was our 3rd meeting. She’s a highly regarded producer who works with director Ken Loach. They have a long history of film making. They have just 2 rooms for the office and manage all their projects. Another surprising thing I got to know is they still use traditional ‘Steinbeck’ for their film editing. We went to Rushes along with Rebecca where we met Joe Bateman, he is the festival director at Rushes Soho Shorts Festival. He explained how Rushes started their short films festival, how they organize and screen the shorts. It’s a 10 days festival where they attract more than 1000 entries from all over the world.

On the third day, our first meeting with Big Talk productions. They produced hits such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Matthew Justice and Rachael Prior gave us a lot of insight of growing the company from just a few people to more than twenty. At the time of expansion, they needed someone very experienced and networked and they recruited Rachael Prior who was then working with ‘Working Title’.

City Screen Picturehouse is a leading independent cinema operators in UK. Their venues screen a lot of mainstream, independent art house and foreign language films.

We met Tina McFarling, Head of Industry Relations of UK Film Council and British Council office. UKFC is a government funded agency for film in the UK ensuring economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented. They fund around 100k for British Productions and have a program called First Light for young film makers. Recently, UK government merged it with BFI London and we’ll have to see what kind of changes they come up with.

Our last meeting for the day with Eddie Berg, Artistic Director with BFI. He worked with British Council before moving to BFI and he understands about YCE and other programs British Council takes up. British Film Institute (BFI) promotes understanding and appreciation of film and television heritage and culture. BFI London is one of the most popular film festivals in the world.

Day 4 was our Judging day at British Council followed by a day off. On Sunday we travelled to Bristol.

Monday morning started with meeting with Mehjabeen Price, Director of Finance and Operations at South West Screen. SWS funded by UKFC, Skillset & South West of England Regional Development agency. There are about 1800 companies in wildlife media and 90,000 in creative media industries. Bristol has tech companies like HP and airplane industries. 25% of world’s nature programs created in Bristol. They have well known media companies like BBC, Aardman Animation, Endemol, Bournemouth. South West Screen fills the gap carries industry need to policy makers.

Second meeting at Aardman Animation. A very pleasant and joyful place to work and visit. They have a huge studio and a nice entrance with some of the characters created for their movies and TV programs. Our young entrepreneurs turned kids and ran around the whole place to take pictures. We met Miles Bullough, Head of Broadcast who gave us a presentation about Aardman. Just 2 people started the company and they won several Oscars as well. We had a pleasure meeting Mr.David Sproxton for a few minutes.

Our third meeting was with The Watershed. It’s Britain’s first dedicated ‘Media Center’ and delivers a year round diverse, cultural programme of films, festivals and is a leading exponent and commissioner of digital and online creativity through its website dShed.net where you can view and engage with debate, projects, pod casts and artists commissions and short films and through its Pervasive Media Studio.

Then we travelled to Cardiff where we began by meeting Dragon DI, which is located in Sony Technology Centre outside Cardiff. It’s more like a boutique studio running Quantel systems for their digital intermediate services. They primarily work on London, Scotland and some of the European budget productions, where London handles high-end post.

Our next meeting was with Boomerang. They have a group of companies whose activities include program production, post-production services television facilities and talent management. They have both English and Welsh language productions specifically made for Wales. They have co-productions with some of the French and Canadian companies due their welsh language speaking population in those countries as well.

British Council, Cardiff.
We had a networking lunch at British Council, Cardiff. There were a few presentations from Owain Gillard, Film Office, Wales Screen Commission explaining how they are trying to promote film and related activities in Wales. Films like Robinhood shot in Wales beaches and forests.

Fresh Launch event at Atrium. They offer courses in animation, design, broadcast, music, fashion, communication and drama. They have huge space dedicated for their educational facilities.

Day 9: Back to London and a meeting at Dodwoof, a leading UK film distributor specializing in social issue films, documentaries, independent films and world cinema. They are known for their ethical documentaries, such as Black Gold, Burma VJ, Food Inc among others.

Q&A with Duncan Kenworthy, a highly respected producer whose credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually. He shared his experience from his days when he was working for someone then eventually took the risk of being a producer and the hardships then the joy of it.

Then there was a panel discussion about cross platform trends from the UK and emerging international markets. 19 years old Jamal Edwards, SBTV gave an interesting presentation about his YouTube channel with more than 13,000,00 upload views and Top 100 most viewed & subscribed directors of all time. http://www.sbtv.co.uk/

Another presentation from DamianoVukotic, RSA Films turned the attention of all the audiences when he showed Philips Cinema Parallel Lines – The Gift. http://www.rsafilms.com/company/rsa-uk/director/carl-erik-rinsch/philips-cinema-parallel-lines-the-gift-1265

Day 10: End of IYSE Tour.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to get together learn about each other, then visiting and meeting different companies and people. It was once in a life time experience. I’m sure at least some of our IYSE finalists would work on something together at some point. It was such a great group and total pleasure being a part of the whole program!

Thank you British Council and Aanchal, Claire & Rwituja!

Post by – © Yugandhar Tamareddy

Tomb Raider, Hitman and TouchMagix April 21, 2011

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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

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)

What do Priya Kishore (Bombay Electric), Vijay Nair (Only Much Louder) and Rajat Tuli (Happily Unmarried) have in common? June 7, 2010

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These bright and successful entrepreneurs from the different creative sectors are the winners of the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Award and a part of the YCE network. Managed by the British Council, these are the only awards in India that give recognition to creative entrepreneurship across the creative industries including Design, Music, Fashion, Communication, Visual Arts, Screen, Interactive, Performing Arts and Publishing.

International recognition to independent publishing was important to me and it helped to stand apart in the domestic market too.” defines Nishad Deshmukh, YCE Publishing 2008

The YCE award programme goes beyond simply recognising the achievements of these entrepreneurs. It provides them a platform to begin a dialogue with their UK counterparts. The winners go on a study tour of their respective industry in the UK. It allows them to learn, imbibe and grow through inputs from both their UK and international peers. They also attend relevant trade events that helps widen their perspective.

The most important part of the program to me was the “Edinburgh Fringe Fest” and the meetings therein which opened up the possibilities of new formats of performing arts and collaborations. Post YCE, at evam, we have created two new properties – one which explores a new format for a play and another which is a platform to create the next generation art-entrepreneurs – YCE has helped us redefine our boundaries!” says Sunil Vishnu of evam Entertainment and YCE Performing Arts 2009.

For Prathibha Sastry, founder of South Movie Scene Magazine, winning YCE Screen Award 2008 opened new doors for her. She has had the opportunity to go to Lithuania and will soon be visiting Poland for a film festival.

The aim of the program is to recognise the impact of entrepreneurship within the creative industries on the wider economy. According to DCMS, creative industries are defined as those having their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. Globally, creative industries are estimated to account for more than 7 per cent of the world’s gross GDP*. UK has pioneered in recognising their contribution and as a percentage of GDP; it has the largest creative industries sector in the world.** UK creativity is hugely influential across the world, with a reputation for innovation, edgy brilliance and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2008, it comprised an estimated 157,400 businesses and employed just under two million people.#

The Indian economy also has a strong potential for growth by investing in creative enterprises but there is a definite absence of opportunities that provide international exposure and learning for creative entrepreneurs in India.

The program has given me the ability to imagine myself as a global entrepreneur and Phonethics as an organisation shares the aspirations and challenges faced by similar start-ups around the world“, says Saurabh Gupta, Founder & CEO, Phonethics, winner of the YCE Communications award in 2009. Saurabh went on to attend the C&binet forum on Nurturing Creative Content in the Digital Age. C&binet is a not-for-profit network created by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) to foster international dialogue about the creative economy focusing on access to finance for creative industries, new business models for online content, developing talent and securing creative rights.

British Council has been developing a powerful professional network between creative entrepreneurs in India and the UK since 2005. Connected with the India YCE awards is the International Young Creative Entrepreneur (IYCE) programme which celebrates the achievements of entrepreneurs at an international level. Through an interconnected network, the awards aim to put the spotlight firmly on creative entrepreneurship.

The trip was a huge eye opener. Had I approached all the people I met for appointments individually, it would have taken me years to meet them. British Council insured that we met the best of the best.” says Rajat Tuli, YCE Design Award 2009.

Recently British Council supported the participation of fashion entrepreneurs including Savio Jon, Shilpa Chavan, Anuj Sharma and Varun Sardana in a fashion show hosted at the Alchemy Festival in UK. Varun has now signed up with Blow PR, a fashion PR agency based in the UK.

The awards and subsequent cross sector networking opportunities have led to much more than exchange of ideas. Alex Fleetwood, Founder Hide&Seek and winner of the UK YCE Performing Arts award is currently working with Amitesh Grover & theatre artists in the UK and Delhi to curate and produce a dual location Sandpit, an evening of social games and playful experiences.

Debu Bhattacharya, Theme Entertainment / Infinity Films, the YCE Screen 2007, has signed a MoU with Sheffield Doc Fest to provide an international launch pad for Indian documentary projects. It also includes development of a fund to boost production and development of the documentary film industry in India.

Box Item: Entries for the YCE awards in Interactive, Screen, Fashion, Design, Performing Arts, Communications and Publishing sectors are open till 10 July. Winners will be announced at a gala award ceremony in early September. For further details log on to: http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/yce


*. World Bank Urban development needs creativity: How creative industries affect urban areas.
Development Outreach, November 2003.
**. OECD Factbook 2007 – Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, 2007.
#. Creative Industries Economic Estimates Statistical Bulletin 2010, DCMS.

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