Are you a Bristol- based creative business?
Looking to expand and grow?
Need support to develop your plan?

On Monday 25th January 2016, Bristol Media will present a Masterclass in Investment Readiness in partnership with Creative United, at The Watershed in Bristol.

Eventbrite - BRISTOL: Masterclass in Investment Readiness

A range of industry experts and creative entrepreneurs will host panel talks and workshops throughout the day, specifically focusing on ways to expand your business through forecasting, strategy and funding.

Expect to:

  • Understand what steps are needed to expand your business
  • Discover the funding and finance options available to you
  • Meet the Creative Industry Finance team and find out how the programme can support your business

Additionally, there will be the opportunity to sign up for a one-to-one session with one of our Business Advisors to discuss your funding and finance needs.

Tickets are ONLY £40, a small investment in the growth of your business.

Are you currently receiving business support on the Creative Industry Finance programme? If so you are eligible for FREE ENTRY! Email for more information.

Lunch and refreshments provided.

Event Details

09:30  Doors open and registration
10:00  Introduction with Paul Appleby and Sarah Thirtle
10:15 Opening panel discuss “The changing growth landscape and the opportunity presented by alternative finance”.

11:15 Breakout Sessions 1
Strategic Thinking: James Caig, Strategist at True Digital leads a session on the keys to forming a winning growth strategy.
Essential Preparation for Growth: Gill Thewlis, Creative Industry Finance advisor, covers the essential preparation for growth to ensure success.

12:15 Breakout Sessions 2
Contracting for Growth (Start-ups): If you are a start-up, then Rebecca Steer’s of Steer & Co session on The Business of Growth provides guidance on all the legal and contractual aspects of taking external finance and expanding your workforce.
Forecasting for Creatives: If you’re more established, then Lawrence Rodger’s session on accurate forecasting, cashflow and producing the figures investors need will be the one for you.

13:45 Breakout Sessions 3
Contracting for Growth (Step-ups): Steer & Co are back with an afternoon session for established businesses looking at working with freelance talent, corporate clients and bigger supply-chains.
Essential Guide to Crowdfunding: Karl Belizaire from Fundsurfer provides the essential guide to crowdfunding.

14:45 Closing Plenary with Paul Appleby, Sarah Thirtle, Matt Spry and Nel Hargrave.

Speaker Biographies:

Paul Appleby

Paul is the director of VID, a consultancy developing collaborations in creative technology in the greater Bristol area, working with the BBC-Bristol Partnership, the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, Bristol University, and Creative Skillset. He chairs the Creative Sector group of the West of England LEP and Bristol Media CIC, one of the UK’s largest cluster organisations in the creative sector. His focus is on addressing the difficulty of supporting creative microbusinesses, and developing a “virtuous circle” of company growth and talent development. He produced and directed factual and multiplatform projects throughout a 30 year career in the BBC Natural History Unit, which included a BAFTA award. He is on the Board of Watershed and the Encounters Short Film Festival. Paul will chair this event.

Gill Thewlis, Creative Industry Finance Business Advisor

Gill is an executive and business coach, based in Sheffield. Since 2003 she has worked with over 150 creative and digital organisations, with particular expertise in fashion & textiles, visual arts, theatre, dance, and design. Prior to this Gill had a 20 year career in banking – 15 of which were in the City of London: 10 as a commercial banker, 10 as strategist, marketeer, corporate communicator and change manager. She the completed a degree in Fashion Design in 2003. Gill will be providing 1-2-1 advice.

James Caig, True Digital

James is head of strategy at True Digital in Bristol. Before that he was head of strategy at MEC and Isobar, where he helped public and private sector clients such as EE, Public Health England, Lloyds Bank, Kellogg’s and DfE Teacher Recruitment. He has experience in media, advertising, digital, and currently sits on the IPA Strategy Group.

Ellen O’Hara, Creative Industry Finance Business Advisor

Ellen is an independent creative enterprise and incubation specialist who is currently seconded to Creative Industry Finance as part of her Clore Leadership Programme. As a SFEDI accredited coach, experienced trainer and facilitator, Ellen has supported hundreds of sole traders, micro-businesses and SMEs over the last 12 years to achieve creative and commercial success. She has previously worked for School for Startups, Cockpit Arts, The Prince’s Trust, Arts Council England and Andersens management consultancy. Ellen will be providing 1-2-1 advice.

Matt Spry, Creative Industry Finance Business Advisor

Matt is an expert in strategy, commercial and business model design. He works with companies at the point of change, who want to grow and develop but need a fresh perspective to find the right route forward. By bringing clarity to the challenges and opportunities organisations face he helps his clients identify their destination and then design solutions that are innovative, robust and commercially sustainable. Matt left the corporate world in 2013 to work with purpose-driven organisations, using his skills, experience and energy to help them succeed. Previously he worked in a variety of commercial roles – most recently at MITIE where he was the commercial lead on major outsourcing tenders, working in teams that won well in excess of £1bn of new business. At the start of his career he qualified as a Chartered Accountant working at Arthur Andersen.