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Creative Bridge Guidelines

Creative Bridge Selection Criteria

Please note: Due to Covid-19 guidelines, Creative Bride is currently being conducted online via Zoom video conferencing, so you will need a laptop or phone and an internet connection to participate. If this will potentially be an issue for you but you’re still keen to apply, please get in touch. We hope to reinstate in-person meet-ups when it is safe to do so.

Creative Bridge applications will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Is the candidate currently, or aspiring to work within one of the nine recognised DCMS creative industries sectors (Advertising and marketing; Architecture; Crafts; Design (product, graphic and fashion design); Film, TV, video, radio and photography; IT, software and computer services; Publishing; Museums, galleries and libraries; Music, performing and visual arts)?
  • Do they want to understand best practice in the digital startup world?
  • Are they interested in developing a commercial/income generating online product?
  • Do they align with one (or more) of the Creative Informatics Cluster core challenges:
  1. How can Data Driven Innovation support access and engagement to new audiences and markets?
  2. How can Data Driven Innovation support the development of new modalities of experience?
  3. How can Data Driven Innovation unlock hidden value in archives and data sets?
  4. How can Data Driven Innovation reveal new business models for the creative industries?


Creative Bridge participants must:

  1. Be from and/or be wanting to create a business with genuine impact for the Creative Industries. However, we welcome ideas that also have the potential to benefit other sectors and/or generate sustainable commercial income from being applied to other contexts. We also welcome applications from people who don’t have an idea yet, but are keen to explore what ideas may be possible for them or their creative business.
  2. Be based in and/or be undertaking work that has impact for the creative industries within Edinburgh or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region. This includes Edinburgh, Fife, West Lothian, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.
  3. Commit to attending Creative Bridge sessions online, via Zoom video conferencing.
  4. Commit to providing accurate information about business income, spend on research and development (R&D), etc. as per the requirements of the application form. This includes providing accurate information regarding State Aid that is required to ensure Creative Informatics meet essential reporting and due diligence requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) When does the course take place?
A1) Creative Bridge Cohort #7 will take place from 20th July to 21st September 2021, and will run virtually via Zoom.

Q2) Should I apply?
A2) Yes please! We’re looking for applicants from across the Creative Industries who are: keen to learn about start up best practice; interested in developing a commercial / income-generating online product; and who want to have a genuine impact on the Creative Industries.

Q3) Do I need to be based in Edinburgh to participate?
A3) Primarily, we’re looking for individuals who are based in Edinburgh, Fife, West Lothian, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. However, if you’re based outside this area (say, Glasgow or Dundee), get in touch – you may still be eligible if you can demonstrate that your business or idea will have an impact on the Edinburgh city region & South East Scotland.

Q4) How much does it cost?
A4) If you’re accepted onto Creative Bridge, it won’t cost you anything. That’s because the course is fully funded for successful applicants by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, managed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council as part of the Industrial Strategy. This covers the total course cost of £5000 per participant.

Q5) What do you work on in the course?
A5) The specific sessions of the course change from cohort to cohort – but broadly, we cover the following core topics: Markets; Understanding Your Customers; the Build-Measure-Learn cycle; Company Values; Pitch Decks; Pivoting; and Funding & Investment. Participants are also split up into groups for session activities – these groups will change every week, so you’ll get to meet a range of people on the cohort.

Q6) What do you not work on in the course?
A6) Our focus is on startups, innovation and product development. If you’re looking for the ins-and-outs of setting up a new business, starting social media accounts and how to manage running things day-to-day, this might not be the course for you but get in touch if you’re unsure.

Q7) Why should I work on a simulated business idea when I already have my own business?
A7) Creative Bridge is about learning the processes of creative entrepreneurship and start-up best practice. By working on a simulated project together in groups for part of the course, you’ll get to know and test out these principles in a no-stakes environment, so you’ll be better acquainted with them when you come to apply them to your own business.

Q8) Is there homework?
A8) You’ll get a digital workbook to use for each of our core sessions, and at the end of each talk we ask everyone to apply that week’s learnings to their own situation. So while homework isn’t compulsory, we do expect participants to keep up with the key learnings of the programme and in some cases to speak to one another between sessions. You’ll also get the chance to informally present your progress to the rest of the cohort, if you’d like to.

Q9) How many people will be on the course?
A9) Each cohort varies in size, but generally we accept a maximum of 25 people per course. Overall, we’ve had nearly 150 people take the course over six different cohorts, from Cohort #0 (Mar-May 2019) to Cohort #5 (Jul-Sep 2020). So you’ll get a chance to meet alumni from other cohorts as well, either virtually or in person.

Q10) What key things will I take away by the end of the course?
A10) Participants will take away an array of learnings from Creative Bridge, but we think the key outcomes will be building a business model (via a Lean Canvas) to understand your business internally; having a greater understanding of who your customers / audience are, and how you can best reach them; and a pitch deck to show your business to the world.

Q11) I don’t have any ideas at the moment, can I apply?
A11) Absolutely – in general, we find per cohort that half of the participants have an idea or ideas, and half don’t. Identifying problems and coming up with good ideas is part of the course, so we’ll help you through that whole process. Just get in touch if you’re still unsure.

Q12) What happens with any IP generated on the course?
A12) You retain your IP. CodeBase/Creative Informatics won’t claim ownership of any IP generated on Creative Bridge.

Q13) Does it involve coding?
A13) No! While we will be talking about building businesses around online products, we won’t be delving into the technical side.

Q14) I don’t have a tech background, should I apply?
A14) Yes! Creative Bridge is designed for people who want to learn about startup best practice and understand how digital product development works – we don’t assume you have any prior knowledge, and we’ll also share some background reading with you ahead of the course. As long as you work in the Creative Industries, are based in Edinburgh or South East Scotland and / or you have an idea that will have an impact on the Creative Industries in those areas, we want to hear from you.

Q15) When the course returns to in-person delivery, can travel costs be covered?
A15) We don’t cover travel costs as standard. However, if you’d like to attend but think that travel to central Edinburgh would make the course prohibitively expensive, please get in touch via creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk before you apply.

Q16) How do I apply?
A16) You can apply online – here’s the application form. If you’re unable to fill out our online application form for any reason, get in touch at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk. Applications for Cohort #7 close on Wednesday 9th June at 5pm.

Q17) Help! The application form asks for my turnover and I don’t even have a business yet.
A17) Don’t panic! We need to ask this information on behalf of our funders; however, these figures (or a lack of figures) really don’t count towards the success of your application. So if you don’t have a registered company or your turnover was zero last year, it’s no problem – you can leave these fields blank.

Q18) Will you invest in my business?
A18) Some accelerators will invest in their participants’ businesses, but we’re not one of them. We’re focused purely on the learning and community side of things, and – while we won’t give you cash – your place on the course will be funded in full by Creative Informatics. We can, however, support and feedback on your efforts to apply for future funding and investment, and Creative Informatics’ Resident Entrepreneurs and Connected Innovators programmes may be of particular interest to you. To date, we estimate our participants have cumulatively raised over £350,000 in funding and investment since March 2019.

Q19) When will the next cohort happen?
A19) We usually run 2 to 3 cohorts of Creative Bridge every year. Cohort #8 will likely take place in autumn 2021, but watch this space for more details!


If you require any further information on the application process for Creative Bridge, or have any questions about your application, please contact the Creative Informatics team.

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