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Resident Entrepreneurs Guidelines

Application and Selection Process

Open calls for Resident Entrepreneurs take place twice a year. A selection panel will review applications from those applying for the Resident Entrepreneur placements. Potential Host Organisations are encouraged to contact the Creative Informatics team on a rolling basis.

Once successful applications have been selected, Resident Entrepreneurs will – where appropriate and feasible – be matched with Host Organisations, taking into account availability, location, practicalities, and both individual and organisational R&D needs. Legal and contract terms may include Confidentiality Agreements (CDA) to ensure that both hosts and Resident Entrepreneurs retain their Intellectual Property (IP) and privacy over work in progress.

Mentoring for Resident Entrepreneurs will be provided formally through the Creative Edinburgh mentoring programme. Support and further mentoring may also be provided by Host Organisations and/or the Creative Informatics team including researchers. Placements can last between three and twelve months, this can be full time or part time.

Applying as a Resident Entrepreneur

Eligibility – Resident Entrepreneurs

Resident Entrepreneurs can be individuals, partnerships or small to medium enterprises (SMEs). You are eligible whether (currently) registered as an organisation or not.

Resident Entrepreneurs must:

  • Be working in one of the nine recognised DCMS creative industries sectors.
  • Be proposing a new product, service or project to develop an idea with genuine impact for the creative industries. Proposals which also have potential to impact upon wider sectors are welcome.
  • Be based in and/or be undertaking work that has impact for the creative industries within Edinburgh and/or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region.
  • Be submitting a proposal that meets the selection criteria (see below).
  • 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.

Selection Criteria – Resident Entrepreneurs

Resident Entrepreneurs as asked to submit a proposal which must:

  1. Clearly articulate the product, service or idea they will be developing during their Resident Entrepreneurship.
  2. Align with one (or more) of the Creative Informatics Cluster core challenges:
    • How can Data Driven Innovation support access and engagement to new audiences and markets?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation support the development of new modalities of experience?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation unlock hidden value in archives and data sets?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation reveal new business models for the creative industries?
  3. Represent genuine R&D around data and/or data driven technologies in the creative industries. This can include innovative application of more established tools, techniques, approaches or business models in new contexts (or to different sectors), or as new types of offerings or business models.
  4. Have the potential to be developed into a commercial/income generating product.
  5. Be deliverable in the course of a residency of (usually) 3-12 months. For Round 7, we ask projects to be deliverable within 3 – 9 months.
  6. Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project. Reporting and payments schedules will be mutually agreed at the outset of successful projects.
  7. Comply with ethical and legally compliant data practices.
  8. Include a realistic budget outlining how any funding will be used by the Resident Entrepreneur during their residency.
  9. Be prepared to enter into a CDA required for a successful placement and residency. Resident Entrepreneurs will be supported to issue their own CDAs to ensure both Host Organisation and Resident Entrepreneur IP is protected appropriately.

Becoming a Host Organisation

Due to social distancing measures, the majority of our Resident Entrepreneur projects to date have been completed remotely. With restrictions relaxing, we are delighted to once again be able to invite notes of interest from organisations keen to host a Resident Entrepreneur during their project.

We understand that new adjustments to working models mean than full time residencies may no longer suit many organisations, so alongside full time residencies, we are keen to hear from any organisation that would like host a Resident Entrepreneur in a more flexible way. This could involve a residency on a limited basis, for example once a week, or for blocks at the start and end of projects, or supporting a Resident Entrepreneur solely in a mentorship capacity.

We can offer an advertised residency, as we did with our recent residency at Marchmont House, or a more flexible arrangement where we notify you if we get an application from an entrepreneur who sounds like they have a project that fits well with your business.

Potential Host Organisations for Resident Entrepreneurs must:

  1. Represent a genuine commitment from the Host Organisation to support a Resident Entrepreneur, with a clear articulation of the support and any potential mentoring available.
  2. Agree that they understand that Resident Entrepreneurs will be working on their own product whilst undertaking their residency. Whilst it is expected that there will be knowledge exchange between the Host and the Entrepreneur, the Resident Entrepreneur is not an employee of the Host and must have the freedom to successfully complete the work they have proposed.
  3. Be prepared to enter into CDAs required for a successful residency (where applicable). Resident Entrepreneurs will also be supported to issue their own CDAs to ensure both Host Organisation and Resident Entrepreneur IP is protected appropriately.
  4. Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) What happens if I become a Resident Entrepreneur and develop the idea in my proposal but this idea fails, someone else launches before me, or I’m not able to take this forward as a business?

A1) That’s OK. We will be keeping in touch with you, as will your mentor, and you should alert us to any issues or difficulties as early as possible so that we can provide support and understand how your project is progressing. Through your engagement with your mentor and/or the programme team we may also notice that a project isn’t working and provide advice, if needed, on potential tactics to address these difficulties.

Funding for Resident Entrepreneurs is aimed at those with a great chance to take forward their data driven creative idea, but we also know that not all of these ideas can or will be successful. The funding is awarded without the need for repayment. We just ask that you keep us informed throughout the project – so, for instance, if you find out early on that the project won’t work, we do ask that you let us know as early as possible (this also allows us to redeploy any unspent funding to other projects if appropriate).

We may, on rare occasions, opt to discontinue funding work if it is not progressing adequately and/or a Resident Entrepreneur is not engaging with the team, mentors and reporting requirements. Further details of these requirements will be included in the contract between you and Creative Informatics.

Q2) What if my idea or product changes during the project?

A2) That’s OK. We expect ideas to develop and change, particularly as you will be exploring innovative new ideas. If any major change occurs, then we do ask (and this will be noted in contracts) that you provide a formal (written) notification or “statement of declaration of adjustment”. This notification enables us to review what you are doing and whether the change effects alignment with our selection criteria. If the project remains well aligned, then funding should be unaffected.

We do reserve the right not to continue funding a project if it no longer falls within our funding scope but, under those circumstances, we do aim to provide signposting to other suitable funding sources where we can.

Q3) How does the mentoring work?

A3) Each Resident Entrepreneur will be paired with a suitable mentor through the Creative Edinburgh mentoring scheme. Creative Edinburgh works with a diverse and experienced group of creative industries professionals who can share experience and guidance over the course of the placement. Mentors will meet with Resident Entrepreneurs an agreed number of times, the frequency of which will vary depending on the length of the placement.

If a Resident Entrepreneur has the need for specialist mentoring, e.g. on an area of cutting-edge technical development, then they may also be offered an additional mentor from the Creative Informatics academic team.

Q4) When I am creating a budget for my project should it be inclusive or exclusive of VAT?

A4) The Resident Entrepreneur funding is a grant for R&D (Research and Development) and should therefore be VAT exempt. However, how you handle VAT will depend on the status of you/your business. We are aware that many of our applicants will not be registered for VAT. If your business is registered for VAT and you are required to charge VAT, please provide a budget that includes VAT (to a maximum of £12,000 inclusive of any applicable VAT). Please note the maximum budget for Resident Entrepreneurs (regardless of VAT status) is £12,000.

More information on VAT is available on Gov.uk VAT and businesses page.

Q5) Can I apply for Resident Entrepreneur funding and support if I have already received funding from Creative Informatics?

A5) Yes, if you have received funds from another stream of the project you are eligible to apply to become a Resident Entrepreneur. There is no limit on the number of times that you can apply to be a Resident Entrepreneur if you have previously been unsuccessful (though we recommend carefully considering any feedback you have received). However, you can only receive funding as a Resident Entrepreneur once so, if you have previously been successfully selected and funded as a Resident Entrepreneur, you are not eligible to reapply for this stream.

If you have any further questions about the Resident Entrepreneur programme, please contact the Creative Informatics team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.



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

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