Creative Bridge

The Creative Industries Accelerator


Applications for Creative Bridge are currently closed. The next cohort will run from January to March 2020, and applications will re-open in November.

Creative Bridge is an accelerator programme with a difference. Running over ten consecutive weeks it is designed for creatives from all backgrounds to learn start-up best practice and hear creative entrepreneurs’ stories of how they made something amazing happen, or how they failed. Participants will gain valuable insights into both what defines success for them and how to get there.

The programme consists of learning alongside a cohort of contemporaries selected from a wide range of creative disciplines, working in groups to deliver an overarching project.

Each cohort is limited to 25 participants and places are fully funded for qualifying applicants by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme managed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council as part of the Industrial Strategy.

Tutors and Sessions


We’ve been working with some amazing people to teach Creative Bridge, and you’ll be hearing from some of the names below during each course.


Creative Bridge will combine theory sessions with Storytelling sessions from those who have done a great thing in the creative industries. You’ll get to hear the warts and all journeys that real entrepreneurs have been on, and talk to them open about success and mistakes.


Session 1 - Software is eating the World

The world is changing, faster and faster, and old ways working are being swallowed up by software. Understanding how the Creative fits into this world is key.

Session 2 - Understanding Markets

Great businesses are only great if enough people are willing to buy your product. The first step in any great startup is to sit down and think about the market size.

Session 3 - Storytelling 1

Session 4 - Knowing your customers

We’ll be talking through the importance of getting out the building, why you shouldn’t build what your customers ask for, and how to use customer research to generate product ideas.

Session 5 - Storytelling 2

Session 6 - Build, Measure, Learn

What can Toyota teach creatives about creativity? How to use build-measure-learn cycles learn about your customers and product, and what your first Minimum Viable Product might look like.

Session 7 - Storytelling 3

Session 8 - Pitch decks

A pitch deck is a vital tool of the startup - whether you’re talking to investors, or trying to get your first customers, we’ll talk through the fundamentals.

Session 9 - Storytelling 4

Session 10 - Funding

Great ideas need money to get them off the ground, and we’ll talk through the fundamentals, whether it’s grant money, private investment, or crowdfunding. We’ll also talk about when not to take someone’s money.





Creative Bridge is part of Creative Informatics, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Creative Edinburgh and CodeBase. Through six research and development initiatives, Creative Informatics will enable creatives and cultural organisations to explore and better understand how data-driven technologies can be used to enhance their work. These initiatives will develop local talent, placing creatives in the driving seat of data-driven innovation and ensuring that Edinburgh’s creative and cultural industries continue to thrive.



When does the course take place?

The next Creative Bridge course will run from January to March 2020. Applications will open in November 2019, so watch this space.

Should I apply?

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. For more detailed information, read our selection criteria.

Do I need to live in Edinburgh or South East Scotland to participate?

Not necessarily, but you’ll need to demonstrate that your business / idea will have an impact on the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region. You will also need to attend Creative Bridge sessions in Edinburgh.

How much does it cost?

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.

What do you work on in the course?

Every cohort is divided into groups in the first session, and each group will decide on a simulated business idea to work on throughout the course. You’ll work through the steps of building this idea and learn the skills required to apply these skills to your own projects.

What do you not work on in the course?

If you want to learn the ins-and-outs of setting up a new business and how to manage running it day-to-day, this is probably not the course for you. 

Why should I work on a simulated business idea when I already have my own business?

Creative Bridge is about learning the processes of creative entrepreneurship and start-up best practice. By working on a simulated project together in groups, 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.

Is there homework?

A little bit, but nothing major. At the end of every session, we’ll be asking everyone to apply that week’s learnings to their own businesses. At the next session, 2-3 people will then informally present the work they’ve done since the previous week.

How many people will be on the course?

There will be a maximum of 25 people in each Creative Bridge cohort.

What key things will I have learned by the end of the course?

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.

I don’t have an idea for a product, can I apply?

Absolutely - one of the key topics we’ll go through is how good ideas come about. It may be that you’re experiencing the pain points that lead to great products without even realising it.

What happens with any IP generated on the course?

You retain your IP. CodeBase/Creative Informatics won’t claim ownership of any IP generated on Creative Bridge.

Does it involve coding?

No! While we will be talking about building businesses around online products, we won’t be delving into the technical side.

Will I be fed?

We will provide you with coffee, tea, cake and fruit to keep you going, but no such thing as a free lunch. We’ll make sure there are veggie, vegan, and gluten free options available too.

Can travel costs be covered?

If you’d like to attend but think that travel to central Edinburgh would make the course prohibitively expensive, get in touch.

Where will the course be held?

For Creative Bridge Cohort #2, sessions will be held at CodeBase, 38 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH3 9DZ, every Tuesday from 1pm to 4pm.

How do I apply?

Head over to  and select Creative Bridge to start your application. Applications for Cohort #2 open on Monday 19th August 2019, and close on
Monday 16th September 2019.

When will the next Creative Bridge course run?

Creative Bridge will run a few times a year until 2021. We’ll be announcing 2020 dates in the autumn, so watch this space.