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Barclays Eagle Lab Flight -
where creativity meets technology 

Get ready to take off on
20 March 2017 until 9 June 2017

Image credit: Giles Smith

A big thankyou to all the businesses who applied for the programme.

The competition has been very strong and from the 81 companies who made an application we selected 16 companies to pitch to our team of judges on February 2nd and 3rd at Brighton Eagle Lab.

Our 7 judges, from both Creative England and Barclays, were very impressed with the very high standard of ideas and business propositions. The process now is to select the final group for the programme, and the selected companies will be notified by February 9th

Creative England, a pioneering public-purpose company dedicated to unleashing talent and ideas across film, TV, games and tech, has teamed up with Barclays Eagle Labs to create and deliver the Barclays Eagle Lab Flight accelerator programme, the first Creative Accelerator run by the two organisations.

Exploring the extraordinary things that happen when creativity meets technology – our new programme, Barclays Eagle Lab Flight will help your business to transform and grow.  

Barclays Eagle Lab Flight brings together Creative England’s expertise in unlocking creative thinking with Barclay’s Eagle Labs business acumen; to enable you to develop your business and to make a real impact on people’s lives. 

The Barclays Eagle Lab Flight mentoring programme will  bring in thought leaders and visionary creative practitioners to share their expertise, experience and ideas with you.  A priceless opportunity to help take your business to the next level.

It also offers creative and tech high growth small businesses the chance to secure up to £25k of investment, backed up with a 3-month residency in Brighton, where you will receive intensive support from a wide range of coaches, mentors and inspirational guest speakers.

It starts on March 20th 2017 and runs until June 9th 2017

If you are selected on the programme, your company will receive up to £25k of investment and business support over a 3 month period. The programme culminates in a pitch to investors, giving you the opportunity to potentially secure additional investment from experienced Business Angels and up to £50k follow-on funding from Creative England.   

Applications deadline closed January 13th

Shortlisted companies notified January 23rd


Additional key dates

  • Pitch events - 2nd and 3rd February in Brighton
  • Companies notified February 9th
  • Contracts finalised by March 10th
  • Barclays Eagle Lab Flight starts March 20th


Who is it for?

The programme will offer up to 8 investments to product led, creative tech and digital companies.

We are looking for a broad spectrum of business and products that demonstrate the cross sector impact of creativity; ideas that seek to make a global difference. We’re specifically keen to attract businesses which focus on cross sector innovation – where creative technology and digital is being applied to other sectors. This includes B2B, as well as other sectors which may not be seen as traditionally digital – such as healthcare or tourism. We’re looking for strong digital based ideas – including app, mobile, data, gamification, Internet of things, VR, AR and 3D modelling.

The programme will focus on creative thinking, participation and cross collaborative working. By the end of the programme, we  want the participating companies to have a clearly defined, innovative and marketable service or proposition with the potential to scale up.

This high level access to Creative Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders will provide a wealth of resources and inspiration in the form of a growing archive of FLIGHT Talks and presentations. 

What does your company look like?

Flight is looking for

  • High growth, early stage creative and digital companies 
  • Commercial businesses with fast growth ambitions within their market or industry, which can be clearly measured and tracked
  • Companies who can demonstrate a clear market and  defined business opportunity 
  • Companies who by the end of the programme will be ready for further investment, to “scale up”

Obviously we are looking for vision – but you also need to be able to clearly define your market and show how your product or service addresses this audience.

We would like you to aim to be national and international and have sized the market opportunity and understood competitor analysis.

We would like you to show clarity around functional innovation and have an innovative proposition or market differentiator; a product or service that can really make a difference.

We need you to show clear understanding of current barriers and how Flight will help you to overcome them.

Flight will accept 8 participants in total. Companies ideally should have two or more active partners with a stake in the business (although the partnership does not have to be equal). Sole founder/trader businesses are not eligible. 

The core team must possess one or more of the core skills needed to deliver your prototype. The work cannot be primarily outsourced.

The programme will focus on the prototype development, whilst providing intensive support to help achieve early product market fit. By the end of the period, participants are expected have a demonstrable, functioning prototype or MVP (minimum viable product), backed up by a strong business case to present to investors. Applicants who have already built a prototype can focus more on the available support to take it to market.

The Investment

All participants will receive up to £25k of investment at the start of the programme. This is offered in two ways: either as an unsecured, interest-free convertible loan, or as an equity investment. The fees for participating on the programme will be deducted from the investment.

The programme culminates in a pitch to investors, giving you the opportunity to potentially secure additional investment from experienced Business Angels and up to £50k follow-on funding from Creative England. This is discretionary, and will be awarded on the strength of the pitch to investors during the programme’s final event.

Meet our Creative Advisers

We will draw from our pool of Creative Advisers to provide the best suited talks
and mentorships for you and your company as part of the Flight programme.


Creative England is dedicated to unlocking  the creative power of the country in order both to drive economic prosperity and to enhance people’s lives. It does this by supporting England’s creative industries (film, television, video games and creative digital media), helping creative talent to flourish and, by investing in creative ideas and early stage businesses, helping people to build successful creative enterprises.

The Creative Director of Barclays Eagle Lab Flight is Marcus Romer, and the business programme Director is Steve Taylor.


In order to cover Creative England’s legal and due diligence, we will charge a small arrangement fee of 5% of the total investment value.

There is also a programme participation fee of £3125, payable directly to Creative England. This payment covers all costs for business coaching, masterclasses, access to the mentors, catering for events and workshops, and secures access to two desks and full office facilities, tea and coffee etc. for the duration of the programme. Creative England strives to keep this fee to the bare minimum needed to cover our costs and generates no profit whatsoever from the investment. All repaid investments or monies returned on investment will be put back into future investments in effect creating a ‘revolving fund’ to enable us to support creative business in the future.

Investment Types

Investments of up to £25k are available for high growth, early stage, creative and digital companies. These investments will be in the form of either a business loan or equity investment.

The business loan is interest-free and the repayments will increase gradually over the term. Our standard repayment term is 30 months; however this is dependent on your company and the project.

In exchange for an equity investment, Creative England will take an equity share in your business.

The Barclays Eagle Lab - Flight Programme is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). RGF funding prioritise investments that focus on commercially astute and sustainable business investments which result in the creation and safeguarding of full-time jobs. In line with the Regional Growth Fund objective, this funding is only available to companies based in the English regions, outside of Greater London.


Barclays Eagle Lab Flight launch

The Barclays Eagle Lab Flight programme was launched at the Brighton Eagle Lab on December 1st, where 80 guests were able to share the exciting event with teams from Barclays and Creative England and leading speakers from the Creative Sector. 

There opening address was from the Eagle Lab Flight Creative Director, Marcus Romer, who introduced the guest speakers, who included Dave Shepherd, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, and Angela McClelland Director of Partnerships for Creative England. Their introduction to the accelerator programme, included the information about how to sign up online on this site and how the programme will offer up to £25k of investment for 8 creative companies. They were followed by inspirational talks and insights into the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company by their Head of Digital, Sarah Ellis and to the three times BAFTA winning games company from Brighton, The Chinese Room by their Creative Director Dan Pinchbeck. Rounding off proceedings were Adam Rowse, Director of Business Banking for Barclays, and Dawn Paine Director of Strategy and Marketing for Creative England. There was then a networking opportunity, with great street food and mulled wine and cider brilliantly  curated by the Barclays events team. A big thanks to Brian Sharkey and the Brighton Eagle Labs team for hosting this great launch event. Applications have now closed.

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