Earlier this month, Helen and Vicki participated in the UNESCO TechCul Online Ideathon. The event aimed to “bring together tech and culture leaders with startups and entrepreneurs to develop innovative digital solutions and win-win business models to address challenges faced by the culture and creative sector.” Recognising how the pandemic crisis has revealed the fragility of arts practitioners and institutions, the Ideathon is about finding innovative tech and entrepreneurial solutions to support diverse and resilient business models, improved platforms for arts and cultural products and services, better networking and exchanges, and a more sustainable ecology for the culture and creative sector.
The format of the day included a Design Thinking Workshop, collaboration rooms, a Mentor Corner, group work and feedback. By the end of the day, the goal was to develop a one-page idea brief and accompanying slides in the hope of winning financial and incubation or mentoring support for the idea. With the submission date one week after the Ideathon, Helen and Vicki worked quickly to prepare a draft business plan, short video and other material required for the submission. This was very useful to do, regardless of the outcome, as planning for UpStage’s future sustainability is a key element of our work in the Mobilise-Demobilise project.
And, we are delighted to learn that UpStage has been shortlisted! Now we are preparing a pitch event on January 9th, after which the jury will make selections to receive cash prizes and mentoring from tech experts.