Got a great idea for entertainment on the move? Enter the TSB’s Innovation Contest

A mobile coupleIC tomorrow is offering £100k worth of funding to encourage the development creative and innovative solutions to entertainment on the move, including music, books, magazines and games. Businesses are being encouraged to apply for one of the four £25k grants available to develop their ideas.

This is a fantastic opportunity to trial your tech with industry leaders, whilst holding onto your own intellectual property, secure funding, and receive support to speed up the commercialisation of your product.

Take a look at their website to find out more about applying, all applications must be in by the 29 July 2014.


Call for Expressions of Interest for Consultancy Services

SIL-SOUTH-LOGO-STACK-CMYKSilicon South Strategy Development

Call for Expressions of Interest for Consultancy Services

 Silicon South is working on behalf of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to develop a strategy for boosting the digital creative economy in Dorset. In the next 12 months, Silicon South has committed to undertake a series of research and feasibility studies which together will inform a full-scale investment strategy setting out how this growth can be achieved. Silicon South is now looking for a consultant for up to a 12 month contract to deliver this strategy. For details and to lodge a formal proposal, please contact

Incubation for the future?

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgIncubation and acceleration programmes are on the rise and are a key focus for Silicon South.  Recently Nesta, in association with the UK Cabinet Office, released its findings on what makes these programmes successful in  the report “Good Incubation”.  The report looks at international programmes including impact accelerators, co-working spaces and impact investors to provide an overview of what the UK should be investing in for effective incubation and acceleration programmes.

To launch this report Nesta hosted a panel discussion with various global partners.  Its recent post features short videos from the USA’s “Unreasonable Institute”, Nigeria’s “CcHub”, Sweden’s “Shift”, Brazil’s “Artemisia”, and Village Capital’s international investment programme that give an overview of international challenges and successes in incubation.

Each speaker discusses their own version of an incubation programme and how that’s worked for them, and where they are still struggling.  For example one theme that arises is how to make a profit from these programmes that can mean they become truly self-sustainable.

This report provides a global lesson in incubation and networking practices but what about our own local needs?  What would benefit our own entrepreneurs and provide a sustainable legacy of digital innovation for Dorset? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Free Professional Development Events! Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgJune 2014 will see the return of BU’s Festival of Learning.  Last year’s event saw over 4,000 visitors to over 100 events in just 2 weeks.  This year there are even more opportunities to learn something new with events grouped within 8 themes, including Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth, many of which are specifically designed for businesses and professional development.

These events offer an opportunity to network, learn something new or update an existing skill.

Subjects covered include computer animation, media production, software systems, artificial intelligence, business incubation, crowdsourcing and more. There are also a wide range of industry specific events that will that will appeal to those who work in the creative, digital and media sectors.

To find out more about all of their events just take a look at their website.  As well as finding out about events for your business or career there, are also a wide range of events to take your friends and family along to.

To save you some of the legwork, we’ve also been through and picked out some of the most relevant events for the creative and digital sectors:

FOL banner


Why Dorset in the best place to live in the UK

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgWe here at Silicon South make no secret of the fact we love Dorset and think everyone should live here! Recently it’s come to light that we aren’t the only ones who think so.  Here are a few articles that highlight why Dorset is a great place to live and a great place to have your business.

The Metro:

11 reasons Dorset is the best place to live in the UK

Ranging from it’s stunning natural coast line, vibrant festival locations, fantastic transport connections and the range of both big and small businesses in the region this article tells us why Dorset should be number one on your wishlist of where to live.

The Times:

30 best places to live if you’re single

For those of you with a subscription to the Times you can find the full article by clicking on the link above, but coming at at number nine here’s what they had to say about Boscombe:
“What makes it special:
An ambitious project to transform Bournemouth from retiree town to a coastal Silicon Valley (it boasts an unusual number of digital start-ups) is drawing a younger crowd. The are plenty of good clubs too. The new Coastal Activity Park, with all kinds of water-sports and a running trail, has added to the Boscombe beach area’s popularity.”

Dorset Magazine:

10 reasons to love Bournemouth

Recently voted the best UK coastal resort, with seven miles of golden beaches which play host to the annual Bournemouth Air Festival, Bournemouth is a beautiful place to spend your weekends.  There are also opportunities for surfing, some great night life and an all round excellent place to bring the kids.





Growing the creative economy – How the Arts Council are supporting the LEP

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgThe Arts Council are recognizing how valuable the creative industries are to the UK economy.  In fact current estimates suggest the creative sector is worth £71.4 billion to the UK economy with major opportunities for growth.  In order to stimulate this growth the Arts Council are aligning their funding with that of Local LEP’s in order to encourage greater investment in the following areas:

– Employment and skills

  • This includes the creation of over 6,500 new opportunities for unemployed young people through the Creative Employment Programme

– Growing the tourist economy

– Supporting creative sector SMEs

  • Capital: In the places where the Arts Council is investing in capital development there are opportunities for LEPs to use this investment as match, contributing to the sustainability of the local cultural infrastructure and enabling it to drive economic growth. In return for LEP investments we will work to ensure a clear joint funding agreement that meets both of our requirements. Small grant capital projects must be completed within three years of the decision by the Arts Council to award in July 2014.
  • Creative people and places: LEPS could use the Arts Council investment as match to support cultural SMEs and ensure that they are able to contribute economically – to tourism, as part of creative industry clusters, as employers and also to promote social inclusion.
  • Strategic Touring: LEPs could use Arts Council investment as match to jointly invest in extending the reach, diversity and quality of the artistic offer in places where engagement with the arts is currently low. This would underpin growth in arts organisations that can help create jobs, enhance the local visitor offer and also help meet social inclusion objectives.
  • Apply to be a National Portfolio Organisation and work with the Arts Council long term to deliver their strategic goal

– Social inclusion

– Upcoming Arts Council funding


Find out about all the projects going on as part of this funding stream by reading the full report here:  Growing the creative economy – Arts Council Support for LEPs v2