Poplabs, a new incubator focused on social impact through storytelling, launches today to give creative startups the tools and support they need to create commercially viable businesses.
The mission of the incubator is to contribute to building a more diverse and inclusive Australian storytelling industry with a global standard of expertise.
Leading storytellers, entrepreneurs, and changemakers committed to building the future ecosystem of impact-driven creative businesses have come together to partner with and support the Poplabs team. Poplabs is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources through Incubator Support initiative funding as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
Deanne Weir, Founder of WeirAnderson.com who invests in social impact entrepreneurs and storytellers, says “Poplabs can help Australian creatives to be fearless to validate and accelerate their projects, giving them a better path to market and ongoing success.”
Richard Cawsey, Founder and Managing Partner of Denali Venture Partners who brings his business acumen as an advisor to the incubator says “Poplabs allows a number of potential productions to be simultaneously, quickly and economically brought to a stage where key distribution and production financing support can be realised; cutting years and many thousands of dollars from the task of bringing projects to life.”
Founder of Capital Human Manita Ray who focuses on building impactful businesses says, “Storytelling shifts minds, intentionality creates impact, and capital scales this impact. This is what Poplabs is doing by finding and supporting the country’s emerging creative minds to drive impact. We are addressing the disadvantages and inequity often amplified by the interconnectedness of gender, age, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and disability.”
The Poplabs Incubator helps creatives to develop commercial skills, education, and knowledge to validate and accelerate their creative businesses so they can be competitive in the global landscape. By applying startup methodologies, and mentorship by industry experts, the program’s vision is to foster a more inclusive industry so that ultimately social impact can be driven by a new era of diverse voices in storytelling.
Poplabs Co-Founder Sarah Mak says, “Storytelling has the power to drive real change, but our creatives are often struggling to make a living. Right now, the data shows that our storytelling industry is broken. Our stories are supposed to shape and define us, how can they when so many of us are underrepresented? Without all of our stories heard, we will not solve our greatest challenges. This is why Poplabs has been created.”
Creative businesses including films, documentaries, podcasts, content production, virtual reality, augmented reality, and technology platforms are encouraged to apply to take part in creating a new sustainable, impact-driven content industry in Australia with a global standard of expertise. Poplabs will invest early-stage funding into selected businesses to grow their skills, set their impact goals, and develop their first saleable storytelling project. Applications for Cohort One are open now to residents across Australia and closes 11.59pm AEST 18 September 2020. To apply for the 11-week program go to www.poplabs.com.au
Sarah Mak continues “Stories make us feel, they drive change and define us. We want to build a thriving, inclusive, and equitable creative ecosystem that plays a significant role in driving societal change. Will you join us?”