Hothaus welcomes the ‘Gok Wan’ of the creative industries to Bangor


Percy Emmett will be visiting Bangor this week to deliver Hothaus, a four-day course for the region’s creative entrepreneurs. The course, which is free of charge for participants, will be held at Bangor’s Management Centre from April 21st – 24th 2015.

Percy, who is based in Carmarthenshire, is the author and designer of “Creative Start Up” and a highly experienced specialist trainer and strategist in all areas of creative and cultural industries. He has first-hand knowledge of the sector having set up and run five creative businesses spanning the design, craft, fashion and publishing industries and building annual income to £1.7m. He is a major collaborator with many national organisations including NESTA and The British Council as well as over 30 universities in the UK and abroad.

Percy said, “I run training programmes in 11 countries around the world and Hothaus is a fantastic initiative built on a model of ideas generation and interrogation. Last year we had 10 entrepreneurs taking part and this year we have double that number which is great. The ideas are being generated and there is a clear demand for tailored support and advice for digital and design businesses in particular.

“The course isn’t necessarily about analyzing how we are doing in Wales per se, but it is about assisting the region’s creative entrepreneurs to mature strategically and enable the cross fertilization of ideas to deliver growth for Welsh business on a global level.

“Hothaus complements and cements the offer for north Wales’ new and emerging companies. With the establishment of Arloesi Pontio Innovation there is now a solid platform for the creative economy, which has been needed in north Wales for a while. Driven by Dr Andy Goodman, the project has a very different philosophy on how to develop such an economic sector. It’s still early days, but in my view he has methodically created a unique eco-system through a great deal of diagnostic work and this course and its outcomes form a necessary step in creating the right support for the region’s creative economy and to ultimately make it sustainable.”

The unique four-day workshop will offer the opportunity for a total of 24 creative entrepreneurs to explore business ideas and their viability with experts, whilst progressing the development of individual skills for setting up and running a creative enterprise. The EU-funded TESLA Hothaus initiative is based on the Creative Enterprise Toolkit, developed by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

The workshops use creative modelling, planning and design techniques to help creative entrepreneurs visualise their business and develop step-by-step actions to achieve their vision. The toolkit provides guidance, activities, worksheets and case studies to challenge individuals to draw on their creative and personal strengths.

Dr Andy Goodman, Director, Pontio Design Studio, said, “Growing a business built on passion alone can be rewarding, but for a business to succeed there may be a need to shift focus from creative practice to strategic business development.

“Hothaus will provide the tools and expertise needed to help creative entrepreneurs to focus on their business. These will include identifying values, target customers, measures of success, marketing activities and cash flow modeling.

“By the end of the 4-day programme, course participants will leave with the confidence to drive their business idea forward, the tools to make it sustainable; and also the crucial information they will require to develop an operational plan, marketing strategy and financial plan.”

A past course participant, Olu Peyrasse, owner of online business Make the Most, said, “I took part in the Hothaus 4-day intensive course last year and what an experience! You couldn’t put a price on what the University was offering for free – the level of expertise in the room, the ‘eye-opening’ conversations, hands-on work and the lasting business contacts are all fantastic. I never considered myself, or my business, as ‘creative’ but I was assured that an online business was and so I went along anxiously.

“I was actually slightly ahead of most of the other attendees in that I had just incorporated my business and had begun to speak with potential clients and partners. This made me nervous about giving away my ‘secrets’ and spending 4 whole days away from ‘work’.

“How wrong I was – those 4 days are still the most productive 4 days I have had to date and it was this course which made me become more open minded and realise that I needed to give my ‘secrets’ away in order to develop relationships, ideas and business potential in the long-term. There are no lone-wolves in business!

“Since the course I have worked regularly with some of the advisors and have gotten my business up and running. We are now approaching the end of phase 1 and are re-developing the business for expansion thanks to the help I have received – all stemming from this course!”

Another previous course participant, Edward Paice, Managing Director of Bangor-based software innovators Ffenics, added, ”The course Is a great opportunity to work through your business concept in a very structured, but creative environment enabling you to really flesh out any plans.

“If you’ve got an idea, but not sure how to proceed, I can wholly recommend it as a great use of your time.”

Fore more information on the workshop please follow the link below: