Belfast creative given opportunity of a lifetime
17 Nov 2017
One lucky creative entrepreneur, Charlene Hegarty of Zero Myth, Belfast, has been given the opportunity of a lifetime.
As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, Belfast City Council invited entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing digital or immersive technology, music, film, television or cyber security services for the international market to pitch their innovative business ideas for the chance to attend South by Southwest (SXSW), the world’s leading conference for music, film and interactive technology in Austin Texas from 9-18 March 2018.
Three shortlisted companies delivered a three-minute elevator pitch to a panel of industry experts, at the Oh Yeah Centre in Cathedral Quarter during Output Belfast.
Charlene Hegarty will now receive £2,000 in financial support to attend the world-renowned SXSW event, the leading conference for music, film and interactive technology, taking place in Austin, Texas, 9 – 18 March 2018. Charlene will also receive up to £1,000 of support including one year’s free membership at the Innovation Factory, along with business development support and mentoring.
Charlene’s company, Zero Myth, is a creative development company specialising in artist and project management, offering “individual support for international results”. The company has secured exclusive intellectual property rights of one of Northern Ireland's most innovative and inventive songwriters - Katharine Philippa, working in collaboration to fund and record an LP ready for launch in 2018.
The other shortlisted Belfast based entrepreneurs were:
• James Gumble of Xpand Group Ltd, a team of eight developers and designers who have worked over the last two years to develop a new market intelligence application focused on the research and development and financial lending sector.
• Paul McNally of Stylografik, a design, branding and motion studio which has developed brands for clients including Mount Charles, Kaffe O and Mencap over the last two years. In 2014 Paul was awarded a DANI Award for website design; and the company is currently producing a film about the Ormeau Road’s former Curzon Cinema.
Councillor Mairéad O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “A key part of our Belfast Agenda is developing Belfast’s international business connections, so we’ve been hugely encouraged by the calibre of companies pitching for this exciting opportunity to take their business to a global level.
“We selected Charlene Hegarty because of her strong and innovative business pitch, but also because she evidently has the confidence and energy to engage with the big players, build her networks and make the most of the incredible opportunities presented by SXSW in terms of new investment, partnerships and profile. I wish Charlene every success.”
South by Southwest (SXSW) began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and scale. The music event grew from 700 delegates in its first year, to over 28,000 and film and interactive events are now attracting over 51,000 delegates. Keynote speakers have included Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton and Danny Boyle.