Sony Music UK and Digital Catapult launch accelerator programme for Black founders

Programme opens to early-stage founders leading new technologies in digital entertainment

The UK digital entertainment industry is booming, but not everyone has equal access to the networks and resources needed to succeed. This is especially true for Black founders, who often face structural barriers when raising startup funding.

In response, Sony Music UK and Digital Catapult have launched the FutureScope Black Founders Programme, an initiative to support the next generation of Black founders and startups in digital entertainment.

Tailored support

Over 16 weeks, the programme will provide up to 10 startup entrepreneurs with tailored masterclasses, workshops, and mentoring from entertainment and advanced technology experts.

The programme is specifically designed to positively impact Black entrepreneurs exploring advanced digital technologies in digital entertainment, including music, arts, entertainment, and gaming. The programme will also provide networking opportunities to support their business growth journey.

The FutureScope Black Founders Programme is being run in collaboration with Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative, forming the latest step in Sony Music’s wider strategy to promote innovation and social justice in the music ecosystem.

Black Founders

The programme will be supported by ‘Musiio by SoundCloud’ and will feature engagement from startup experts and investors from Kinhub, Sure Valley Ventures, and FOC Ventures, alongside mentorship from digital entertainment specialists at Sony Music Group and deep tech expertise from Digital Catapult’s technologists.

The economic and cultural value of the UK’s digital entertainment industry is undisputed, but research from Atomico – an international investment firm – found that 62% of Black entrepreneurs have found it increasingly hard to raise venture capital.

77% of Black founders disagreed that the European tech system is fair, and only 38 Black entrepreneurs received venture capital funding between 2009 and 2019, just 0.24% of the total sum invested. 

The programme

The FutureScope Black Founders Programme aims to help level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs of early-stage startups by improving their access to networks and resources needed to raise startup funding.

The deadline for applications is 28 May 2023. Please see here for information on the application criteria and how to apply.

The programme is a crucial step towards a more inclusive and diverse digital entertainment industry. The impact it will have on the next generation of Black entrepreneurs should be significant.

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