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Media Cube Accelerator 2023

The pilot Accelerator programme was launched by the Media Cube team on the 4th of June and proved to be a great success. The Summer Accelerator programme was designed by Rachel Gallagher, the Enterprise and Innovation Manager. Recognising that there was potential in offering a knowledge transfer programme designed for the students and graduates from the Faculty of Film, Arts and Creative Technologies, (FACT) Rachel devised a new type of programme specifically designed to assist the FACT participants in developing their skill in entrepreneurship.

Seventeen IADT students from film production, animation, stage and set design and psychology were selected for the programme and participated in this one-month intensive programme. The programme highlights included a special ‘Industry Day’ where the students met entrepreneurs from the Media Cube met the participants who showcased their products.

The Accelerator closed with a final ‘Pitch Perfect’ event in front of IADT staff and industry participants. The event was a great success and the Media Cube is delighted to announce the winners for the 2023 accelerator.

First Prize

Luke O’Shaughnessy and Ailill Martin – Small Fish Productions

After winning the top prize at the inaugural Accelerator programme, Luke gave his thoughts on the programme:

'Attending the Media Cube Accelerator programme was the best decision for our company to take. Fresh out of college, where we spent four years studying Film and Television at the NFS, my Co-Founder Ailill Martin and I were fortunate enough to be accepted into the program.

Our idea was to establish a film production company that specialised in creating Irish-centred documentaries and promotional content for Irish brands. While we were confident in our creative skills after years of study, we recognised a gap in our business knowledge essential to establishing a company.

The accelerator programme proved immensely valuable in teaching us essential business concepts Such as defining your business, understanding its value proposition to customers, and crafting a comprehensive business plan.

Throughout the programme, we had the privilege of attending talks by successful entrepreneurs from diverse fields. Our mentors, Caitlin Hafer and Raomal Perera, provided invaluable guidance and support throughout the journey, and were always there to address any queries. Additionally, participating in this programme granted us the time and financial freedom to focus on developing our business.

At the end of the programme, we were thrilled and honoured to emerge as winners of the accelerator pitch competition. Standing alongside numerous other fantastic ideas and businesses. The programme instilled the confidence we needed to pursue our company fulltime.

We have continued to work diligently on our venture after the programme concluded. We are now fully open for commissions to create creative promotional content for either you or your company.

Feel free to explore our work at WWW.smallfish.Productions. Additonally, you can reach us via our email at smallfishproductions.ie@gmail.com or by phone at (353) 86-8879673.'

Second Prize

Denise Greene, Natasha Cloran and Sarah Healy – Pencil Hub

While working as a special needs assistant for primary schools, Denise Greene, Co-founder of Pencil Hub witnessed children coming to school without the necessary supplies. This had a huge negative effect on the children’s mental health and their education. It also caused lower productivity for the whole class. Denise, Natasha and Sarah are passionate about spreading the word about Pencil Hub, the second prize winner at the Accelerator.

What is Pencil Hub?

'Pencil Hub is a not-for-profit start-up that aims to help children in schools who may not have access to the necessary school supplies they need. This happens for many reasons, such as poverty, poor organisational skills, neurodiversity or unsafe home lives. Teachers were paying for stationary out of their own pockets. We help by placing a shared stationary supply in the classroom for all students. This means all children can have what they need without making them feel stigmatised or embarrassed.

Last December, we won a place on Citibank's Pathways 2 progress where we won seed funding of €1000 this was run in conjunction with Enactus Ireland, and the money allowed us to run a pilot in two primary schools, one north county Dublin and one south county Dublin.

The pilot was a huge success, helping the children and the teachers. We are also moving into a school in Sallynoggin before the children return in September, and with supporters and business partners, we can help many more children in the coming months and years.

We worked with Enactus Ireland last year and competed in the Enactus Ireland National competition in June, placing in the top 4, and we were awarded the Spirit of Enactus Award. Winning a prize at the Accelerator program gave Pencil Hub extra funds to help more children this September.'

To find out more about Pencil Hub, click here.

Third Prize

The Midnight Mass

Eimear is a Dublin-based artist, with a passion for experimental and animated filmmaking. She studied Animation in IADT, and has worked on several award-winning short films. She has had her work screened in various film festivals, both in Ireland and abroad.

Róisín is an animator and film director based in Dublin, Ireland.  She's  particularly interested in creating emotive pieces using experimentation within the medium of animation. She's drawn to non-narrative films which focus on lone characters in strange worlds. She has a bachelors degree in Animation and recently finished her short film 2% BABY which will be showing in festivals soon.

As two animators at the early stages of our careers, we have experienced first-hand the obstacles facing less established animation artists, particularly those whose work is geared towards adult audiences, or whose visual style doesn't fit in with that of the mainstream animation studios in Ireland, with only ten percent of recent Irish animation graduates working in Irish animation studios, and less than six percent of the content produced by Irish animation studios being aimed towards adult audiences.

THE MIDNIGHT MASS is an animation collective that aims to both tackle the lack of opportunities for such artists, and seeks to deliver fresh and exciting animated content to adult audiences.

We strive to support artists with alternative voices, giving them an opportunity to collaborate, share resources and knowledge, gain experience, and experiment with new and innovative avenues in their work by engaging in broad research and experimentation practices. Our community-focused approach is unique, and we are committed to bridging an immense gap in the market, both for animators and audiences alike. 

We are available for freelance work and would love to hear from you! Check out our website: 


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