Prize money to boost development of Newtownabbey man’s sci-fi children’s comedy

Dave Caskey, winner of the 140 Second Club creative business programme, pictured with cast members from Astro Crew, his animated sci-fi action comedy for children.  INCT 30-732-CON
Dave Caskey, winner of the 140 Second Club creative business programme, pictured with cast members from Astro Crew, his animated sci-fi action comedy for children. INCT 30-732-CON

A Newtownabbey man who is developing a new animated sci-fi action comedy for children has been named as the £1000 winner of the 140 Second Club, a sectoral enhancement programme for new start and early stage creative businesses in the Belfast City Council area.

Funded by the council and Ulster University, creative entrepreneurs taking part in the 140 Second Club over the past six months worked with leading practitioners from across the creative industries to maximise the potential of their ideas and creative talents.

Celebrating his win, Dave Caskey, whose animated series Astro Crew is currently in development said: “The 140 Second Club was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot, received help from some amazing entrepreneurs, professionals and a top class mentor. I met some genuinely nice people in the other members, some of whom I hope to be calling on in the future to avail of their wide variety of skills. The £1000 prize money really will go a long way towards getting Astro Crew, which is targeted at an international market, developed and promoted.”

All participants in the 140 Second Club engaged in ‘creative concept clinics’ designed to guide them in the development of their ideas through to successful concepts and viable business outcomes. The enterprises were then matched with industry mentors to advise on individual product and market development.

At the end of the programme, participants were invited to pitch their creative product offering to a panel of experts who selected the most original proposition with potential to be commercialised.

The high standard and wide range of businesses involved in the 140 Second Club is reflected by decision of the panel to award two runners-up prizes of £250.

These went to Joanne Casey, whose business is a self-service restaurant app called Food Envy and Carrie Davenport, who is developing photography training project Shoot Positive.

Praising the work of the programme participants, Brendan McGoran, Creative Industries Officer at Belfast City Council said: “The calibre of the ideas and businesses participating on the 140 Second Club has been outstanding and working with the innovation team at Ulster University has helped give these companies the much-needed support to take their businesses to their next level of growth.”