2022 Creative Innovator Program

6 January 2022

The Helpmann Academy has awarded 13 emerging creatives from a range of creative disciplines with a place in the second iteration of the Creative Innovator Program – a comprehensive initiative developed to assist creative entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.

Generously supported by a group of philanthropic partners and donors and Arts South Australia, the Helpmann Academy Creative Innovator Program is a eight month tailored program designed to support participants to develop their business model and hone their entrepreneurial mindset. Each participant will receive $2,000 seed funding, matched one-on-one mentoring from an established arts practitioner, access to workshops and masterclasses delivered by leading business professionals, contact with a pool of industry experts and business advisors, access to a co-working workspace, as well as networking and pitching opportunities.

The program then culminates in an event where the recipient/s of the major seed funding are announced.

In 2021 three creative entrepreneurial businesses shared in $45,000 in seed funding through the Creative Innovator Program. Flinders University graduates, Alexander Salkicevic and Bryce Kraehenbuehl received $20,000 in seed funding for their film production business, Two Up Films, after impressing the pitch panel with their innovative business model.

“We would say that as artists, this program might be the most useful opportunity we’ve ever been given to seriously look at our craft and work out how to make a sustainable living from it. Before the Creative Innovator Program, we thought our business idea was years away before being achieved. However, with all the amazing guidance we gained, it opened our eyes to all the creative avenues we can go down now that are attainable.”

The full list of Helpmann Academy Creative Innovator Program participants for 2022:

Brooke Bowering (Flinders University graduate) is an emerging film and television producer who forms one part of CSP Digital, a multimedia company. Brooke is looking forward to learning from industry professionals and collaborating with other creatives, while developing a solid business plan.

Chloe Tornow (Flinders University graduate) is an emerging fashion designer who runs equestrian apparel business, Tornow Equestrian. With an interest and passion for tech apparel, Chloe has designed a tailored equestrian jacket with impact protection built into the design.

Felicity Boyd (Flinders University graduate) is an emerging dancer who co-founded dance collective, Motus Collective in 2019. Felicity goals for the program involve better equipping herself and her collective colleagues and collaborators with the tools that will allow them to continue employing local artists and engaging local audiences.

Emily Eilers and Hannah Ranger (Flinders University Honours graduates) are two emerging filmmakers looking to establish a film production company that focuses on documentaries about women-led stories, LGBTQ+ issues and disability rights; a company that promotes and celebrates diversity through media.

Melissa Pullinger, Ren Williams, Aarod Vawser and Connor Reidy (Flinders University Honours graduates) form the CRAM Collective, a new South Australian independent arts company with a focus on ‘cramming’ a range of creatives and art forms together to create groundbreaking, brave, new work. The collective hope to develop their business model and hone their entrepreneurial mindset as a creative company through the program.

Olivia Kathigitis (University of South Australia Honours graduate) is an emerging sculptor and jewellery designer who is looking to build on the success of her jewellery design business Okay Kathigitis by creating a strong business model and stable future plan. Part of this plan includes honing the structure of the wax casting workshops she has recently begun hosting in her studio space.

Sofia Torchia (University of Adelaide Honours graduate) is an emerging musician who hopes to develop her app idea, ‘Baratto’. Baratto is an app that aims to connect artists based on the skills/knowledge they already have and the new ones they would like to build. Through connecting with other artists and sharing of skills, Baratto aims to empower artists to grow their support system, build new skills with others, and grow together as artists.

Susie Althorp (Flinders University Honours graduate) is an emerging ceramicist who is looking to translate her exhibition pieces into a polished line of customised porcelain lighting designs for domestic and commercial settings.

Tim Wiffen (University of Adelaide graduate) is an emerging podcast producer/director/editor who hopes to grow his production business, Whimsy Productions, which takes inspiration from NPR in America and ABC Radio National in Australia.


Image: Motus Collective, press image for their 2021 performance piece White Rhino, photo by Felicity Boyd.