The IdeasTap website offers a central resource for young creatives and information on how to access its grants and funding.
It sounds almost too good to be true - a funding body with a secure stash of cash and a remit to help young creatives.
Started by entrepreneur Peter de Haan, whose father founded the Saga Group, IdeasTap tries to help young creatives find their feet by offering them grants, discounts, training, information and more via a central website hub. The key target audience is 16-25 year olds but, in view of the difficulty of breaking into photography, the organisation stretches the upper age limit to 30 for young photographers in some cases. All they have to do is sign up as a member.
The Peter de Haan Charitable Trust was founded in 1999 with a fund of £25m and although this will slowly dwindle, IdeasTap has a total of £200,000 to give away this year to creatives between 16-25. The Ideas Fund Innovators is open all year with four deadlines for submissions, offering £1000 a pop to bring innovative ideas to fruition. Grants are also available to make short films and the Summer Ideas Fund will launch in June.
In addition IdeasTap has partnered up with organisations such as Magnum Photos and Metro Imaging. Magnum Photos recently offered free places to IdeasTap members on its forthcoming Professional Practice training weekend, for example, and hopes to create discounted and specially-targetted training for IdeasTap members in future. Magnum Photos also supports IdeasTap's now-annual photography competition, putting a paid internship at Magnum London and a trip to Magnum New York up for grabs. This competition will launch again in March, so look out for more details in future.
Metro Imaging, meanwhile, will soon be offering student rates on printing and processing to all IdeasTap members, whatever their educational status. IdeasTap members can also upload their portfolio to the site, both giving them an online presence and making it easy for them to hook up with other members or discuss problems and ideas. The IdeasTap site also offer a busy jobs board, with vacancies and placements suitable for young creatives.
IdeasTap isn't the only resource targetted at young photographers - check out the Young Photographers Alliance and Young Photographers United for more ideas, discounts and funds. BJP's Olivier Laurent interviewed both organisations about their work back in July in a feature you can see here.
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