Creative Reality Fund

In October 2018, the Creative Reality Fund was announced – a pledge of €1 million together with Inception to fund new and innovative ideas in the field of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). 

This fund is aimed to encourage RTL Group’s Business Units (BUs) to imagine new and innovative ideas for the future and to help them execute these ideas by covering part or the whole investment required. Ultimately the Creative Reality Fund is about harnessing the future potential of VR/AR while creating the next generation of RTL’s intellectual property (IP).  

All RTL Group Business Units (broadcast, content, digital) were invited to submit their proposals; the only qualifying conditions were a strong commitment to the project and a willingness to collaborate closely with Inception throughout.

Since then many creative minds got to work, resulting in a wide-range of innovative ideas for the jury to consider.

In total 12 projects coming from eight different companies, the applications varied from VR immersion into a popular cult series of the 90’s, to timelines of famous politicians, to creating holograms of celebrities.

Four different proposals were selected by the Jury as the winning projects.

  • Centres of power by N-TV, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland
  • Town Tales by UFA X/Divimove
  • The Dark Room by Hare and Tortoise, Fremantle
  • Enter the Room by RTL Nederland


Hare & Tortoise: The Dark Room (left) UFA X: Town Tales (right)

N-TV: Centres of Power (left) and RTL Nederland: Enter the Room (right)


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What is the Creative Reality Fund?

It is a fund set up by RTL Group and Inception (an RTL Group minority investment) in order to support creative ideas in the fields of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The fund may support one or more projects from RTL Group Business Units in one or more rounds of funding, up to the total amount of €1,000,000.


What is Inception ?

Inception is a pioneer in VR and AR production and distribution. Based in Israel, with offices in the UK and the US, it has been a minority investment of RTL Group since August 2017. You can read more about Inception here


Why does RTL Group launch this initiative now?

Because we need to be ready if and when these technologies pick up. It will take considerable time to build creative assets, capabilities and talent, so we need to start early. At the same time we would like to take advantage of shorter-term opportunities e.g. in AR, which is already available in circa 1 billion mobile phones.


What exactly does the proposal have to include, what are the deliverables?

The project plan should include the following elements: short pitch of the creative idea, business logic and goals/KPIs of the project, as well as a draft budget incl. internal (BU) resources needed for completion of the project (e.g. staff time), cash expenses and Inception resources & costs.


What could be potential ideas developed for the fund?

The (B2C)-solution you will conceptualise might be a product, a platform, an experience or a game for either VR or AR elements. The best ideas can scale to a larger audience and can potentially 'travel' in more than one country. We welcome ideas that either create new IP or build upon successful RTL IP and/or existing platforms/products. Furthermore, it should build on the strengths of VR/AR; there must be a clear reason for the content to be in VR/AR vs normal 2D video or mobile apps.


Is there a possibility to submit a project idea which does not include Inception, e.g. foresees to work with another 3rd party provider in the field of extended reality?

No, the project idea needs to involve Inception as developer and technical provider of the AR or VR solution, generating Group-wide synergies. The Creative Reality Fund is co-created by RTL Group and Inception with contributions from both sides.


Can a proposal be linked to a TV or other project that starts later in 2019, i.e. request funding for a project that will start in three or six months?

Yes, all proposals are welcome. A good idea may be funded regardless of the starting time of production or launch date – especially as bigger productions are expected to be brought for funding at the development stage.


What are the funding principles, how is the funding structured?

RTL Group and Inception have pledged a sum of €1 million for one or more projects. The amount may be allocated in one phase (i.e. projects that are submitted until 14 December) or more (i.e. consequent application periods if there’s available funding). The funding of RTL Group can be in cash contributions to the projects or other forms of indirect funding, while the funding of Inception will mainly be in the form of free services, including consulting and development. The exact structure will depend on the nature of the project and will be agreed by all parties.


Does our company have to provide funding for the project?

The participating companies do not necessarily have to provide cash funding per se, although they can voluntarily. Nevertheless, they are expected to show real commitment to the project by providing the necessary resources free-of-charge, mobilise sponsors and find other ways to secure revenue or decrease the out-of-pocket costs of the project. The level of own participation will play a significant role in the prioritisation of projects from the selection committee.


Will the RTL Group or Inception pay for the value of the IP that we contribute to the project?

No – any contribution of previously developed IP or technology does not count into the budget / contributions of the project, whether this comes from your Business Unit or Inception.


How do we know how much our proposal will cost?

As a first step of the application process, you will contact Inception. They will advise on the viability but also the costs your idea, especially in regards to producing in Virtual or Augmented Reality.


What if the proposal costs more than €1m or in general more than the amount that is initially allocated from the Creative Reality Fund?

All proposals are welcome, irrespective of the total investment amount. In this case, the proposing Business Unit will need to find external co-producers, sponsors or decide to fund part of the cost internally – at least for the cost that exceeds the amount allocated from the Creative Reality Fund.




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