Creative Reality Fund



RTL Group in collaboration with Inception launch the Creative Reality Fund: A pledge of €1 million to foster Group innovation within the field of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

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) are invited to submit their proposals; the only qualifying conditions are a strong commitment to the project and a willingness to collaborate closely with Inception throughout.

In an interview with Backstage, RTL Group CEO Bert Habets, says: "This fund perfectly embraces the spirit of the New Frontiers transformation journey, a spirit that fosters creativity, is not afraid to take risks, collaborates with other RTL units and most importantly always innovates with the goal of staying close to its audience."




The Creative Reality Fund is open to all proposals, Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR), content or platforms.

For a proposal to be successful, it will need to combine as many of the following elements as possible:

  • Appeal to a wider target audience, given that younger demographics are the key target
  • Create new intellectual property (IP) or successfully leverage existing IP
  • Can travel around RTL Group
  • Can be serialised; be more than a one-off production
  • Have a strong commercial potential; bringing in a sponsor or advertiser to the project
  • Use cutting edge of XR capabilities; e.g. gamified, use of hands/body, interactive, social

There must be a clear reason for the content to be in VR/AR as opposed to 2D or a simple mobile app.

Watch the interview of Benny Arbel, the CEO of Inception, to learn more:


“What are we looking for?”

Benny Arbel, CEO of Inception explains the concept

How does it work?



  • All RTL Group Business Units can apply (broadcast, content, digital)
  • All proposals must be submitted by Friday 14 December 2018


  • The Selection Committee consists of top RTL’s top executives
  • The Selection Committee will convene shortly after the application period and will decide which proposals will be funded and the specific level and structure of the funding
  • There may be further rounds of applications and funding if the pledged amount is not fully allocated in this first round
  • The selection criteria are described in the section 'What are we looking for'
  • The Selection Committee will also consider the level of commitment and participation of the proposing Business Unit. Funding on top of the mandatory contribution (i.e. the BU also covering part of the external expenses such as talent, production, travel etc) or securing external sponsorship or commercial clients for the project will be considered favourably.


  • RTL Group will cover out-of-pocket expenses for the project, but not expenses for internal resources or for IP licencing (e.g. when extending an existing format) or any other type of prior work carried out and already paid for (e.g. a 3D model that was already acquired for a different project in the past)
  • Inception will provide consulting, cover the internal development costs, and offer prior IP, technology and platforms free-of-cost
  • The BU contribution includes internal resources (e.g. staff time) and prior IP and resources already in the possession of the company (mandatory BU contribution)
  • The details of the funding structure of the selected projects will be agreed between RTL Group, Inception and the applying Business Unit



The application process is simple; you will be guided by the RTL Group Corporate Centre and Inception throughout. You do not need to create a multi-page business plan, but for a short and concise description of the idea plus a draft budget.

The first step after coming up with a good idea is to discuss it internally and make sure that there is management commitment. The next step is to contact Inception to (a) check whether your idea is feasible and meets the basic criteria for selection, and (b) evaluate the technical and financial aspects of your project. You will then create your proposal together.

How to apply?

In order to apply to the Creative Reality Fund, you will have to submit a proposal (either in PowerPoint or Word, not exceeding 3 pages), covering the following elements:


Basic Data:

  • Applying Business Unit
  • Contact person (incl. contact details)
  • Project name


Project Description:

  • Describe the creative idea for your project
  • Describe your target audience and how your project could scale across audiences or markets
  • If your project is linked to existing IP please briefly describe the existing format / IP and its distribution and audience
  • What are potential spin-offs of the project, if any?
  • What is the potential for securing external funding from sponsors, B2B or B2C sales or any other source of income?


Project Organisation:

  • Internal 'Sponsor' of the project (a senior executive of the company)
  • Which internal teams and resources are going to be used for the project?
  • How is the project team going to be structured?


Project Budget

  • Provide a top-level draft budget clearly distinguishing between external costs (e.g. production costs, external licences, freelancers) and internal costs (internal FTEs effort)
  • Provide a projection of the revenues - if any


Please note that your budget must be discussed and agreed with Inception in terms of the effort and cost needed for the VR/ AR elements to be produced by Inception.

Whom to contact?

Please contact Inception in order to start a discussion regarding your creative idea and work out the project proposal together.


Please contact RTL Group in case you have any general questions on the Creative Reality Fund or need further guidance.





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.

Application Process

Who can participate?

The competition is open to all Business Units of RTL Group (broadcast, content, digital and independent of it being a fully owned entity or not) and employees of all departments and seniority levels. Business Units can also collaborate on common projects or submit coproduction proposals with external entities.


We have a great idea for a project, what do we do?

The first step is to talk to your own organisation, as submissions come from businesses and not from individuals. A project will only be successful if it is supported from the management of your organisation and executed from the appropriate team within it.


Our company would like to take part, what should we do now, what are the different steps of the application process?

Once you have an initial idea, you should first contact Inception, in order to discuss technical and commercial feasibility but also estimate the development and running cost of the project. Consulting from Inception in the drafting phase of the proposal is free-of-charge. Based on this exchange and your internal analysis, we kindly ask you to prepare a concept and simple business plan to be submitted as the proposal for funding.


Until when do we have to submit our project idea?

The deadline for project submissions is Friday 14 December 2018. In order to be ready by then, you need to contact Inception some weeks in advance, so that you can discuss the viability of your idea and potentially co-develop a small concept and a budget.


By when can we expect an answer whether our project is selected or not?

The selection committee will convene shortly after the submission deadline, to select the proposal(s) that will eventually be funded.


Who will decide which ideas are funded?

The final decision will be made by a selection committee comprising the CEO of Inception and senior executives of RTL Group.


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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