The course has been great allowing me to develop new skills and learn more about new technologies.Christian KoteyNWRC HND student in Digital Design
A North West Regional College student (NWRC) who spent 25 years working as an on-screen special effects artist, says his new business flourished after receiving advice and guidance from the college’s Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Alastair Cameron.
Christian Kotey who is in the final year of a Higher National Diploma in Digital Design at NWRC’s Strand Road campus now runs his own multi award winning business, NuPitch.
He previously spent 25 years working in special effects on productions such as The Walking Dead, Alien vs Predator, Halloween, and Jurassic World before illness forced him to look at the hectic pace of his life and make some changes.
Now Christian is the chief executive of his own business, NuPitch, which supports filmmakers to create pitch decks to formulate their ideas into a business plan making it ready for the screen.
He’s already won a £10k TechStart grant, £750 from the Lab Fund, was a finalist in the Invent 2023 and Ideator Awards, and is now in the co-founder programme for Catalyst.
Christian decided to leave his life in Malta where he worked as a special effects artist after suffering a serious case of pneumonia.
He explained: “After pneumonia, I realised I couldn’t continue with my work in the industry as it had been. Standing for long days just wasn’t possible anymore. I’m a single dad with a ten-year-old son and we decided to return home to Dungannon, Northern Ireland. I knew I wanted to go back to college, and, as I had experience in storyboarding and animation, the Digital Design HND at NWRC looked like a good option so I relocated to the North West and enrolled at college. The course has been great allowing me to develop new skills and learn more about new technologies.”
Christian said he had no expectations about becoming an entrepreneur but after meeting Alastair Cameron, who works two days a week at NWRC as EIR, he received invaluable advice.
“Some positive feedback I received was to develop the business into an app,” he said. “I wouldn’t have got the business this far without the support from Alastair. It’s key as a start-up that you receive support like this, and you’re given access to key people in the industry. Entrepreneurship is a hard journey that’s made so much easier with people like Alastair.”
Christian is due to graduate from his course in 2024 when he’ll dedicate himself to the business full-time.
Alastair Cameron, NWRC’s EIR said: “My first year as the college’s EIR has been hugely successful and I’ve enjoyed meeting so many students who have demonstrated such entrepreneurship potential and creative flair. We have already hosted our first Ideator awards, celebrating the business ideas of students, staff, and alumni, and we look forward to the 2024 awards in the New Year.
“Christian is one of many students who have started their own business and are now forging their careers as entrepreneurs. It’s vital that as a college we continue with this focus on mentoring and networking to support students. I look forward to using my experience and connections in the coming year to support students.”
Students wishing to speak to Alastair can email him at Alastair.email@example.com or read the Entrepreneurship booklet online at: https://www.nwrc.ac.uk/assets/files/Exploring-Entrepreneurship-Booklet-23-24.pdf