Entrepreneurial Spark and My Surprise Commission

If you’ve been keeping up to date with recent events around here, you’ll be very aware that I left my office job of 17 yrs at the end of November to start my own Belfast based 3D Visualisation business.

How liberating.

And also extremely scary.

I’ve absolutely no experience when it comes to sustaining a successful business and decided that it would probably be a very good idea to enlist the support of knowledgeable folk to help ease me into this minefield.

There’s heaps of online advice and guidance out there when it comes to startups but sometimes you just can’t beat the reassurance of engaging with actual people.  Never mind the networking opportunities that could present themselves.

Networking 1

So when I found out that Entrepreneurial Spark, the UK’s leading startup accelerator was delivering one of their 6 month programs in Belfast (for the first time) in February, I was ALL OVER IT.

I completed my online application and received the news that I had been invited for interview.


Then I realised that this interview required the applicant to present a 60 second pitch.


I mean, I’ve abseiled down a 279 ft building.

I’ve sampled roasted BONE MARROW with a Parmesan crust for flip sake!

I can do THIS!

But a 60 second pitch, are you KIDDING ME?

Anyway, I did the interview (and completed the pitch with 4 seconds to spare!) and was informed a day or two later that I had been selected.


Before the interviews took place, we were invited to watch a short video that provided background information on Entrepreneurial Spark, which featured its co-founder, Lucy-Rose.

Lucy Rose Entrepreneurial Spark copy

A week or so later I received an email from Lucy-Rose (I KNOW!), asking if I could provide a 3D walkthrough animation of one of the new Entrepreneurial Spark ‘hatcheries’.

How awesome!

I don’t normally provide animations (they’re time-consuming and costly!) and I don’t have the software to provide photo-real walkthroughs but it is possible to create animations in SketchUp.  So, (thinking on my feet), I suggested creating a SketchUp animation and then transitioning the final frame into a photo-real 3D scene.

She was more than happy with that.


I was utterly thrilled!  Imagine being successful at applying for Entrepreneurial Spark and THEN have them as a client??!!

After receiving all the necessary information I set to work.  I constructed the model, created the photo-real 3D visual:..

Entrepreneurial Spark Final 3D Visual

…and then researched some uplifting corporate style background music for the animation (licensed, of course).  I’m not ashamed to admit that once I played the final animation that I teared up.  It’s that darn uplifting music!

Ok, it’s not.  I’m clearly passionate about what I do, take pride in my work and my emotions are all over the place from I made the life changing decision to quit my job for a new entrepreneurial career.  Gimme a break!

Here’s the final 3D walkthrough in all its glory!  I’m going to blog about my experience as an Entrepreneurial Spark ‘chiclet’ once the program starts in February; so keep your eyes pealed!  Here’s to my new journey!  #GODO


  1. Brian Shaw says:

    Hi Anita,

    You are absolutely right about animations (unless you work for Pixar). I have tried a couple using trial software but it just isn’t worth the time or effort for those of us who don’t have massive computing power to hand.

    A job for an Australian client I am doing at the moment had animation in the brief. In a most roundabout way I told him I don’t do it because he would be restricted in his exploration of the model. With animation your client only sees what the video has captured. No good for those who want to explore! Sketchup is great for producing a quasi animation which makes a good jumping off point for getting into the hidden corners.

    Well done on the entrepreneurial front and look forward to the progress reports.


    Liked by 1 person

    • anitadesignstudio says:

      Hi Brian! Great to hear from you. My main issue with providing photo-real animations isn’t so much the time consuming part but whether the client would be content to pay the high costs. It’s for that reason that I don’t bother. But I’ve always wanted to create one, so I probably will at some point!

      Thanks re: ESpark. I’m looking forward to it!



Start the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: