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ReadWave - The world is made of stories
27 November 2013
Who is ReadWave?
ReadWave, formerly known as Circalit, is an online social marketing platform and community for writers and screenwriters to market their books and scripts directly to agents and producers.
Dubbed ‘the Facebook for screenwriters’, it mediates between industry professionals and individuals and also provides a forum for writers to discuss each other’s work. The idea was born by Raoul Tawadey, CEO and a former UCL student (Natural Sciences BSc, English Literature PhD) whilst working in a film production studio and seeing that scripts he enjoyed were being ignored.
How did UCL help?
UCL has helped through every stage of their development, from initial startup advice to practical workspace, to growth opportunities through access to capital and to new qualified employees.
From their initial beginnings, ReadWave (as Circalit) won the UCL Bright Ideas award in 2011 which gave them the necessary funding to continue with product development and specifically establish how the user interface would work. It also enabled them to attend the Touring Festival, Edinburgh which opened up new contacts and provided a networking opportunity.
They also sought help through the SMILE and HELO programmes offered by UCL Advances which provided hands-on support and mentoring whilst they were at the crucial phase of transitioning from a ‘bedroom business’ into a fully functioning operation.
“Our mentor had hands-on experience and his opinions helped validate our thinking, giving us the confidence to move forwards.”
Raoul Tawadey, CEO, ReadWave
Until January 2013, the two business partners spent 18 months working out of the UCL hatchery. It was here they were introduced to angels in the city and seed funding.
What were the results?
During their time in the hatchery, the company grew from 0–10,000 literary uploads with one book published and two films secured. Since their recent round of funding from the city, they have moved to their own premises, have doubled their workforce and are now experiencing 150,000 reads per month representing a growth of x10.
The company has gone on to partner with The Script Factory, which has links to both Disney and Sony Pictures.
Raoul Tawadey is still closely involved with UCL Advances as the “advice is invaluable” and partakes in business events as a contributor.