Meet the Accelerators: Autokino

Over the coming months we’ll be sharing profiles of the early-stage tech companies that are participating in the DigitalCity Accelerator Programme to give you an insight into the exciting digital products and services that are launching in the Tees Valley – watch this space!

This week we’re introducing Ben Young, Founder of Autokino.

In a nutshell, can you share an overview about you and your tech start-up?

I’m a moving image producer at my new production company Autokino, which is based in Saltburn-by-the-Sea and works with partners across UK, Europe, and beyond. We’re engaged in the development and production of features, series, and documentary with both new and established talent.

How did the initial idea for your business come about?

Working in development and production over the past several years, I started noticing how many companies find a lucrative niche and plough that furrow for ages and ages, and for all sorts of understandable reasons: a particular genre, audience, or tone becomes a production company’s brand. It becomes what you’re known for. It’s what keeps the lights on.

As my own output grew, I started wondering about starting my own company, but with a slate across fiction, docs, features, and series that was intentionally and evenly diversified from the start. It was and is a tricky time for UK production companies—I’ll spare you the moaning—but I think those challenging times can often, paradoxically, be the most sensible point at which to take the plunge.

It’s a pleasure to have you on the Accelerator, what were your main reasons behind joining the programme?

The moving image world is, frankly, weird. Even as it becomes ever more interwoven with tech, most of its eccentricities, good or bad or neutral, remain evergreen. When you combine that with the notably long time horizons of the UK development and production cycle, it can be easy for someone’s perspective to become correspondingly recherché, which ultimately isn’t great for a company or the work that it makes.

In starting my own company, I wanted to avoid that micro-cultural trap. To widen my perspective. To be challenged by people from other sectors, and to learn from them.

Where do you see your business, Autokino in 18 months from now?

Even more projects in backed development, even more projects entering production—and, like everyone else, preferably liberated from all of the COVID uncertainty!

If you would like to find out more about Autokino, please get in touch at or 01133280631.

If you are an early-stage tech or digital business that could benefit from tailored mentoring, industry workshops and a business development grant, take a look at our next Accelerator Programme – now recruiting for May 2021.