The Futurum looks bright!

The essence of the IIBN is to connect Irish business professionals globally, and that’s exactly what it did for Francis Fitzpatrick and Niall Watters.

The pair first met at an IIBN networking event in London a few years back, and since then have ended up working together. Francis, the CEO of Futurum Group and creator of the 7-time Emmy award winning series Jakers!, felt that Watters would be a valuable addition to the company and so, brought him onboard to head up the commercial and business operations side of the group. He took up a position alongside an already star-studded leadership team that is a collaboration of the team that produced the 7-time Emmy award winning “Jakers!” and the successful HIT Entertainment Team that produced some of the world’s most successful children’s franchises including “Bob the Builder”, “Barney” and “Thomas and Friends”.

Futurum, an EduTech company, creates premium quality IP for the global kid’s market, particularly focused on the 3-7 years old age bracket. Their IP is a blend of premium entertainment and education, and covers topics such as diversity and inclusion, strategic thinking, female empowerment, ecology and sustainability, through fun, action and adventure packed storytelling.  They launched their first series “Paddles” on WarnerMedia’s Cartoonito in the UK in September 2021, achieving an 8.7 rating to date, and also on RTEjr, with the series set to expand to more markets across the globe in the new year. “We are passionate about making a positive impact on children’s lives, and so we will strive to make our content reach the 4 corners of the world, reaching as many children as possible,”. The passion apparent in Francis’ voice.

Following the successful launch, the next 12 months will see them liaise with strategic partners globally to accelerate the development of their IP, advance the deployment and capability of their learning platform and also launch a portfolio of digital products including an educational app, VR learning environment, online membership clubs and interactive learning quizzes. They will also launch an AI powered ecommerce platform that will position them to advance their licensing and merchandising strategy in Q1. “The feedback since September has been excellent. Our next phase will see us focusing on expanding across new markets that are currently in negotiation, and bringing our suite of digital products to market,” explains Niall.

With the demand for premium content continuing to rise, and consumption trends ever evolving, the company looks forward with excitement at the prospect of being successful in an industry that can be extremely lucrative if companies can get it right, “We have the right building blocks in place and have reached the point of revenue generation. Now, our objective is to scale with pace, driven by a focus on increasing revenues and taking on additional investment, which of course will be underpinned by us continuing to produce premium quality content and deploying our cutting-edge technology platform,“

“At the end of the day, business is about relationships. We work and do business with people that we like.” Watters says as he speaks fondly of his initial encounter with Francis in London. “This is just one example of the IIBN facilitating a business connection. We have heard of many more good news stories. We have offices in London, Istanbul, Las Palmas, and Dundalk, with plans to expand to the US and other markets in the near future. Our next hire or strategic partner might very well come from within the network, as that’s the first place that we will look.”

The Board of Directors have won Emmy awards and members of the team have built billion dollar brands in the past. The Creative Director has won countless awards over a 20 year period for various productions. The industry is evolving and consumer trends are changing rapidly. Will they be able to do it again? As we only know too well, things in life are never certain, but we can safely say that at this point in time, the Futurum future looks bright.

“We’re going to give it our best shot” says Francis, with a smile and look of steely determination as they finish the interview, amidst Christmas greetings and well wishes.

From the team at IIBN, we wish them the very best of luck and we will be watching them very closely over the coming months.

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