UK's Northern Film and Media launches Apple iPad fund

[UK] Developers start your engines. Hot on the heels of Apple’s iPad announcement, a new fund has been launched by the UK’s Northern Film and Media to help startups in the region to be amongst the first to enter this new market.

NFM are putting aside £40k to invest in iPad app ideas, with submissions open until February 24th. Each idea can receive between £1k and £10k of investment, though funding must be matched by either the company’s own time and resources or a private investor.

The new fund is thought to be the first of its kind – not surprising as the iPad was only announced yesterday and won’t go on sale in the UK until March – and certainly suggests that NFM has its eye on the ball.

Tom Harvey, Chief Executive of Northern Film and Media, says of the new fund: “We want the North East to have a place in the rapidly evolving global content market. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that North East companies have every opportunity to get their products developed, made, distributed and bought on whatever new platforms come along.”

Here’s the full criteria for those wishing to apply.

The apps you put forward for investment will:

1. have potential to generate revenue;

2. use the new features and potential that the iPad and new iPhone 3.2 SDK offer;

3. does stuff better than it would be done on an iPhone, and differently from the way it would be done on a laptop or desktop machine;

4. Not replicate the functionality of apps already designed for iPad;

5. be developed by teams where at least 70% of the team’s talent have their base in and 50% of the budget is spent in the North East;

6. be launchable by Summer 2010 (notwithstanding iTunes store delays.

If you’re a local startup with an iPad app idea, you’re advised to “complete the appropriate sections of a NFM Economic Award application and attach as detailed a provisional budget as possible” (here) – and remember, the deadline is Feb 24th.