Aoífe Doyle and Niamh Herrity, Pink Kong Studios
30th November 2015
Every month we speak to women entrepreneurs who have just launched into the business world.
In the hot seat for December’s Women Who Launch are: Aoífe Doyle and Niamh Herrity, co-founders of Pink Kong Studios.
The Elevator Pitch
Pink Kong Studios, was co-founded in 2014 by creative director Aoífe Doyle and producer Niamh Herrity. The animation company grew from a desire to create exciting properties with a particular focus on action adventure brands for girls.
The Studio is based in ‘The Liffey Trust’ in Dublin’s Point Village. Currently we have five full time staff and a number of offsite freelancers working on a variety of projects. We scale up and down on a project to project basis, and anticipate doubling in size in the New Year.
Early on we secured seed investment of 50K and have secured other funds from the Local Enterprise Office DCC for the creation of new jobs within the studio. In Pink Kong Studios we have two revenue streams. The first comes from executing service work (advertising & videos) for other brands/companies and the second comes from our own Intellectual Properties. The finance for the latter has to be raised via the Irish Film Board /BAI and other government bodies.
At Pink Kong Studios we make original, top quality, multi-platform animated content for the kid and tween market.
Brands You Love
There are some great animation studios around the world that have very distinctive styles and brands that we love. The likes of GoldenWolf in London, CRCR in France and Giant Ant in Canada. Our studio staff always enjoy taking a look at the latest videos and spectrum of art styles that come out of those type of studios.
Biggest ‘Win’ To Date
Our biggest win to date would have to be securing finance from the Irish Film Board in our first year for development of our own TV series Rova-Novas. A series aimed at 6-9 year olds about an Elite Galactic Team who protect earths puppies from harm and the forces of Evil! You can watch the trailer here.
Biggest ‘Slap in the Face’
Like every start up we’ve had a few small knock backs along the journey but no big slaps in the face so far. We’ve been lucky enough to have a few mentors give us great advice and maybe that’s enabled us to avoid any large pitfalls.
Are You Social When It Comes To Media?
It’s very important to PKS. Animation can be a long and labourious process so it’s not every week or month that you can post up a completed video for everyone to see. Social media enables us to connect to our industry and peers on a daily basis, and give them an insight into what we’re currently working on in the studio.
Technology & Innovation
Technology is a huge part of our industry. Unlike the days of old when animation was on paper, almost everything in the industry is now done digitally. Consumer habits have also changed and we’re viewing entertainment via multiple screens, so everything we make is made with end user in mind.
If you had a blank cheque:
Having a blank cheque would enable us to ramp up production on our own content, and put service work on hold for a while. We would get some of our ideas off the back burner and into development straight away. Hire more staff to add to the creative team in Kong, and throw a whopper party!
Best Business Lunch Date
We have two here.
Aoífe – Chuck Jones for sure. He’s my all time favourite animation director. His work on Warner Bros. Shorts, particularly Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck is probably what influenced me the most to get into animation as a kid.
Niamh – Oprah. Her story is inspirational. It would be fascinating to bend her ear on a lunch date. Any pearls of wisdom Oprah has for me will be gladly accepted.
Ideal Business Partner (dead or alive)
Richard Branson, we watched a documentary about him recently and had office envy when we saw that it’s beside his pool. Yeah he’d be a good business partner if he could get us to the point of having our own version of Necker Island…The Isle of Kong
Best Advice To Pass On
If you are thinking about starting a company of your own and it’s really what you want to do, just go for it! Do your homework before you leave the day job. Research your industry well and really find out the best way for you to get that initial bit of funding that will set you on your way.