Former Rovio head of content strategy Nick Dorra (pictured) has opened Haruworks, a new Finnish animation startup that will develop and produce original, multiplatform TV shows for preschoolers and kids.
As founder, producer and CEO, Dorra has put together an initial slate of four yet-to-be-announced TV projects aligned with the company’s strategy of creating international character brands that embrace Scandinavian storytelling styles and Nordic designs. Concepts will be inspired by the works of children’s book author Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking) and writer/artist Tove Jansson (The Moomins).
Dorra will work alongside former child psychologist Maija Arpone, who has been named head of development at Haruworks. The startup has also assembled an advisory board of industry experts that includes Frederator Networks CEO Fred Seibert, CAKE Entertainment CEO and creative director Tom Van Waveren, eOne Family’s Nick Gawne and Original Talent’s Simon Flamank.
The company launched after raising an undisclosed sum in a successful investment round. Haruworks will hold initial discussions about its development slate at Kidscreen Summit next week.
Dorra spent four years at Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment, most recently leading acquisitions for the company’s Toons TV VOD platform and global sales of Rovio’s animation catalog. After Rovio, he worked at New York-based mobile video startup Thirty Labs. Along with Haruworks, Dorra continues to run Nick Dorra Productions, a separate consultancy business that’s currently in development on Zombie Catchers, a mobile game-based 2D-animated series with Finnish developer Two Men and a Dog.