Ideas United Celebrates 20 Years of Storytelling

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Atlanta-based creative studio Ideas United (iU) is celebrating two decades of changing the way stories are told. The company, founded by Emory University students in 2003, grew out of their Campus Movie Fest initiative, which is now the worldʼs largest student film festival. With a core team in Atlanta, the studio now collaborates with creative talent from their global iU Community to develop content for top brands and organizations including the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, Everytown for Gun Safety, NCAA, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Grady Health Foundation, PGA of America, Elfenworks, TOUR Championship, Panasonic, Equifax, Paramount, and more.

“Our purpose and passion at Ideas United has always been to create for a better future by changing the way stories are told,” says David Roemer, co-founder and CEO of iU. “From the dorm room days of the company two decades ago to the present, weʼve found a magical balance. We are able to provide our partners – leading brands, nonprofits, and platforms alike – with the highest level of quality and consistency while collaborating with thousands of diverse creatives.”

While still running the annual festival, the studio has grown up. iU works on a decentralized, progressive model that allows them to take an unconventional approach. By finding and fostering top talent for twenty years, iU has built an “iU Community” of 3,500 storytellers working alongside more than 50 in-house creatives. Together theyʼve been able to share stories across 50 states and over 60 countries around the world.

iU Community is a network of producers, directors, designers, writers, editors, strategists, composers, web developers, and everyone in between. By providing professional creatives with real income opportunities from established brands, iU pulls global leading talent for any content, experience, or campaign imaginable.

“During my twenty years as President of Ideas United, Iʼve watched myself, teammates, and masses of Campus Movie Fest participants grow from students and amateurs into industry-leading creatives,” says Dan Costa, co-founder and President of iU. “Iʼve also seen our industry transform: when we started out, the whole concept of making a movie on your computer was brand new. What started as a few friends taking turns driving an old Greyhound bus around the country from college to college has now turned into helping lead a core group of 50 of the best teammates who partner with thousands of the best creatives around the world.”

If you name it, iU can create it: a fundraising campaign, an event (whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid), a commercial, a feature film. Whatever the need, organizations can source professionals from iU Community with the expert management, creative, and quality control of the core team. Due to iUʼs emphasis on DEI, they can match the ideal creator to a project or brand that brings out the best in both.

With 300+ partners and thousands of projects, iU knows what theyʼre doing. Whether itʼs helping universities and nonprofits raise over $5 billion, giving emerging filmmakers a shot at working with the biggest studios, or building a purpose-driven business for the long term, iU knows that their best days are still ahead of them.