The directors of Rubix Studios, a company specialising in bespoke software and smartphone applications, have seen their business blossom since it started up at Teesside University.
Rubix first formed in 2009 when Teesside computer games art graduate Martin Coates, 25, and Anthony Roderick, 26, a master in computer games art, applied for a six month DigitalCity Fellowship to help get their creative software development company off the ground.
The University’s Fellowship scheme is the launch pad for talented graduates looking to set up innovative digital businesses , providing financial and professional support, specialist mentoring and access to high-end facilities.
Managing Director Anthony said: 'We graduated as creatives with little knowledge of how to run a sustainable business, so the support and advice from the University was invaluable to us at a time when we were making such a big leap as starting our own company.'
After their six month Fellowship , the pair moved into a start-up unit on the University’s Middlesbrough campus, where they joined a network of young businesses supported by Teesside’s graduate enterprise team and its extended family of mentors, trainers and coaches.
Now an established commercial business based in the University’s Phoenix Building, they have continued to build up an increasingly impressive portfolio.
One successful product is Race Fitness, a wireless multi-player race simulation game that can be used with any indoor exercise bike, supporting up to 15 players at once.
Creative Director Martin says their main focus is on developing smartphone apps. 'Using Unity 3D to create games and apps, we are able to provide clients with the compatibility across numerous platforms such as App Store and Android Market, for only a small additional cost. This flexibility makes us appealing to clients with a limited budget, but who want maximum reach. '
Two full-time staff were recruited through the University’s Graduates for Business internship programme, which provided support with recruitment and initial salary costs.
Martin said: 'It was win-win for us. We saved money we didn’t have at that time, and were able to see if the interns were the right fit for Rubix. They were, and we were delighted to get them on board permanently.'
That was a year ago, and Rubix has started 2012 with two more interns as the company looks to generate more business and build on its success over the last two years.
Anthony said: 'We definitely wouldn’t be where we are now without the advice and support of Teesside University. From our first client, to our offices in Phoenix and Victoria and our staff recruitment through the Internship Programme, they’ve provided the platform for us to progress faster than we could have ever hoped for.'
DigitalCity Fellowships, Graduates for Business and graduate enterprise support are all part-funded by the European Union with £3.9m from the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 through Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).