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Graduates choose Yorkshire for new business venture

18 June 10

Two graduates from the University of Bradford have left London and returned to Yorkshire to take advantage of the University's business support. They have returned to set up their own mobile phone application business, Cogwork Studios.

Robert McCarthy and Simon Havil both graduated from Interactive Systems and Video Games Design in 2005 and, after some years working in the industry, they have returned to Bradford to launch their new business. They choose to move from London to Bradford to take advantage of the University's support services for business, and because of the region's cluster of related digital businesses.

Cogwork Studios is a mobile application development business which creates applications ranging from games to marketing tools.  The business has quickly established itself in the mobile phone and iPhone scene, working on contracts for application and game designs for the iPhone, offering translation services and providing quality assurance for a variety of mobile phone handsets.

The graduates had the idea for Cogwork Studios after completing their studies, but wanted to get some industry experience and went their separate ways.  When their paths crossed and they ended up working for the same company a few years later they began trying to get the company off the ground. 

Setting up a new company can be expensive and Think Business@Bradford offers University of Bradford graduates the help and financial support that is needed.  Rob and Simon benefited from this by being supported with costs of office space and internet in the ThinkBusiness@Bradford incubator. 

Shortly after applying to join Think Business@Bradford they applied to a Jump Start competition, resulting in them winning a £2,000 lump sum to get their business idea off the ground.

Rob McCarthy said: "With all the support offered, we have turned the business into a more professional entity. No longer is this a one-track-minded business, and with the help of Think Business@Bradford we have expanded Cogwork Studios both horizontally and vertically. We have seen the gaps in our own business, and moved to fill them."

Cogwork Studios has already established international links.  High start up costs for new businesses has meant that Rob and Simon have had to seek an affordable way to set up the business.  Already they have joined forces with a company in India which has enabled Cogworks to have a test team and developer there. 

Simon Havil said: "We're also very keen to establish strong links with the students at the University of Bradford.  We already work with the students on the course we graduated from to help progress their games design skills, offering them first-hand experience of how the industry functions.  This allows them to create games designs, which are now going into production for iPhone, mobile phone, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP."

18 June 10

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