Video production and motion filming
Independent VR games developer
Personal training and boot camps
Craft and sewing workshops
Craft and tutorial business
Surface pattern design
Sustainable marketing services
Professional audio production
Creative design and motion graphics
Indie games company
Health, safety and environmental risk management consultancy
Mental health social enterprise
Textile crafts and art
Computer games development
Takeaway ordering app
Software development, website design and mobile apps
Independent clothing brand
Azonic Films knows no bounds when it comes to video production and motion filming, an ethos that founder Joe Warnes abides by when creating bespoke films for his clients. Using drone technology and high quality cameras to capture different perspectives for a three-dimensional finish, Joe’s unique productions have already attracted some big names to his client list.
While still studying at the University of Huddersfield, Joe landed his first project for Cannonball 2000, which kicked off his career in video production and saw him travel all over the world. As well as working on Redline247, his work has also seen him produce numerous promotional and music videos.
His biggest achievement is setting up his own business straight out of university, growing it and sustaining it. Joe plans to build a ‘team’ to help drive the business forward over the next few years.
Joe had support from the Enterprise Team when he first set up his business during his degree. As a graduate, he still taps into the support when he needs advice, whether it’s input on marketing and branding or business growth.
Discovering the potential of virtual reality (VR) and how it can enhance the gaming experience, Louis Hughes set up Bad Imp Studios, and is now on the verge of publishing his first game.
Already an avid games developer having studied it at college, Louis fell in love with VR when he deferred his mechanical engineering degree. Playing around with 3D animation and modelling sparked a bigger interest and led him to study games development at the University of Huddersfield. He established the company in 2017 as part of his Enterprise Placement Year.
Putting the final touches to his game requires him to check its progress using VR equipment, which he can do both at home using his own headset, as well as having access to one through the DOYYEC.
Finding a publisher to market his game is next on the agenda. Louis also wants to support the games development teaching staff at the local college, alongside running his own business.
Through his Enterprise Placement Year in 2017/18, Louis received Proof of Concept grants enabling him to purchase 3D models and sound effects from other placement students. Having access to technology, a professional environment to meet people, as well as business-related workshops have also been of great benefit.
Barnsley Barbell Ltd was built from a shared passion to help people achieve weight loss, strength and confidence-building goals, by keen weightlifter Peter Shaw and his business partner Ashley Beaumont.
Based in Barnsley Town Centre, the private training facility has gone from strength to strength since it launched in February 2016. Financial backing from various funding resources has enabled them to invest in equipment and move to bigger premises. The business has seen over 100 beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike through its doors, 80% of which are women.
Specialising in private personal training, Olympic weightlifting coaching and bootcamps, future plans for the innovative gym are to become bigger and better. Barnsley Barbell is already embracing the increasing popularity of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting sports with the training they provide. A second gym may also be on the cards as the business continues to grow over the years.
Peter accessed the support from the Enterprise Team during his degree and still benefits from advice from the business advisors. Peter is appreciative of the opportunities the Team has provided, from business support to forming relationships with other student businesses.
Rebecca Rose founded Becca Buttons back in 2012 before starting at The University of Huddersfield studying Textiles with Surface Design.
During her time at University and completing her Enterprise Placement Year in 2014/15, within the past five years Becca Buttons has developed into teaching crafts, sewing and much, much more!
Becca Buttons runs craft clubs and sewing classes for both adults and children in her home town of Liverpool. Alongside Becca Buttons workshops, Becca also holds a range of themed craft fun days for children and children’s craft parties, hen do events and baby shower parties.
Becca Buttons is also available for commissioned projects such as personalised cushions, bunting, Christmas decorations and memory cushions, all finished at a high quality.
Warrior by name, warrior by nature, social enterprise Betty Virago was created through owner Joy Pocock’s passion for supporting those in vulnerable situations to upskill them and earn money to survive.
Growing up with parents in the craft industry and both Salvation Army officers, Joy’s business is in her blood. Profits from the sales of her crafts go straight to running workshops for vulnerable people, such as the homeless and those in prostitution, to build their confidence and help them develop craft skills they can use to generate their own income.
Joy undertook Enterprise Placement Year 2016/17 to realise her passion for running her own business. She won a place at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), using the pitching skills that she picked up during EPY. She also secured a contract to produce a craft kit for children suffering from bereavement which goes to every hospice and hospital in the UK.
Talented artist Chloe Baxter found her passion for surface pattern design during a workshop as part of her arts degree at the University of Huddersfield.
Focusing on nature, her hand-drawn, colourful patterns and illustrations contain a hidden element, such as cats or turtles, which is Chloe’s USP and one she hopes will help her stand out among other designers to carve out a long career in pattern design and merchandise.
Selling at craft markets and online on Etsy, her collection includes tea towels, cushions, aprons and bags, with future plans to create prints as artwork and larger commissions for customers. Chloe has dreams to open her own studio that enables her to have creative license over her own designs.
Taking part in Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 helped boost Chloe’s confidence enabling her to present in front of people. Chloe has secured numerous funding that has helped get her business off the ground, as well as accessing business support.
Daniel Hamer specialises in audio services within industries involved with moving image, including film, tv, animation, and videogames. Daniel’s mantra ‘Poor sound can make a good picture look bad, but good sound can make a poor picture look good’ epitomises his audio production business model.
Daniel set up the business whilst studying a Masters at University of Huddersfield. Since then he has worked on many UK and American independent films, repairing and enhancing audio in post production. He also creates a series of ‘how to’ webinars, and breakdown videos on the use of sound behind popular video games, film, and animation to share his expertise across a wider audience within the industry and make people aware of the power of good sound.
Daniel plans to build up a network within the industry, with the long-term aim to start his own social enterprise, providing year-long placement opportunities to help students gain valuable real work experience, giving them a step up into the industry and their independent careers whilst working alongside him.
Sharing a passion for creativity, couple Matthew Jones and Nicole Rawson set up graphic and motion design company Ink in 2015 while undertaking Enterprise Placement Year, to gain an insight into self-employment under the safety net of the University’s Enterprise Team.
Invaluable business support from the Enterprise Team helped them secure work with big names such as the NHS, NUS and universities across the UK. Proof of Concept grants allowed the company to gain traction in its early stages, and winning Santander’s 60 Second Pitch competition enabled them to buy powerful computer hardware, an essential tool for their animation work.
Long term plans are to grow the business over the next few years. Matthew and Nicole hope to continue their freelance work alongside an industry pathway, gaining valuable experience and credibility to strengthen their business portfolio.
During Enterprise Placement Year 2015/16, Matthew and Nicole learnt the basics of running a business and they still access support from the Enterprise Team as graduates.
Golem Games is the brainchild of Peter Sutherland, a games enthusiast with aspirations to make a long career out of doing something he loves.
Studying Computer Games Design at the University of Huddersfield, he came across the Enterprise Placement Year as an option for his third year placement during 2017/18. Running his own businesses had never crossed his mind, however, being given the opportunity to work for himself and the funding to do it appealed to him.
Peter’s flagship game is Cyber Stealth, a first-person stealth shooter game set in a cyber world with espionage missions to accomplish, designed for PCs. The concept of the game was developed as a project during his second year of University and was encouraged by his tutors to develop it further.
With ambitions to design, make and sell games, Peter hopes to join or collaborate with a games design company once he leaves University. Until then he will continue to run Golem Games to gain experience and build up a reputation within the industry.
The Enterprise Team helped Peter set up his business and access funding such as a Proof of Concept grant, which he put towards marketing his business.
Applying her 14 years’ experience working with leading international companies in China, overseas post-graduate and risk management expert, Sandy Lu, set up Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd in January 2017 to support UK businesses.
Sandy provides integrated and practical risk management solutions to UK businesses, helping them access and grow in the Chinese market, as well as reduce business risks and improve efficiency.
Sandy’s ever-growing contact list has enabled her to establish strong links with UK leading awarding bodies such as NEBOSH and HABC (Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance), and academic institutions such as the University of Huddersfield, to name a few.
Continually updating her CPD, Sandy achieved the National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with distinction and was awarded Technical Member of IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health). She is also a HABC accredited training provider across a wide range of subjects, such as Health and Safety, Fire Safety, Food Safety and Business Improvement and Lean.
Sandy was on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa programme; a Home Office initiative for international graduates wishing to establish a business in the UK following completion of their studies. She has full access to The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre and on-going support from the Enterprise Team that assists her through the challenges of setting up a business as an overseas professional.
Romanian-born Cezar Floroiu set up his sound design business, HUDsound, during Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18.
Using the latest technological trends, Cezar provides a range of tailor-made audio services to create original sound assets, from the recording stage to editing, mastering and sound synthesis, as well as the creation and marketing of sound libraries for those wanting ready-made assets.
Cezar’s niche is creating bespoke sound design solutions for the gaming industry, in particular virtual reality, including recording and creating ambiences, dialogue, Foley and environment interactions, as well as sound effects, such as impacts, explosions, weapon sounds and spot effects.
Cezar benefitted from the weekly workshops and 1-2-1 meetings provided by The Enterprise Team. Start-up grant funding enabled him to invest in his own recording equipment, as well as having access to hired equipment to support his work.
Keep Real, a registered social enterprise, was set up by Kimberley Robinson following her own experiences with anxiety at University. Already a campaigner for mental health, she featured on BBC Radio 4 about her blog on mental health while studying Counselling at the University of Huddersfield.
With ambitions to become an art therapist, it soon became evident that waiting lists for mental health services were too long. Kimberley wanted to be able to support people quicker at the point of need, as well as combine her passion for art. Doing her dissertation in her third year was the catalyst to setting up Keep Real and following conversations with The Enterprise Team, her social enterprise was born in July 2017.
Originally creating merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts and bags and 10% of the profits going to mental health charities, the business has evolved to provide workshops and events and a mental health magazine with collaborations from other artists. Keep Real’s first live event in Leeds featured live bands, with mental health support on-hand, and attracted over 100 people. Its website also has a live chat that people can access for help and support.
With plans to open-up a community hub in Leeds with a shop floor and another level to host workshops and events, as well as provide access to a counsellor, Kimberley’s vision is to have a Keep Real centre in every city enabling easier and quicker access to mental health support.
The Enterprise Team helped Kimberley receive Proof of Concept Grants, as well as supported with legalities over a trademark battle with another similar named company. The team also nominated her for the Yorkshire Young Achiever award in Enterprise and Management.
Lorna Ellen Design provides large scale design and making services for both individuals and organisations, through unique installations, sets and visual displays using mixed media textile techniques.
Lorna’s business has allowed her to create an art and design discipline unique to her, using her passion for different materials and skills learnt through studying textiles at university. Her work aims to improve lives through activism and social enterprise, whilst advocating for mental health, environmental issues and autistic individuals. She works closely with many local community groups and has a NCFE qualification in understanding autism.
Alongside her predominantly commission-based work, she also creates theatre and retail displays, that highlight important global topics through the use of craftivism and her skills as a textile practitioner. She regularly attends networking events to learn more about her target industries, such as the Visual Merchandising and Display Show, and continuously aims to improve her skills repertoire.
She hopes to set up her own workshop that will allow her to create larger scale work and take on more clients, as well as venture into the world of social enterprise.
Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 taught Lorna valuable business skills such as protecting her intellectual property and business finance. She still receives support through regular catch ups, funding opportunities and networking events.
Describing his laptop as ‘his orchestra’ and ‘second half of his brain’, Polish-born Michal Czerniak has high ambitions to use his self-taught distinct music ability to compose arrangements and sound effects for films.
Michal is no stranger to the business world, having been self-employed since he was 14. He funded his first Macbook through a paper round and founded the University of Huddersfield’s first film society HudTV (now HudMotion), where he still leads a 20-strong video production team.
Attracted to the University of Huddersfield at a young age for its music reputation, Michal set up his business during his Enterprise Placement Year in 2016/17. His film-making skills formed his current core business to initially generate income.
His long-term plans are to set up a digital media production agency in Huddersfield, given its links to major Northern cities.
Ocean Spark Studios Ltd takes you on a journey through a fantasy island world in its flagship game Tetra: Element Awakening. Standing shoulder to shoulder with key players in the industry at prestigious gaming events and already forming links with publishers in China, the biggest gaming market in the world, are just some of the highlights in what was an explosive first year for the business. Proving their cynics wrong, top gaming bloggers and vloggers are already naming them as the next big thing in the industry.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year during 2016/17 enabled Ocean Spark Studios Ltd to understand how a business works, creating a viable business strategy, as well as provided access to funding opportunities, including £23,000 which they secured from Creative England.
Skate it Yourself provides skateboard lessons and parties for 5-19 year olds at venues in Huddersfield and Halifax. Set up by keen skateboarder Kierhardy Ansell, SIY inspires young people to take up skateboarding and improve skills in a fun and engaging way.
Creating the idea for the business in his late teens, Hardy took the plunge in his second year at the University of Huddersfield and applied for Enterprise Placement Year 2018/19 which allowed him to turn his dreams into a reality. A start-up grant allowed him to purchase skateboards and further funding enabled him to acquire pads, helmets and ramps.
Hardy was runner-up in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 and received £15,000 seed funding and a fully paid intern.
Opening up his own skatepark where he can host classes and provide access to the public for extra revenue is part of his future ambitions for the business. Plans also include opening up a shop selling skateboarding gear, as well as his own bespoke merchandise.
As an extreme sport, complying with regulations and achieving the right credentials proved challenging, but the support of the Enterprise Team ensured Kierhardy is fully compliant, insured and qualified.
Smart Takeaways Limited was set up by Iranian-born software engineer Mohammad Sheikholeslami to offer a more cost-effective alternative, providing takeaways with the right tools to take back control of their customer base, while benefitting from around-the-clock support to maximise use of the app.
Mohammad moved to the UK with his family in 2013 to study an MBE at the University of Huddersfield and kick started his business in 2014. The business now has a team of six staff and approximately 130 clients across the UK.
Smart Takeaways Limited is placed within the top ten providers of takeaway support apps. Mohammad plans to expand the consultancy side of the business to provide a range of support services from marketing consultation to accounting services and negotiating energy and phone contracts.
Mohammad received invaluable advice from The Enterprise Team when he set up his business enabling him to make informed decisions.
Formed by two aspiring student entrepreneurs attracted to the University of Huddersfield for its Enterprise Placement Year opportunity, Torchbearer Interactive Ltd is a software development house making apps that solve problems and make customers happier.
Torchbearer won the Shooting Star Award from Huddersfield Town Football Club in 2016 and secured £15k from Creative England. Now based in the Media Centre, the firm provides website design, games development and mobile apps.
Through their Enterprise Placement Year in 2016/17, Jon and Pete grasped the business world, collectively developing a solid business plan and a streamlined way of working. The team continues to benefit from support from the Enterprise Team and regularly contributes to the Enterprise Workshop programme by sharing their journey and experiences with future business owners.
Having been a keen knitter since she was 7, knitting and selling scarves to friends at school, Emily Warburton is now weaving out a knitting career through her business YAM Knitwear, inspired by the Cumbrian countryside where she grew up on a dairy farm.
She takes photos of Cumbrian hills, lakes and valleys and then cleverly knits them into garments, such as scarves and jumpers. Using a knitting machine for her intricate designs she can create products quicker and sell them at more competitive prices. A short scarf can take up to 13 hours, including design, measuring, knit time, sewing ends, and wet blocking.
After graduation, Emily plans to work for a large knitwear company to gain experience, then go part-time to build up her business. Using wool from the Romney sheep that she rears on the farm, mixed with Alpaca wool, to make her garments, she hopes to eventually run her own company full-time with a small team.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year in 2017/18 enabled Emily to find out if working for herself would be a success, learn how to make garments, but more importantly get constructive criticism from potential customers. She gained lots of transferrable skills that will be of benefit when she goes self-employed.
Young Boy Hustle (YBH) is an independent online clothing brand, launched in 2016, set out to remove the stigma of mental health.
Known as ‘The Black and White Brand’, it was created by University of Huddersfield marketing graduate and fashion designer Ibrar Ahmad Razaq, who designs the distinctive black and white apparel. The brand is targeted at 18-24-year olds who struggle to speak out on their personal issues with a fear of being judged or singled out.
Starting out through a series of sketches, the designs have been transformed into a clothing and accessories line that Ibrar sells through his website www.youngboyhustle.com with one of his first sales being in New York City. Through Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 (EPY), Ibrar received funding from Santander which he put towards operational costs, such as keeping his website up and running.
Ibrar’s plan is to pursue a career in Marketing and expand the YBH brand and grow its blog, YBH Entertainment, as well as expand his product selection to poetry books, vintage music CDs and paintings. He hopes to launch stores in the UK and New York and has ambitions to create ‘YBH Productions’, a filming service that writes and creates its own short films.