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Sir Tom secured as mentor by Bloom Studio

Teesside University animation graduates have secured Sir Tom Shebbeare, Director of The Prince’s Charities, as mentor for their fledgling business.

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Pictured from left back, Jamie Blyth, Kristian Egge, Thomas Didymus, Katie Goode, front Albin Nilsen and Martin Davies

Pictured from left back, Jamie Blyth, Kristian Egge, Thomas Didymus, Katie Goode, front Albin Nilsen and Martin Davies


Bloom Studio, which specialises in animation and graphics for film, television and websites, was initially based in the University’s business incubation premises in Victoria Road, before moving into their current home in the Phoenix Building.

Founded by Teesside University animation graduates Martin Davies and Albin Nilsen, their business was among the region’s first recipients of funding from the Start-Up Loan scheme for young entrepreneurs.

And now Bloom Studio has secured Sir Tom Shebbeare, Director of The Prince’s Charities and Non-Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, as mentor for their fledgling business.

Start-Up Loans are delivered in the North East and Cumbria through Project North East, supported by a consortium including Virgin Money, Virgin Unite and The Northern Rock Foundation. Sir Tom chairs the consortium supporting the Start-Up scheme, which helped to provide a launch-pad for Bloom Studio.

Sir Tom, who was knighted in 2003, is involved in numerous good causes. He was appointed by the Prince of Wales as the first Director of The Prince's Trust before taking up his current position as Director of The Prince’s Charities, the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the UK.

Martin said: 'Sir Tom initially visited our office when we were in the incubation premises with other Start-Up Loan representatives and was really impressed with the work we were doing. He is also chairman of a film documentary company, so really understood our business and was really enthused by our showreel.'

Martin and Albin were later invited to meet Richard Branson at Virgin Money’s Gosforth offices, along with other young entrepreneurs who received a Start-Up Loan.

And more recently they were among a handful of young entrepreneurs invited to Richard Branson’s home in Oxfordshire for a breakfast networking event.

Martin said: 'It was a great event, a lot more informal than our first meeting with him at the Start-Up launch. It was great for networking and we established contact with Richard’s son Sam who runs independent film company Sundog Pictures.'

He added: 'It is great to be involved in events such as this and the Start-Up launch as we were able to meet so many influential people and also speak again to Sir Tom. We kept in contact with him, which led us to eventually approach him to suggest he become our mentor.

'We see Sir Tom when he’s in the region and we’ve also travelled to London to meet him at the Virgin offices in Jermyn Street. We’re more than happy to travel to London to meet him, as he’s been able to introduce us to many of his own contacts in the industry we work in.'

Martin added: 'We’ve also started working with a former CEO from Fujitsu for South China. It’s a massive company and opens us to a whole new world of connections and networks.'

He added: 'The support we’ve received from Teesside University has been fantastic and the facilities open to us are phenomenal. We have a green screen studio and soundstage in the same building where our office is based.

'We’re aiming to help play a part in retaining talent in the region by offering work experience to students, to give them real experience of dealing with clients and working to deadlines and we’ve also employed Teesside University graduates.'

Bloom Studio’s work was recently seen by a massive television audience during a live televised Newcastle United match at St James’ Park, when they produced the animated LED hordings around the pitch as part of a competition for Start-Up Loan recipients.

Bloom Studio initially blossomed from Teesside University’s DigitalCity Fellowship programme in 2010. Their work unites technical skill with creative artistry, with clients and collaborators in the UK, Norway, France and Italy.

This project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.



ERDF

10 July 2013

In the News

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Evening Gazette (Teesside), 16/09/2013
Teesside University animation graduates have secured Sir Tom Shebbeare, Director of the Prince's Charities and non-Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving as a mentor for their business.


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B Daily (Web), 08/08/2013
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