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DigitalCity helps launch international animation studio

09 January 2015


An animation studio with an international flavour has been launched with the help of a fellowship scheme for digital entrepreneurs.

Pharos Creative, which provides bespoke 3D animations for films, television commercials and computer games was founded by three DigitalCity fellows.

The studio, which is based in Teesside University’s business incubator at the Victoria Building, has already won several contracts, including a commission to design an animated advert for a leading financial institution.

Pharos Creative is run by Emil Bachvarov from Bulgaria and Ivan Jerez from Spain, who founded the company with Niall Walsh from Loughborough, UK.

They met whilst studying BA (Hons) Computer Animation at Teesside University and after graduating in 2013 decided to apply for DigitalCity Fellowships.

The Fellowship scheme, which is based at the University, offers graduates up to £4,000 to cover their living costs while they develop a business product or idea.

They are also able to access industry-specific mentoring as well as cutting edge facilities at Teesside University.

Emil said: 'We wouldn’t be here without the DigitalCity scheme.

'Obviously the financial support was very useful, but, perhaps more importantly, was the access to the facilities and the mentoring.

'It was great to be able to talk to industry professionals. Many of them had started the same way as us and it was extremely useful to see how they worked and operated in their own studios.'

Having completed their Fellowship, Pharos moved into incubator space at Victoria House. There, the team are also able to access support and advice from Teesside University’s enterprise team.

Recent work includes a 3D animation for Sedgefield's NETPark, in collaboration with Spearhead Interactive, another company founded by former DigitalCity Fellows.

They named their company after the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.

Emil added: 'It was extremely technically complex for its time and provided light and guidance and I like to think that sums up a lot of our values.

'We’re all extremely passionate about our work and the fact that we are a multinational team means we are able to bring a lot of different cultural influences to what we do.'

Steve Dougan, Professional Development Manager at DigitalCity, said: 'It is DigitalCity’s aim to create a collaborative digital hub in the Tees Valley and so it is extremely satisfying to see talented animators from across Europe decide to set up their business here in Middlesbrough.

'I am delighted that the team at Pharos Creative have been able to use the DigitalCity Fellowship scheme as the springboard for their business and wish them every success.'


Click here for more information about DigitalCity Fellowships.