ABOUT THE COMPANY
Torchbearer Interactive, based in Huddersfield, was set up by former university students Pete Waugh and Jon Langley in 2016. The pair studied together at the University of Huddersfield and set up the business during their final year of study as part of the university’s Enterprise Placement Scheme.
“We primarily do mobile app development, but we also do video gaming, web design and software development – anything which falls under the programming realm,” Pete said.
The company have worked for a variety of clients in the past, with a large leisure holiday firm and a Hong Kong bank among their current clients.
When Pete and Jon decided to carry the business on following the end of their university course, they moved into 3M Business Innovation Centre in Huddersfield. But as they began to work on the business full time, they soon wanted to move so that they could scale up from their initial operation.
Pete and Jon were introduced to AD:VENTURE when they attended one of the many workshops. They were then introduced to an advisor, who recommended that they apply for grant funding to enable them to move into a new premises.
Thanks to two pots of AD:VENTURE grant funding totalling £8,700, Torchbearer now work out of a dedicated base on Old Leeds Road, just outside Huddersfield town centre.
They were initially successful in applying for a £3,300 growth grant in May 2018, which enabled them to move into Huddersfield Media Centre and take on two permanent members of staff. Having outgrown their office there, AD:VENTURE then granted Torchbearer a further £5,400 in October 2019 to spend on fixtures and fittings for their current home on Old Leeds Road to make sure the space worked for them.
The company has seen its turnover more than treble in the past year and moving to a larger office has opened up more opportunities for recruitment and growth.
But Torchbearer didn’t just receive financial support. AD:VENTURE advisors also helped Pete and Jon with legal matters and the day-to-day running of the business, starting from when the company was just six months old.
“We’ve taken advantage of pretty much every resource we can access through the programme and it’s been great all the way through,” Pete added. “As we’ve gone along, we’ve always had a new problem to tackle, but they’ve always been there with the right advice of how we can solve it.”
Torchbearer’s growth has meant that they are now planning to recruit two new permanent members of staff. “We’re looking for an office administrator to help with day-to-day operations and we want to get another software developer on board later in the year because we expect our workload to continue to scale up at the same rate,” Pete said.
Pete says the advice and support of AD:VENTURE has been invaluable in helping Torchbearer to grow.
“Since starting the business we’ve always believed it’s really important to listen to what other people are saying to us. We have a vision for where we want the business to go but we don’t necessarily have a clear idea of how we can get there.
“AD:VENTURE are always pointing us in the direction of schemes we can join and grants we can apply for. To anyone who’s looking for business support, I’d say be willing to engage with people who have advice and expertise, look at all the opportunities available to you through the programme and take advantage of them.”
To find out more about Torchbearer, visit www.torchbearer.dev