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News | Huddersfield games design business goes from strength to strength and picks up national prize

Huddersfield games design business goes from strength to strength and picks up national prize

Published 4th Sep 2018 by Shaida Khan

Torchbearer Interactive was a recipient of the 2018 Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards

Staying mobile in the fast-developing world of digital creativity is how a software development house started up by a team of University of Huddersfield students aims to score success. In fact, mobile apps are currently where the action is. The firm is Torchbearer Interactive and was launched by Peter Waugh and Jonathan Langley during the Enterprise Placement year that was embedded into their computer games programming degree.The two are newly-graduated and so are now fully-focussed on Torchbearer, which was one of the student start-ups at universities throughout the North of England to receive a 2018 Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award.

It was presented in person by His Royal Highness – Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield – and he advised all the young entrepreneurs at the ceremony to be adaptable and skilled at “change management”. In its first two years, Torchbearer Interactive has been just that.

Games design and software development were the core activities, joined by services such as website design, and Torchbearer’s diverse portfolio includes a software package that aids public relations practitioners around the world to identify the capabilities they would like to develop. It was successfully demonstrated at a major conference in Oslo.

“We still do a fair bit of games development, but we have moved into new fields,” said co-founder Jonathan Langley. The firm – now based in Huddersfield’s Media Centre – is increasingly being approached to develop apps for mobile devices. Clients have included one of the UK’s best-known leisure companies, which wanted an app to help upper management maintain brand standards.

Torchbearer is taking on new employees who include games developers with transferable skills for mobile app development.

“We have refined our go-to-market,” said Jonathan. “When we work with digital design agencies, that means they can offer more to their clients by saying they can provide app development too. That is the route we going down and there has been a lot of interest.

“More and more people are realising that there are systems within their companies that they can automate, or certain services they want to offer that we can develop software for,” added Jonathan.

New recruitment means that Torchbearer will now be seven-strong, with the team including four developers and a sales agent. Keeping ahead of the curve is the key to success, and Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are digital developments that could soon provide a fruitful new direction for the award-winning business.

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