Auroch Digital are a games design and development company who have been based in Bristol for 11 years. Split into three sections, the company deliver their own games, design for others and help counterparts develop games and online platforms. They have had rapid growth going from 25 to 40 people in 2020.
The Creative Scale Up programme offers regional creative businesses and freelancers a five month support programme with access grants, mentoring, workshops, one to one support and 360 peer feedback.
Auroch Digital were part of the first cohort of creative business to join the programme in Spring 2020.
Tomas Rawlings, Founder of Auroch Digital said: “The mentoring side of the programme we found really useful, it gave us an opportunity to talk about our overall strategy and gain confidence in what we’ve already put in place.”
The support grant funded “Digital Table Top Fest” 2020/2021; an online event that offered Auroch the opportunity to recruit an event planner to co-ordinate a hybrid event of both physical and online experiences. It allowed the team to build longer term networks which added value and gave extra support, through increased coverage via partner platforms and amplification of Auroch’s work. They now have intentions to recruit further into specific areas of the company.
Tomas gave his thoughts on the programme, “For us it gave us two clear outcomes; it makes you hold time that is dedicated to learning and development, focused time for forward thinking, and the grant allows you to take risks that you might not have otherwise, and gives you a chance to off-set that risk.”
The training scheme is guided by the participants, and is able to respond to the current and emerging challenges they face due to COVID-19 pandemic. This included a Q&A session with Dick Penny on leading an organisation through difficult times, during which the businesses were able to draw on his valuable experience of leading transformations at Watershed and Bristol Old Vic.
Creative Scale Up is a two-year pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It aims to help creative businesses in the West of England access finance through an intensive sustainable growth support programme.
The first businesses on the West of England Creative Scale Up programme were: Arcadia; Crack Industries, Luke Jerram; Trigger Stuff; Waller and Wood; Cognitive Paths; Knowle West Media Centre (The Factory); Complete Control; Limina Immersive; Auroch Digital; Wardrobe Theatre; Encounters Film Festival, Anagram, Visuable, Stornaway Productions and MAYK.
The Creative Scale Up local steering board features a wealth of industry experience, all of whom are keen to support participants. It also draws on support available from national partners, including the Creative Industries Federation, Arts Council England, Creative England, Scale Up Institute, UK Business Angels Association and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
“The region offers a unique confluence of creative and digital companies. The areas of interest cross over, from board games to video games, and the three main universities have courses that cross over the sector. This makes it a really interesting place to work; there's lots of energy, new creatives, new markets, creativity and connections here."