Dan Riley
Teesside University

Member Article

Fellowship spearheads graduate's business ambitions

A Teesside graduate has returned to the University to receive support to launch a new digital business.

Dan Riley, who graduated in 2007 with a BA (Hons) Creative Digital Media, and fellow Teesside graduate Paul Li, have just launched Spearhead Interactive after being successfully awarded assistance through a DigitalCity Fellowship.

DigitalCity Fellowships offer entrepreneurs and innovators with strong business ideas in the digital media or technology industries the chance to explore them with financial support and expertise directly from the University.

Spearhead Interactive, which provides online 3D services and solutions for business, education and public sector clients, launched at the beginning of February 2013 and will be based in an office in the Phoenix building on the University campus.

Dan, 29, is looking forward to the new challenges every job provides and is enjoying the excitement that goes hand in hand with starting a new business.

He said: “With the website having just gone live, it’s been really hectic, but very exciting at the same time. We plan to attend a number of upcoming networking events to give Spearhead Interactive some real presence.”

Dan, originally from Loughborough but whose father grew up in Stockton, said: “On top of the skills from my degree, I have several years’ experience from working for dlab at Teesside University where I conducted high level research and explored the potential of online 3D technologies for commercial purposes, alongside a small team of other professionals.

“Having already worked with Paul at dlab, I felt he was the ideal candidate to help me achieve my long-term goals and I’m delighted he’s on board.”

The company aims to attract global interest in its products; however Dan believes that the North-East of England is an ideal place to begin trading.

He added: “With the strong engineering, manufacturing and product-driven heritage that exists within the region there are a substantial number of businesses operating within multiple target markets - all of which are vast in both scope and potential.

“By looking at the way the markets have evolved over time and how and why businesses, educators and governments have embraced, or indeed rejected the technology up to now, Spearhead Interactive is uniquely placed to assess multiple sectors and develop solutions to meet real areas of need and benefit.”

Dan is aware how important having the support networks of other new neighbouring companies inside the Phoenix building will be.

He said: “My first business start-up was a consultancy firm - Orbility - which was launched with two other professionals. Despite having previous experience in setting up a business, you can never underestimate how invaluable it is to have a support network around.

“The Phoenix building and the culture around the University as a whole encourages conversations with both academic and business units, and that is when unexpected collaborations can happen. While I’d be more than happy to offer advice to first timers where I can, I am acutely aware that with the talent contained within this building I’ll most certainly be calling on my fellow peers as well. There’s a real community vibe here.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Teesside University .

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