Nublue Limited

The Organisation

Nublue Limited, one of the very first companies to move into InfoLab21 when it opened in 2005, is a web agency and hosting provider started by two Lancaster brothers, Thomas and Michael Ashworth, in 2005. NuBlue Limited believe a strong partnership gives their customers even better products and services.

Connecting, engaging and creating quality for their customers is Nublue Limited’s mission. Over eight years based on campus, the business benefited from a range of support, including the leadership development programme Lancaster LEAD®, Lancaster City Council grants to help with extending their office, and Lancaster University Management School's High Growth programme.

www.nublue.co.uk

The Challenge

Thriving company Nublue Limited needed extra skills and resources to help deal with their growing number of clients.

Skills Sought

  • Front-end development skills
  • Systems development skills
  • Systems testing skills
  • New technology research and evaluation skills

The Solution

Nublue Limited took on a graduate from Science and Technology's School of Computing and Communications through a new eight week information and communications technologies placement scheme. The graduate took on responsibilities across a range of disciplines, including front-end development, systems development, systems testing, and new technology research and evaluation.

Impact

The core impact on the business was that the additional resource and new skills freed up existing resources within the team to work on new projects and increase company turnover by providing additional services to new and existing clients.

Benefits to the company

  • Additional resources and new skills freed up existing resources within the team to work on new projects
  • Benefited from a range of support from the university
  • Increased company turnover by providing additional services to new and existing clients

Company Feedback

"Nublue launched in August 2005. At the time it was only my brother Tom and me (Michael). We had a tiny office; in fact, we had the smallest office in the InfoLab21 building! As the company grew, we moved a total of five times in InfoLab21 itself, though the fourth time involved knocking down a neighbouring wall to expand the office! InfoLab21 have been very accommodating, allowing us to develop our company whilst staying in the same building.

"At the time of our launch, we started looking at rural business centres and places in Preston but chose InfoLab21 because it had a modern feel which was great for a tech company. We rang up Steve Riches, who was the director of the Knowledge Business Centre at the time, and he made it very easy for us to set up our office."

"We've worked with Colin McLaughlin and Nick King, who were on hand in the Knowledge Business Centre to assist with business development. InfoLab21 have organised many helpful business events we have attended, such as knowledge sharing and meetings for start-ups. At the time we started, many businesses in the KBC were also start-ups.

“We've employed around ten Lancaster University graduates, in addition to having placement students. Through a Knowledge Business Centre (KBC) placement, we had a student called Pavel working for us during a summer internship. We also had Ravic (a student from Portugal who came through the Leonardo Programme for work experience in Europe), James (a Lancaster University student who worked with us for three months part-time) and Thanasis (a Greek student who did a six month placement, then returned to work with us for a year). We have also employed some of the former members of InfoLab21's Graduate Academy.

"The placement scheme provided real benefits to our business - the graduate was not only a great fit in terms of skills and interests, but got on well with the whole team and became an integral part of our day-to-day operations. We certainly wouldn't hesitate to take part in this scheme again." Michael Ashworth, Company Director, Nublue Limited.

Future Plans

Nublue Limited has now outgrown its offices in InfoLab21 and moved to new, larger premises in Lancaster, but continues its relationship with the university.

"The reason we're moving is due to our growing company, but we are still going to keep in close contact with the wonderful people at the University. We've made many connections, and we hope to look for Lancaster University graduates in the future and continue the bond with InfoLab21. So I guess this is a goodbye, but not really a goodbye." Michael Ashworth, Company Director, Nublue Limited.