Funding boost helps game development studio launch award-winning educational app

4 May 2017

A game development studio based in Friar Gate Studios in Derby has received £50,000 funding from the University of Derby’s Invest to Grow Fund and could see the creation of up to eight jobs over the next few years.

Strawdog Studios Limited, which was established in 2003, currently offers ‘work for hire’ development services for game publishers and brand holders, and delivers high quality video game content for leading and emerging game platforms.

The £50,000 grant has enabled Strawdog Studios to release their Times Table Adventures game. An educational product aimed at UK primary schools and children aged 3-11 years, which scooped Best Educational Game at The Independent Games Association (TIGA) awards.

Development of the game was kept at Friar Gate Studios and the team includes three University of Derby graduates – Chris Fisher (programmer), Matt Handy (programmer) and Matt Mould (artist and animator). Strawdog Studios have alos previously been based at the ID Centre, one of the University's business innovation centres. 

Paul Smith, Managing Director of Strawdog Studios, said: “The Invest to Grow grant funding and support enabled the development of the Times Table Adventures game to progress much quicker.

“It also contributes to achieving our planned growth and strategic objectives and we are now in a position to explore more opportunities with primary schools and education providers.

“This is an exciting time for Strawdog and we’re delighted that our programme development team includes graduates from the University of Derby and the award from TIGA recognises the effort and hard work from all the team here.”

Mark Wheddon, Head of Strategic Programmes at the University, added: “We are proud to support Strawdog through the Invest to Grow Fund. They are an innovative company and this funding has supported their growth in the region.

“The grant has not only helped Strawdog to develop the Times Table Adventure game, but will also create more jobs in this industry in Derby. We hope to continue to support the business with further opportunities in the future.”

The University of Derby secured a £16 million Invest to Grow fund from the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which is aimed at fuelling business expansion and helping to create and safeguard thousands of jobs in the East Midlands region.

The University uses the fund to support business growth in the region by investing in companies, as well as providing access to its extensive range of wider resources including academic expertise and technology.

Learn more about the University of Derby’s Invest to Grow programme.