How Plymouth University’s Formation Zone contributed to our success
Fuel’s Managing Director, Martyn King recently took part in an interview with the Plymouth University Formation Zone where it was discussed how they have contributed to the growing success of Fuel.
1. Before starting your business, what did you do?
“I used to be head of marketing at Ashfords, but I wasn’t the only one who started Fuel. Dave, who was running a design agency, and Steve, who was also working in marketing, started the company with me.”
2. What stage was your business at before joining Formation Zone?
“We had just decided to pull everything together and set up an integrated agency. With two of us from a marketing background and one from a design background, we felt we could do more together.”
“We only really started on the day that we moved into Formation Zone.”
3. What made you choose Formation Zone?
“We were pleasantly surprised by how affordable it was and still is. The flexibility of the start-up package, coupled with the opportunity to work in the University, was really important. Location is massively important to a start-up. We had access to cutting edge facilities and got to work alongside other creative businesses.”
4. What difference did being in Formation Zone make to your business?
“It gave us immediate credibility, which is massively important for a start-up. Clients, prospective clients and the industry could see straight away that we were a serious business. We were only the second or third business to move into Formation Zone and it helped us to grow to the point of taking on an extra team member in no time.”
“Being able to collaborate with other businesses based in Formation Zone allowed us to enhance our offer and I’m very happy to say that, as a result of being in Formation Zone, we were able to grow faster than we would have otherwise.”
5. What progress did you make during your time in Formation Zone?
“We quickly outgrew Formation Zone and eventually relocated to Crownhill Fort. We developed into a leading brand communications agency and expanded the business to take on more people.”
6. How has your business progressed since leaving Formation Zone?
“A big milestone was opening up our office in London. We did that two years ago and deliberately set up in a similar shared space to that of Formation Zone. After our experience in Formation Zone, we believe in that growth environment. Being surrounded by other creative businesses complements what we do and helps us grow.”
7. How do you feel about your experience in Formation Zone?
“We loved it and didn’t want to move out. Unfortunately, we had to! We still work with the alumni community and are friendly with a number of businesses which grew out of Formation Zone. I’m now on the Formation Zone Programme Board and am really proud of that. I also had the honour of being able to help launch the Formation Zone brand in London.”
8. Would you recommend Formation Zone?
“Of course I would. It’s a winning formula.”
“In the South West, only 45 per cent of businesses are still trading after five years. Businesses started in Formation Zone have a survival rate of over 80 per cent. It’s not just a great environment, statistically it’s where you want to be!”