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Research Case studies

Mark Martin and Tim Ovens: Rabbit Hole Designs

Rabbit Hole is an enthusiastic design studio located in the centre of Leeds. It all started in 2006 when Leeds Beckett students Mark Martin and Tim Ovens met while studying their degree in Multimedia Technology.

They were both quick to recognise (and start exploiting!) each other’s talents, allowing themselves to be challenged and tested on many different projects.

Multimedia Technology is a multidisciplinary course, covering design in many media forms. One of these forms was website design and this is where Mark and Tim’s passion first began. Now, they have been able to increase their work in other areas of design; projects involving art direction, literature and design for exhibitions. The business has developed significantly over the years and now they are able to develop for a wider range of media platforms (e.g. iPad and mobile internet browsers).

In 2008 when Tim and Mark graduated they approached Business Start-Up looking for advice on making their partnership official and creating Rabbit Hole!

“Before we came to Business Start-Up we had no clue where to start with it all. They spent time with us, assessing our needs and advising us accordingly.”

Since then Tim and Mark have made good use of the networking events, seminars and one-to-one mentoring sessions that Business Start-Up offers. They were also awarded the Proof of Concept grant of £1000 which helps towards testing the feasibility of an idea.

“BSU have helped us along every step, from the techniques and skills required to do what we do, to the practicalities of setting up the business and the continued support given to us to this day’”.

Since Rabbit Hole’s very humble beginnings of working shoulder to shoulder in Tim’s bedroom, they have been lucky enough to work on some really diverse projects and build up a reputable client base and are located in a beautifully spacious studio situated in the centre of Leeds.

They are now looking to include more collaboration with other creative companies in Leeds as they enjoyed working with other companies and freelancers on successful contracts and would like to continue this. They are also hoping to find time to work on more self-initiated projects in the next few years.

Tim and Mark’s advice:

"Go for it! It does take a lot of work but there is also loads of reward. If you are setting up a service business try to learn how to price and time manage projects as quickly as you can - it's one of the most difficult things to get right but its key to making a profit. I guess the most important thing is to not to worry too much when things go wrong, you're going to have good days and bad days!"


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