Find out how the Accelerator programme helped triple their turnover
Building up a giant
Rhiannon and Blair Porter run Where Giants Roam, a CGI and 3D creative agency based in Scotland, offering their clients, such as Glenfiddich and Braun, high-end advertising content through virtual photography, motion design and VFX. They worked with the team at our Edinburgh Accelerator, graduating in December last year.
"It’s kind of hard to describe what we do," Blair said. "So pitching in the Accelerator was tough. I guess put simply; we’re a CGI and motion studio which creates content for brands. We make things that aren’t real, look real. If a client says: ‘I thought that was a photo’, we know we’ve done a good job. The great thing about what we do is that the only actual limit is our (and our clients') imagination."
The imagination and skill of Rhiannon and Blair’s work was recognised recently with Where Giants Roam taking the ‘Creative Services Company of the Year’ at the Creative Pool awards (pictured above). "We were delighted to win," Rhiannon said. "As a studio we are lucky to work with some of the best and biggest agencies and brands in the world and it means a lot to be formally recognised. It was really rewarding the judges acknowledged not only our output, but also our team culture and push for gender equality, both of which are at the core of the studio."
"The only limit is imagination"
Blair Porter, Co-Founder / Creative Director at Where Giants Roam
"In a previous life we were Render Studio - and we got functional briefs with little scope for creativity," Blair recalls. "We rebranded specifically to have more creative conversations and it worked. Agencies came back and said: 'we have this idea…do you have suggestions?'. Our story changed overnight."
"Covid also helped change who we were as a business and who we worked for," Rhiannon added. "Where most of our work was with agencies, we started to work more with for the actual companies directly, the clients. We were slightly unusual when we joined the Accelerator as we weren’t a start-up, we’d been going for 10 years. The Accelerator was recommended by our accountant who thought it would be a good fit for us, they were right. We joined pre-Covid and had 6 months of benefit before everything changed."
"The Accelerator taught us about goals and helped us focus,” Rhiannon reflects. “Seeing things from a fresh perspective helped us immeasurably and also gave us the confidence to make what were difficult decisions.
"I remember going to one session early on in our journey and we were asked what our vision was and we were like: 'oh uh… pay the mortgage and survive'. We clearly weren’t looking at the business properly. We needed a plan, something that we could refer to and refresh which included questions like: 'where do you want to be?'. It’s fair to say that the mentoring was great. Amanda Welsh (the Scale Acceleration Manager) dealt with a lot of our ramblings and helped hold our hands."
Helping a business to thrive
Amanda points out: "They're a real success story for us; they joined with a team of 6 and turnover of approximately £20k per month. During their time with us their team doubled and turnover increased to around £75k per month. They also accessed £43k of funding through grants during that time.
"I think they really benefitted from the 1-1 coaching, our workshops and collaboration with other entrepreneurs. The main challenges they faced were growing and shaping their team, getting the roles and people right for the vacancies, acquiring new clients across different sectors and building their mission, vision and values.
"We also helped with corporate introductions through event invites and the use of the London Hub space as they began to grow beyond Scotland."
And now, as 'alumuni' of our Accelerator programme, Rhiannon and Blair can access events at the hubs, make use of coaching sessions and continue to network with peers.
Next steps (and the initial step)
The strides put in motion by Blair and Rhiannon are only getting bigger, with larger projects and more traction. A recent post created for Brewdog has had over 2.5 million views on Instagram.
"The response to the Brewdog Wingman piece has been incredible, Rhiannon said. “So many people commented asking if this really happened, it was very entertaining.
"The agencies we deal with are global and they don’t have the in-house CGI expertise. What we offer is a CGI and motion plug in service for them. We see ourselves as creative collaborators; we work with the clients’ brief and suggest how we could elevate it - often with suggestions they haven’t considered possible.
"It’s been an incredible journey so far. To anyone out there with an idea or just the kernel of a business idea then my advice is simple; if there is something that you love to do then why not try and create a business out of it. As soon as we did it, we didn’t look back."
Where Giants Roam
Where Giants Roam is an award-winning CGI agency specialising in product renders, brand expressions, and brand homes.
They work with companies all over the world, including some of the most highly-regarded agencies and well-known household names.
The aim is to bring brands to life by making the impossible, possible through their team of motion designers, visualisers, artists, and architects.
Discover more about the Ulster Bank Accelerator
Helping entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses is at the very heart of what we do. We’ve created one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurship propositions through 13 hubs across the UK. Entrepreneurs are welcomed into a like-minded community working space and provided with advice and mentoring to help them scale and succeed.
Our UK enterprise support in numbers
- 269,000 interventions delivered to start, grow or run a business
- 53,000 individuals and businesses supported through enterprise programmes
- 48,000 youth interventions supported through enterprise and entrepreneurship activity
- 90% of support in regions outside London and the South East of England
- 59% of support provided to women
Data taken from our '2022 Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosures Report', available on our Enterprise internet page.
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