Diva Creative/Geostories – Advance Case Study

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Amanda Pearce is a co-director at Diva Creative, a Yorkshire-based creative agency. Established in 2000, the company employs 21 people and delivers a wide range of creative products including screen, digital marketing, website and app development. The company has increasingly focused on storytelling and screen and has recently invested in developing a new product – GeoStories – that uses AR, animation and audio drama in an app-based setting, with GPS triggers for story content as the audience is immersed in the experience.

Over the course of the Advance programme, Amanda has attended a 2 day Bootcamp at Production Park & received 10 hours of mentoring with Story Central – alongside further support through Creative Enterprise.

We spoke to Amanda about her experience:

Tell us about Diva Creative?

Diva Creative is a socially conscious creative marketing agency working with industries including air quality, sustainable travel, education, health and social justice. We have recently launched Geostories which uses GPS location technology to create a powerful experience, telling compelling stories through drama enhanced by rich visual content and AR accessible to the user via an app. Stories are based in a particular location and draw on the history, heritage and legends of those places.

What support have you received from the Advance programme?

Following support from the Advance Programme, we have developed a new product, GeoStories, with a prototype and then full product development to take GeoStories to market. This has now been established as a spin out company registered at Companies House, and we are seeking investment to accelerate growth with a five year exit plan. Without the support from the Advance Programme we would not have been able to achieve as much as we have in such a short timescale, or had the funds to fully develop a viable product.

Have you hired any new roles?

We have recruited a new role in Diva Creative Ltd to support our storytelling and screen content. We employed two paid interns for 6 months to support the development of the project via the University of York. We have also recruited a contracted Unity Developer who we continue to hire to develop the tech for our product app. In addition we have engaged a contractor on a long-term contract to support film production including 360 film in addition to sound engineer services.

Have you launched any new products or services?

We have developed a new product as outlined above, which we are now developing as a new company. As part of this development, we have developed our services in audio drama recording and effects, Augmented Reality asset design and deployment into the GeoStories App, as well as expanded our creative content services in relation to ideation, writing and scripting new content.

Have you applied for or received any funding or grants?

In addition to the support received from Creative UK, we have also had support via an Internship from University of York SIGN programme, had funded access to a writing for games course delivered by John Yorke Story Academy funding by SIGN, received a grant from the Sheffield City Region Digital Improvement Grant scheme to support the development of the prototype. We have yet to achieve investment funding, having bootstrapped the project ourselves in addition to the grants listed above.

Geostories was a finalist in the Start up Category in the Prolific North Tech Awards recently, and last week we were announced as City Winners in the Rising Stars 5.0 programme for this year that is run by TechNation – hopefully we’ll also be regional winners!  It’s great to see that GeoStories is being well regarded as a promising start up.

I must say that we are very appreciative of the support and encouragement received from the Creative UK team as a whole and feel that this has really enabled us to progress quickly as well as informing key decisions along the way. We are hopeful that we will secure investment to take GeoStories forwards and meet our ambitions for this exciting new company.


View more case studies from the Advance programme here