Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Divisi prepares to launch Cluster app for events organisers
Business editor Julie Hayes meets Mark Ross-Smith, one of York’s new generation of entrepreneurs.
A GRADUATE business is gathering momentum as it prepares to launch a new app.
Divisi, founded by two University of York computer science graduates, Mark Ross-Smith and Sam Rowley, is developing Cluster, a mobile app for events organisers.
In the current difficult climate for graduate jobs, the pair decided to create their own jobs by going into business together in their final year of university.
Initially with the intention of developing a what’s on app for students in York, they won funding from the university to create the app, but then lacked further funding to market the app enough for it to take off.
“We found out early enough to rearrange our priorities and step back,” said Mark.
In true entrepreneurial spirit, Mark and Sam picked themselves up and carried on with the consultancy side of their business, developing websites and applications for other people.
But they have developed new plans for the technology they have created and expect to launch the first version of Cluster in April.
Mark and Sam have re-engineered their product into a service, which they will sell to events organisers to enable them to build their own apps, without large development costs.
Mark said more events were being accompanied by apps, but they could cost thousands of pounds to be developed, so the business is using the work they have already done in app development to offer the different functions they have developed to organisers to pick and choose what they need.
“Event hosts will be able to create their app themselves without having to go to a developer and designers,” he said. “They will build it with drag and drop components and manage it and put it into the app store. It brings the cost right down as smaller events couldn’t afford to have these apps made.”
While working on Cluster, the bulk of Divisi’s business is consultancy and making websites and apps for other businesses, as well as creating a new version of their own website, which they do every year, and will be launched today.
Fuelled by referrals, the business has created websites and apps, including the website for Kykloud.com, a Newcastle software company which has developed an application for surveyors and asset management reporting, and Telltale Tours, an app which gives audio-guided walks of York, as well as business promotions and an events calendar.
“This has allowed us to be really creative. They had ideas and didn’t know how to execute them. We did the website and the app and created a bespoke content management system for them to manage the website and app,” said Mark.
“Portfolio piece websites are our thing. We love it.
“The great thing about having a small team is we all have a vested interest in the outcome at the end of it. Weekends and nights go out of the window because we really want to get it out there looking awesome.”