Cornwall’s technology cluster has quickly expanded over the past decade, and companies like hiyield have been instrumental to that growth. The technology company helps startups, scale-ups, and enterprise innovators take their ideas from initial concepts to fully-fledged products, offering support for digital product development, digital services, and website and app development.
It’s not just technical support hiyield offers either. With years of experience founding and running a startup, the company’s founders also share their own expertise at every step of the growth journey.
Before hiyield, the company’s co-founders – Matt Ville, Ben Short, and Mike Roberts – all shared the experience of running a healthtech startup. They had a five-year growth journey, which included securing investment, attracting worldwide clients, and rapidly building a team.
In those five years, the founders experienced all of the challenges and rewards of running a startup, which made them the perfect people to help entrepreneurs going through the same process.
“Running a startup helped us shape the cultural ideas we wanted to embed into hiyield from the start,” says Matt Ville, Co-Founder and CEO of hiyield. “We wanted to ensure everyone has ownership over their roles, people are empowered to make a difference in the company, and the team works collaboratively.”
In just two years, hiyield has rapidly grown a tight-knit nine-person team, complete with a diverse set of developers, a Client Relationship Manager, and a Studio Coordinator. It’s focused on developing strong relationships with its clients, and creating valuable links across Cornwall’s thriving tech cluster.
The pandemic brought its own set of unique challenges and opportunities, but hiyield has adapted. In doing so, it’s continued recruiting new team members throughout, and Studio Coordinator Emil Pruden has even been recognised as the top Young Business Person at the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce awards in 2020.
Cornwall has something different for every business – but for hiyield, it’s the strong connections between technology entrepreneurs and the region’s impressive infrastructure. “I’ve been working in Cornwall’s tech cluster since 2001, but in the past decade, it’s really grown,” says Matt. “Tech companies here are always communicating, collaborating, and sharing their expertise – and a lot of that’s down to the proactive industry organisers such as Software Cornwall who help the sector grow. Community always comes before competition.”
Based in St. Austell Business Park, hiyield benefits from fibre-to-the-premises connectivity from Superfast Cornwall, helping the company stay connected with its national clients and extend its reach across the world. The company is also surrounded by a wealth of business support programmes in Cornwall – receiving recruitment funding from Unlocking Potential’s Future Focus programme, equipment funding from the Community Led Local Development programme, and business support from Oxford Innovation’s Executive Placement scheme.
It’s about more than just work too. Cornwall’s stunning scenery has helped hiyield attracts and retains key talent from different parts of the country. “I’m originally from Brighton, but I came to Cornwall for the unique work/life balance here,” says Emil. “The region has some stunning scenery, and you never need to worry about getting the tube to work.”
One of the strongest benefits of the region has been the business opportunities it’s offered hiyield – and Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) is a perfect example of the company’s partnership approach to work.
CWT has one of the most extensive collections of geospatial data in the UK, and it needed an easy way to gather, search, and share its data with other companies in the region.
After CWT approached hiyield, the technology company started developing a bespoke application to solve the trust’s challenge. hiyield’s team helped CWT move away from manual document searches and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to a comprehensive search platform that collates data and offers customers an easy-to-use experience.
The platform was critical to CWT’s continued service when staffing was reduced throughout COVID-19 lockdowns. Using the platform’s automation features, CWT was able to automate geospatial data sharing, and continue generating the revenue it needs to operate.
“The project was such a success, we’re now Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s technical partner,” says Matt. “It’s already connected us with The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and we’re now providing prototype designs for a mobile app as part of a national study.”
“I was really pleased to work with hiyield on a major project in 2020,” says Martin Goodall, ERCCIS Manager at CWT. “The team’s technical mobile application capabilities alongside great communication resulted in an output that was nationally recognised as leading the way in the sector. We continue to work with hiyield and we’re looking to develop our outputs with them, I can give no higher recommendation.”
hiyield’s national reach doesn’t end with DEFRA either. The company is also the technology partner for fast-growing Bristol-based startup The Wave. As the UK’s only inland surf lake, The Wave’s business model is one of a kind – and hiyield’s startup expertise has been invaluable for the company’s growth journey.
hiyield worked with The Wave to create a bespoke internal system for managing onsite visitors, gathering waivers, and booking sessions. It’s helped the startup engage more with regular visitors – and encourage new surfers – with tailored digital lessons, personalised tips, and surf therapy courses. And in response to COVID-19, The Wave was able to quickly adapt to a contactless sign-in process for visitors.
“A lot of what we do best is woven into our projects – we’re not just a tech business,” says Matt. “We have that additional experience of growing a business, bringing a product to market, and thinking from a user perspective. It’s why partnerships with companies like The Wave have been so successful.”
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