Success stories

Since The Hive began in 2001, our students and businesses have won many awards, accolades and competitions. These have included regional prizes at the:

  • Nottinghamshire Business Awards
  • Spirit of Enterprise Awards
  • Prince's Trust Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Regional Student Business Plan Competition
  • Nottingham Evening Post Business Awards
  • Midlands Business Awards
  • Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce Awards

Take a closer look at some of our successes.


Launched in The Hive in 2014, TechSilver is a business aimed at helping the elderly with a range of technology based products and services that make life easier, safer and more enjoyable. TechSilver's products range from easy-to-use smart phones to health monitoring sensors, and big button land lines to home entertainment products.

& Then Design
With a name chosen to convey a sense of constant progression, & Then Design has gained a little extra direction on the road to success thanks to The Hive. NTU graduates Samuel Wright and Jamie Bowler have carved out a reputation for creating inimitable furniture, products and interior design for both the domestic and contract markets.

Bridge & Stitch
Bridge & Stitch provide support to clothing companies looking to manufacture their products in the UK. Their ever-expanding team still work from The Hive and they have been featured in The Times for their work in China.

Creating Focus
A graduate of the Hive's Headstart programme, Sarah Dale, the Chartered Occupational Psychologist behind the Creating Focus® coaching programme, recently wrote and published a self-help book while running her coaching business, which was started at The Hive.

Debbie Bryan
Winner of NCB Craft Award 2007, Debbie Bryan is a textile artist who designs and makes distinctive knitted and felt scarves and resin jewellery. A former NTU student, Debbie sells her designs through independent retailers in the UK and US.

Digicom Solutions
Wholesale electronics company Digicom Solutions was founded in 2006 by NTU graduate Kawsar Miah while he was on his placement year. The company employs eight people and has reached a turnover of over £1.2 million.

Fancy Fresher
The Hive helped Dominic Portman set up his business which supplies university students with all their fancy dress needs throughout Freshers' Week.

Flying Cows Consulting
Flying Cows arranges teaching placements in South Korea for graduates of all disciplines. Set up in 2004 by Amanda McGillivray, the company has enjoyed rapid growth and currently places up to 30 graduates in employment every month.

Go Dine
Serving up a modern solution to the age-old problem of finding and filling restaurants is enabling Hive entrepreneur Adam Roberts to satisfy his appetite for business success. His company, Go Dine, helps restaurants promote their vacant seats during quiet times, while allowing diners to find and book a table for a great eating out experience.

Katie Abey
Katie Abey is a freelance illustrator who came through The Hive whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University. Since graduating, Katie has gone onto work with companies such as Hallmark USA and Bloomsbury.

Markoulakis Publications
The impressive global reputation of independent publishing house Markoulakis Publications speaks volumes for The Hive's success in supporting an increasingly diverse range of businesses. Established in 2006 by Nikolaos Markoulakis, a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, the venture has won international renown for publishing academic books and journals which shed new light on classical heritage.

Nellie PR
Nellie PR was launched in Nottingham in 2007 by PR specialist Ellen Carroll. Nellie PR blends traditional public relations and online PR to deliver both attention and real and measurable value to its clients.

Prime Principle
Prime Principle was started by NTU graduates, David Francis and Chris Scarth, who developed the award-winning Classroom Monitor – an ongoing record-keeping and end-of-year report writing tool for primary schools. The company has won numerous awards including the Nottingham Evening Post Young Business of the Year accolade in 2007. They have also gained a DTI Smart Award and were recently shortlisted as finalists in HSBC's National Start-up Awards.

Since launching from The Hive just two years ago, Grant Baker and Nick Jackson have lit up the international design scene with a striking range of contemporary lighting, furniture and accessories. Their company, Sonodesign, prides itself on creating simple, individual and desirable products which are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards and are now sold by over 40 prestige stockists worldwide.

Spinster's Emporium
With prestige London department store Liberty secured as its first stockist, Spinster's Emporium has taken a major step towards becoming a big name in the material world. Donna Bramhall, founder of this distinctive craft brand, saw her perseverance and creativity pay dividends when Liberty placed its first order for her striking range of DIY fashion kits.

Sport Lived
Sport Lived arrange sport and travel experiences for young players and coaches. They enable people to play or coach sport during a gap year or summer break.

Strafe Creative
Drawing on The Hive's services has provided a solid foundation for two enterprising young designers whose vibrant new agency has built a diverse international client base in less than a year. Product design graduates Ross Davies and Patrick Dolan knew exactly where to go to transform their creativity and originality into a viable business venture.

An innovative idea born from losing an iPhone in a Nottingham taxi, TagBak offers its lost and found service to customers across the globe.

The University Paper
Originating at NTU, The University Paper has expanded across the UK reaching great success. It now covers over 20 universities with more on the horizon.
Warren Nash found that The Hive gave invaluable help and advice to help him promote his recipes and cooking videos.

WillB Brand Consultants
Founded by Will Baxter, a Hive HeadStart graduate. WillB Brand Consultants have created marketing materials and campaigns for an array of clients for nearly a decade.