Graduate Start-Up Shortlisted for Prestigious Award

11.08.2015

A University of Wales Trinity Saint David graduate has been shortlisted for the category of South Wales Young Entrepreneur of the Year in The South Wales Business Awards 2015. The ceremony will take place on the 11th of September at The Bear Hotel in Cowbridge, Cardiff.

The awards, since their launch in 2008 have become a must attend event of the South Wales business calendar. In 2014, over 170 business people were in attendance.

Liam Mee is founder and Director of Port Talbot-based MeeCreative, a successful design company that has developed an international profile. Liam graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Product Design from UWTSD Swansea. MeeCreative employs three staff and offers a range of product design, brand development, digital and print services. The company has dedicated in-house electronic and PCB design capabilities, as well as using cutting-edge CAD and prototyping techniques.

Liam said: “I had a passion to create original, desirable and, more importantly, user-centric products. I was focused upon solutions to the challenges faced by older and disabled people who strive to maintain active and independent lives.

“That is where the company started but it has evolved quite rapidly into other sectors.”

An example of this evolution can be seen through its recent work with Winmau, one of the world’s leading darts manufacturers. Winmau sought to gain inspiration for their 2015 catalogue and chose MeeCreative to help them move their internal designs forward.

Simon Hall, Head of Marketing at Winmau, said: “We used Liam and the guys at MeeCreative to back up our internal design work, and they were a pleasure to work with. Honest and upfront, they took time to listen to what we wanted. I felt they showed great initiative in researching our marketplace and competitors before presenting the work we wanted, and completed everything on time with minimum hassle.”

The company has also worked on projects for the University of Wales, the Dylan Thomas Centre and London-based theatre company BrightLights to name but a few.

MeeCreative started life in 2011 with the support of UWTSD’s Enterprise Manager Kathryn Penaluna. She was able arrange office space on the University’s Mount Pleasant campus in Swansea as well as connecting the company to Business Wales mentor, Richard Perry. MeeCreative also gained funding from the Prince’s Trust, which helped them with initial start-up costs for equipment and marketing.

Over time, MeeCreative outgrew the space at UWTSD and subsequently moved to their current home at the Quantum Innovation Hub in Port Talbot, thanks to the help and support of Quantum Director Steve Jones.

As well as expanding its work across a number of sectors, MeeCreative has also found itself evolving to meet unexpected service demands.

Liam said: “As time went by we were receiving more and more requests for logo and web design. MeeCreative changed from being purely a product design agency to become a product design and branding agency. It is not something that I planned to do but the demand was there.”

Aware of the value of his experience since graduating, Liam has now taken on a role as part-time product design lecturer at UWTSD.

He said: “Becoming a lecturer has been a positive experience. I have the opportunity to give back to the University that supported me, as well as offering my knowledge and experience to the new product designers who are at the start of their career path – as I was in 2011.”

About the business, he said: “Starting an established design agency, like every great business, needs direction and a strong service offering. It has taken four long years to refine this into a realistic and strong company vision. Our aim for the next five years is to establish ourselves as a well-known UK design agency that businesses enjoy working with. It is fundamentally important from my point of view that we instil a culture here at MeeCreative that is like no other. MeeCreative will be a hardworking, fun and high-energy environment where people will love to work. 

“Our objectives will never change; we will support all our clients on their journey to become the best in their field. The success we achieve on each project results in client success, and there’s nothing more rewarding.”

When asked about his top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, Liam said:

“An army isn’t built around one individual. In business you need to armour yourself with the right support mechanisms. You can’t do it alone, so stop trying. In Wales we are lucky to have a lot of support from the Welsh Government but there are also very talented individuals that go unrecognised that can provide you with business support. The more people you talk your ideas and business objectives through with the better because conversations spark new ideas and new ideas open uncharted doors.”

To for information about MeeCreative visit www.mee-creative.com