For hedgehog lab, 2016 has been nothing short of staggering.
Already, with two months still to go, we’re looking at annual turnover growth of 160%, boosted by our largest contract to date and moves into several new markets.
We are truly a global consultancy - and pride ourselves on being so.
At the same time, though, we’ll never lose sight of the importance of our North East roots.
It was, after all, in Newcastle that a decade ago Mark Forster and I conceived the idea for the company.
We’ve been headquartered here ever since, morphing from tiny digital agency focused on SMEs into international player competing with giants such as IBM.
Has location played a role in this? We’re absolutely certain of it - with six figure contracts becoming the norm, we’ve seen numerous international clients travel to visit the ‘mothership’ and leave with a great impression, not only of hedgehog lab itself, but of the city, the region and its people.
In short, it gives us a strategic advantage that filters through to our other sites in London, the US and India, the directors of which joined us last month for our annual strategy meeting at Newcastle’s stunning Crowne Plaza hotel in the recently developed Stephenson Quarter.
Hence, we’re proud to be creating jobs - and lots of them.
In the past nine months, we’ve taken our headcount from 32 to 83, with 26 of those new starts joining us in Newcastle.
Feedback from team themselves, meanwhile, remains overwhelmingly positive, with workplace review site Glassdoor naming us as Newcastle’s best employer this year based on 33 ratings, giving us five out of five across the board.
It’s for these reasons and more that we’re backing a brand new campaign aimed at raising the profile of the region’s creative, digital and tech scene.
The cleverly named #ThisIsMINE (Made in the North East) is the latest initiative from Digital Union, an industry cluster recently acquired by music development agency Generator.
Launched at Wylam Brewery’s striking new headquarters, it represents a collaborative effort to support a talent eco-system, narrow the skills gap and kickstart growth.
Most importantly for us, it’s designed to give the region a voice both nationally and internationally, as the creative digital sector - worth £1.25bn - is set for 28% growth within the next three years.
Here in the North East, we know we've got the talent. Now, it's time to shout about it.