Life beyond the Hub for Infinity

Leeds Digital Hub
Leeds Digital Hub
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A software company has grown to over 100 staff after launching only four years ago at a leading collaborative workspace in Leeds.

Infinity Works Consulting began life in the Leeds Digital Hub in 2014. The business used the co-working space as a launchpad and today has around 160 staff across offices in Leeds, London and Manchester.

Director Paul Henshaw said the Digital Hub was “a real catalyst” in the firm growing up. Before setting up the business, he and fellow co-founder Matt Gaffney were at Sky Bet for two years.

The business is targeting further growth and recently completed another office move to Apsley House in Leeds.

“We moved to a new office last May, which was a big step up for us. It allows us to have up to 80 people in one space,” Mr Henshaw said.

The expanded office space will allow the business to manage more services.

Infinity Works helps businesses build large scale software. The firm worked on NHS Digital’s Spine II system along with a host of other tech companies in Leeds.

This vibrant tech ecosystem is helping other technology firms to thrive, says Mr Henshaw. Sky Bet’s growth has enabled Infinity Works Consulting to tap into work with the gaming company.

“There’s a real opportunity here to build things for people,” Mr Henshaw said.

The company uses its specialist skills to install technical capabilities for other digital companies and projects as well.

Mr Henshaw said: “Our big ambition is to put good foundations to allow good leadership opportunities.

“We’ve got some incredibly capable people. We want those guys to start running the business.”

Infinity Works is potentially looking at working on banking services and Mr Henshaw believes there is an opportunity for the firm to provide “robust” software as society heads more and more towards becoming paperless.

Manchester tends to lead the way in terms of tech start-ups, Mr Henshaw said, but Leeds’s strength lies in the number of growth firms in the region.

The Digital Hub helped Infinity Works access mentoring support as well as providing office space.

Mr Henshaw said: “It was a step up from coffee shops and pubs. Equally we were introduced to some incredibly helpful, supportive people.

“We’ve also been able to come back to the Digital Hub and tell some of our stories and experiences along the way – that’s a great reminder to us of where we started, and really rewarding to give something back.”

The technology entrepreneur’s advice to other budding start-ups is to allow people they hire the opportunity to grow.

Mr Henshaw said: “First up, hire great people with the right mentality and attitude. We hired fantastic people from the start and those same people now are pushing us on apace – so don’t stand in their way.”

He also says businesses should be honest with clients and be prepared to say no. “We’ve never promised something we can’t do or fulfil. It’s hard to say no as an entrepreneur who wants to build a business but short term disappointment when you tell a client honestly you can’t do something has proven to be better than letting them down,” Mr Henshaw said.