Mercia EIS Funds

Stormburst Studios appoints Karl Drage as Chairman

A Birmingham-based developer of game-inspired software for businesses has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of a new Non-Executive Chairman.

Technology entrepreneur Karl Drage will support the senior management team at Stormburst Studios as the company continues to scale.

Karl will provide key commercial and sales expertise, and support with the development and execution of the company’s strategic plan.

Karl is currently CEO of Smart Renewable Heat and has recently enjoyed Non-Executive Director roles with BA Hydro Solutions and DIWAH Jewellery. He has over 25 years of experience in business leadership and the technology sector.

The business has also made strong commercial progress having brought on-board Sheridan Maine Ltd as a paying customer for Stormburst product, One Up Sales.

Stormburst secured £150,000 of seed funding from early-stage technology investor Mercia Fund Management in January 2017 and has since focused on product development, building customer relationships and bolstering their core team.

Jamie Rodden, Managing Director of Sheridan Maine, said:

“One Up Sales has proven to be a fantastic tool to both monitor and motivate our team. Comparing the same period last year without One Up Sales, I am left in no doubt that the product has had a positive impact on our performance.”

The start-up was founded in 2014 by CEO Derry Holt and CTO James Heath, graduates from Leicester’s De Montfort University who both have development experience in the games industry.

Commenting on his new role, Karl Drage said:

“The potential for gamification techniques to increase employee engagement and team collaboration is extremely significant. Presenting real time business systems data analytics and enabling employees to “keep score” in a meaningful and motivational manner is exciting and compelling. Derry and James have assembled an impressive team, and I am enthused by the prospect of joining them.”

Chris Kilroy, Investment Associate at Mercia Fund Management, said:

“We are delighted that Stormburst Studios has appointed Karl to help drive forward the company. Serious gaming and gamification is a key focus area for Mercia and with Karl’s impressive strategic experience and expertise, he will be a great asset to the team as they continue to thrive in this growing sector.”