Pencoed entrepreneur wins top Welsh Business Award | News | The …

Friday, 3 March 2017

By GEM Staff Reporter
in Business

The co-founder of a Pencoed-based video games company, who turned the business he started in his attic into a six-figure enterprise, won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Welsh Business Awards on February 23.

Richard Pring (29) who started games developer and publisher Wales Interactive in 2012 with David Banner, beat off tough competition to win the coveted award at the ceremony, which took place at the National Museum of Wales and was organised by the South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Wales Interactive, now a team of 11 with an annual turnover of £400,000, not only develops its own English and Welsh language video games but also operates a games publishing label, working with talented independent developers worldwide to bring their unique creations to new platforms.

In just four years the company has released 20 games, won multiple awards worldwide and increased its turnover by at least 30 per cent annually.

“Winning this award is a great honour and an amazing way to top what has been a tremendous year for both myself and the business,” said Pring. “In just four years our small indie company, which we started in an attic, has become a prominent high-end, multi-console developer and publisher.

“Starting the studio in Wales was a challenge because there were no major games hubs within 100 miles. But the idea of creating an industry where there wasn’t one, of pioneering new and innovative technology, excited me.

“We pushed forward, educating and developing the sector here. Knowing we have made such an impact in the Welsh games industry has really pushed me to drive myself and the company forward.”

The 2016 awards, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and sponsored by the University of South Wales, saw 35 businesses from a variety of sectors nominated for awards across 10 categories. The event was hosted by TV presenter Gethin Jones for the second time.

“Given how challenging 2016 has been for many of our businesses, with continued uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit, it was inspiring to celebrate so much success tonight,” said Heather Myers, director of the South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce.

“All 35 shortlisted businesses should be immensely proud of what they achieved in 2016, whether they left with a trophy or not. Their entrepreneurial spirit and never-say-die attitude have contributed to a more prosperous Wales and one that remains a firm contender in the global market.

Siwan Rees, director of USW Exchange at the University of South Wales, which sponsors the event, said: “We’re delighted to again support the awards, and congratulate all of those who have either been shortlisted or go on to become winners.

“By focusing on increasing the SME contribution to the economy, developing students with relevant skills, and enhancing the status of the university as an institution for business, USW is a centre for collaboration and interaction, which builds links between industry and graduate talent.”

The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns was a spokesperson at the awards. He said: “It’s because of the hard work and dedication of dynamic Welsh businesses, like those celebrated at the awards, that Wales has seen the fastest growth outside London since 2010.

“As a Government, we’re proud of supporting our job market. I’m delighted to say that there are 117,000 more private sector jobs in Wales than there were in 2010. These jobs have been created by the private sector, by entrepreneurs who take risks and have the drive to build businesses.

“I hope the Welsh business community continue to work together to ensure Wales remains a thriving location to do business.”

The winners of each category have the opportunity to progress to the British Chamber Awards when entries open in the spring. Welsh businesses have traditionally performed well against UK-wide competition and a number have successfully secured a share of the prize money, which was £10,000 last year.

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