Invest NI helps The Creativity Hub to raise its game

Sep 21, 2011

Picture by Michael Cooper

Pictured, (left) is Rory O’Connor and Anita Murphy of The Creativity Hub, with Stephen Wightman, Invest NI.

Invest Northern Ireland is helping small Belfast company The Creativity Hub to market its unique, award-winning game across Europe.

Rory’s Story Cubes is a storytelling game made up of nine cubes with iconic images. The aim of the game is to stimulate creativity by challenging players to develop a story that links together all the images that are face up after the cubes are rolled. It is targeted at both the entertainment and education markets.

The award-winning company developed new product concepts for the game last year with support from an Invest NI Innovation Voucher, which allowed it to buy expertise from the Institute of Technology Carlow. It is now investing over £100,000 in marketing activities including market development visits, exhibiting at key toy fairs and development of its online presence. Invest NI has offered over £30,000 of support, for this activity.

Formed in 2009, The Creativity Hub is run by husband and wife team Rory O’Connor and Anita Murphy. Rory originally designed Rory’s Story Cubes as an accessible creative thinking tool for life coaches and educational trainers. It has since proved to be a hit with families, educational professionals and the creative industries and has now been in the Top 100 games for over 160 days.

“I used to think creativity was a gift, you had it or you didn’t. Now I know that it is more like a muscle that needs to be exercised. After learning that creativity was available to anyone, I have been busy researching, teaching and designing tools to help anyone develop and use their creativity consciously and consistently,” says Rory.

“As well as being fun, the visual kinaesthetic or activity based nature of Rory’s Story Cubes makes it popular in education, engaging learners of all ages and abilities in storytelling, creative writing, literacy, language development and problem solving.”

As a result of the marketing activity currently underway the company is hoping to significantly increase sales and raise brand awareness, particularly in export markets. It is also in the early stages of developing a further update to the Rory’s Story Cube iPhone application which was originally launched in December 2009, and plans to take on two employees.

Stephen Wightman, Invest NI’s Acting Director of Life Sciences and Creative Industries, says: “The Creativity Hub is a niche company with a product that is suitable for multiple market sectors such as family fun, education and health. This innovative product is easily transferable to other geographic markets with a simple language change and therefore it has huge export potential.

“With Invest NI support the company is now focused on developing new routes to market, including setting up distributor networks and developing its online marketing activity, to capitalise on its initial success.”

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