Rehab Studio describes itself as a “creative technology company”, which builds websites, online games and web apps to support innovative corporate advertising. It has several major corporate clients including Google and Red Bull.
The company was founded in Belfast in 2005 by Tim Rodgers and Jurgen Prause. Since then the company has expanded substantially and now its main technical offices are in Belfast’s Gasworks, while it also has offices in London and New York.
“Back in 2005 we worked with SMEs, but as the size of our clients grew, we grew on an almost parallel basis,” explains Peter McConnell, Rehab Studio’s technical producer in Belfast. Peter provides technical guidance for projects.
Today Tim is based in New York, while Jurgen is a technical partner. The London offices are a creative hub, which are also used to enable the business to be closer to many of its major corporate clients. Similarly the New York offices double up as another creative hub, while putting the company closer to its US clients and acting as what Peter calls its “executive production hub”. “Belfast is very much the technical base,” explains Peter.
Staff numbers vary according to the projects being worked on at any time – with a core staff topped up by relevant freelancers. At present the company employs 30 staff in Belfast, 20 in London, a small core in New York and 10 to 15 contractors, on freelance contracts.
“A few years back we branched into London to provide closer contact with the people we work with – the large clients, including Google,” explains Peter. “We do a lot of work with Google – we have an ongoing relationship with them. We also do a lot of work with Red Bull, with whom we also have an ongoing relationship. They allow us to do fun creative projects with them – which is great.
“With Red Bull a lot of the work is campaign driven, for example we are working with them to advertise new flavours. We helped build a new brand driven website for those new flavours.
“We tend to partner with Google on its projects. Back in December we partnered with them and Disney on Disney’s new Blank movie.”
Rehab is an example of the new technology base that Belfast is keen to promote – and its fast growth trajectory helps to explain why. The company won the Emerging Technology Award in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards of 2009.