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2019: Our Year in Review

Holly Breckon Profile Image

Holly Breckon
January 15, 2020

And just like that, it’s 2020. Another decade. The start of the twenties.

It also marks the start of a second decade of business for us as 2019 saw Storm celebrate its 10-year anniversary. 

With a multitude of celebrations, events, new initiatives, and the launch of many a project, we’re all very proud of how 2019 turned out. Here’s a look back at some of our favourite moments.

10 year anniversary

On the 1st September 2019, Storm turned 10 years old. To celebrate this, we put into motion a number of ideas to help us celebrate this milestone anniversary. From choosing to implement a ‘Charity of the Year’ scheme and building ourselves a much-needed new website, to sharing hilarious old photos and videos from over the years and a very fancy team retreat; we’ve very much enjoyed the start of our 10th year in business.

We also hosted a huge 10th birthday party at The Ivy Bath Brasserie with over 100 of our supporters, clients and friends. In addition to the usual drinks reception you would come to expect, we also provided a caricaturist, a close-up magician, a live band, and wine tasting from Novel Wines! We’re so proud of how well the event went and were very moved by the number of well-wishes we received.

A new Stormtrooper and a new website

To kick off 2019, we had a new front-end developer join the team: Hannah.

Hannah had spent over six years working as a developer for agencies in Bristol, building websites in WordPress for a range of clients, from large corporations to local charities. We were very excited to have her join us at Storm, and also to have our very first female developer!

Seeing as we were turning 10, we decided to treat ourselves to a brand-new website. As Hannah’s very first project we tasked her with the build of our newly designed Storm site – no pressure at all…

Let’s be honest though, she did an awesome job :)

The Storm Retreat 2019

Every year the team are taken away on a weekend retreat in order to reinforce staff relationships, enjoy a bit of teambuilding and reward everyone on a job well-done. As 2019 was a big year, David and Adam very generously pushed the envelope on (what we’ve coined) the 10 year ‘Stoliday’. 

Not only did we stay at an incredible house in Salcombe, Devon and extend the retreat to a full working week, but the staff’s partners were also invited for the duration of the retreat.

Filled with a number of fun activities including shooting, boat trips, yoga, long walks and plenty of swimming in the heated outdoor pool, it was certainly a week to remember.

We also surprised Dave and Adam with a party as a thank you; including a (scarily accurate) game of ‘Mr & Mr’ to find out how well they knew each other after all these years, and a heart-warming video featuring funny footage from over the years and a number of kind video messages from clients and staff, both past and present.

We’re pretty sure we spotted a couple of teary moments from our dear founders throughout… 

Our Charities of the Year

In an effort to improve our corporate social responsibility (CSR), we decided that each year we will appoint a Charity of the Year to support. As a team we put forward a number of options and collectively decided on, not one, but TWO charities for 2019.

Our first choice is Macmillan Cancer Research, one of the best-known cancer support charities in the UK which has touched many lives, including some of our own at Storm. We will be fundraising throughout the year for them by participating in a number of activities. 

Our second chosen charity is Bath-based Designability. The charity transforms the lives of disabled people and those living with a long-term health condition (from babies through to people living with dementia) by creating innovative assistive products to aid them in the challenges they face every day. We are donating our time and skills over the year to help them develop products and improve their online functions and visibility.

Storm Bath Charity

The BDF Dinner

As one of the Bath Digital Festival’s founding members, every year we sponsor the festival and often host our own event. This year we decided to try something a little different.

We teamed up with Engine Shed to host an exclusive event for local digital tech founders looking to scale up their business. At the Apex Hotel we treated 80 of the finest business people from across Bath and Bristol to a three-course dinner, whilst they listened to a variety of short ‘lightning’-style talks from a number of impressive speakers.

Titled the ‘Leading Through Change Dinner’, each speaker explained their individual story, including the challenges they’d faced and the lessons they’d learnt when scaling up their business.

The evening was a great success, receiving fantastic feedback from the guests, with many asking when we’ll be hosting the next one. So watch out 2020!

Two Week Tech Accelerator

In June 2019 we launched a new mentoring scheme called the ‘Two Week Tech Accelerator’, where we hosted three university students who were in the early stages of creating an online business.

Gus, Zach and Fraser (founders of student housing website UniRent) joined Storm for an action-packed crash course to help get their business idea off the ground.

Working closely with Dave, Hannah and Tom, they were able to re-look at their proposition from a business point of view, whilst being provided with the creative and technical support they would not usually have to access to. 

At the end of the fortnight, UniRent had developed a brand, created an initial landing page for their website and come up with a suitable business plan. 

We’ll be accepting applications for this year’s Accelerator very soon.

Mental wellbeing and mindfulness at Storm

With mental health being a growing concern in today’s society, we decided to introduce a new initiative to help support the Storm team manage stress and improve their wellbeing. 

Working with EcoWild and Mindfulness Bath, the team have been participating in a number of indoor and outdoor activities to practise stress relieving behaviours. So far it’s been good fun!

And not forgetting the launch of many exciting client projects

Throughout 2019 we worked with a number of incredible clients and subsequently launched many new projects including:

  • A brand-new website for Bristol-based business hub, Engine Shed, to modernise their online presence and improve their customer journey.
  • A website and course catalogue for the Institute of Coding, a £40million government and private institution funded project to help bridge the digital skills gap in the UK.
  • A data driven and e-commerce digital product for new cosmetics trialling company, First Beauty.
  • A new front-end website for Systopia, one of the world’s leading POS and payment technology software providers.
  • Qtac, a successful payroll software company, tasked us to develop a number of customisable data collection forms and pages to use with their existing app.
  • Bath Beekeepers, a charity we’d worked with many years ago, needed a website refresh with the addition of an e-commerce and events function.
  • A lively ecommerce website for new sun protection brand, LifeJacket.

Plus, we continued work on a number of our ongoing projects such as boutique coaching app, Rise, the US-based independent education company, LogicPrep, and Brevio, a software that is set to transform grant-making for the Third Sector.

And, of course, we continued to support our partner companies, CiteAb and iAM Compliant.

Thank you to everyone who has worked with us and supported us throughout 2019. It’s been a hugely successful year and kicked off our 10-year anniversary in the best way possible. We look forward to another busy and exciting year to come.

If you have a great new digital idea or would like to discuss any of our upcoming 2020 initiatives, please do not hesitate to get in contact – we’d love to hear from you.