Young entrepreneurs score with new app

Young entrepreneurs score with new app

Two Teesside University graduates, who make up one of the rising businesses from Tees Valley’s digital cluster, have released a football app aimed at encouraging youngsters to get involved in the sport.

SockMonkeyStudios is targeting children aged from three to eight after being inspired by seeing bored children with their parents at football matches.

Bob Makin, managing director of SockMonkey, said: “We spoke with a few football clubs who said that young children were often coming to games but after a little while getting bored.

“This game could help keep their attention and stimulate an interest in football while at the same time preventing them from getting too restless at the match.”

The app gives players a virtual pet monkey, which they can dress up in the team colours of their choice, and test its soccer skills in areas such as penalty shootouts and keepy-ups.

Gateshead-based Arcus Animation helped with art and character design for the game.

SockaMonkeys is initially free to download with a limited number of games. Players can pay to unlock more games, and the team are looking at ways in which players can pay for additional items such as their favourite team’s branded football strips.

Makin added: “We’re doing a lot of contract work for other companies and have recently been doing some work for one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies.

“However, we’re also investing in our own IP and it’s great that we’ve been able to release SockaMonkeys under our own label.”

Bob and co-founder Darren Cuthbert left their jobs at a large games studio to set up SockMonkey in 2013 with the help of a DigitalCity Fellowship from Teesside University.

Laura Woods, director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business hub, said: “It’s always a thrill for us to see a company with Teesside University connections do so well.

“SockMonkey are great ambassadors for DigitalCity and the support it gives to digital entrepreneurs.  We’re delighted the company is going from strength to strength.”


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