Pitchfest: Nicholas van der Walle of Astute Graphics

Pitchfest: Nicholas van der Walle of Astute Graphics

Nicholas van der Walle is the founder and managing director of Astute Graphics, a firm built over 10 years. It supplies software for graphic designers and has worked with global corporations including Adidas, Disney and Apple. Due to pitch to a panel of judges at next week's Pitchfest, he caught up with BQ to tell us more...

Describe your business in no more than 100 words.

Astute Graphics creates software for graphic designers. We lead the way with tools engineered for increased efficiency, precision and creative freedom, acquiring clients ranging from freelance designers to global corporations such as Adidas, Disney and Apple. Built over 10 years with 14 major products, Astute Graphics owns an extensive IP and “knowhow” portfolio and the foundations for game-changing new products.


What prompted you to enter Pitchfest?

We were originally drawn to the wealth of networking opportunities through this established initiative. Following the initial practice pitch, the potential of Astute Graphics’ high-growth rate was very well received and we were encouraged to persist based on solid feedback from the panel.


What are you looking to fund with this investment?

With 10 years of experience bringing acclaimed design software to market, we now have the technical IP, knowhow and extensive customer base to launch an ambitious new stand-alone product, “Impulse”. This product will become an essential element to a designer’s workflow by allowing them to save even more time. Having initiated this project in 2011, we are now confident of launching in 2017. The investment will go towards all aspects of final development and product release primarily by extending the strong team to ensure we can meet demand.


Who inspires you to do what you do?

Alec Issigonis, designer of the original Mini, for inspirational engineering solutions that revolutionised the car industry.


Have you explored any other avenues of funding?

Initial investigations into crowdfunding and VC.


How do you differentiate your business from others?

Heavily research-driven to deliver innovative software, unique in the design industry.


Where do you see your company in five years time?

With a 1,300%+ revenue growth from 2010 to 2015, Astute Graphics are looking to achieve even greater results in the next five years through investment and continued high levels of R&D. These projections are realistic with the introduction of “Impulse” combined with our existing increasingly-successful revenue stream.


Which customers are you working with at the minute?

We have a diverse base of customers, ranging all the way from individual freelancer designers and SME’s through to global corporations including Google, Louis Vuitton and Facebook. As an example, every designer in a leading global sports fashion brand has our software installed on their systems.


What’s your proudest entrepreneurial achievement so far?

The realisation that our solutions are being utilised daily by our creative clients with a positive impact all around the world (90% UK exports). This includes our software being used for many major Hollywood movies, trainer designs, airline branding, banknotes, album artwork and a myriad of other examples.



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