Peter Quayle, Co-Founder of Memory Lane Games, sat down to chat to us about how his company used funding and support provided by the Department for Enterprise through the Financial Assistance Scheme and the Business Adaptation Grant.
Tell us a little bit about your business journey, when did you set up and what does your business offer?
We first had the idea for Memory Lane Games in the Crosby pub nearly 5 years ago! Bruce Elliott and I were talking about our mums. His mum is 88 and sharp as a tack, whereas my mum is 92 and has dementia. We talked about how we could turn photos into games and that became our tagline “We turn memories into games”.
We incorporated in 2019 and now have 10 employees working from our Castletown office. We released our first app last year during Covid-19. It is a very easy to use app that runs on Apple and Android devices. We have optimised the user interface and game play so that older people can have fun playing quiz style games from all around the world.
In the next two months we will update our app so that people can build their own games using their own photos and share them with their friends and family. We believe that the ability to personalise games will really make a difference to people who are socially isolated and/or have cognitive conditions like dementia that affect their memories.
How has the Enterprise Support Scheme helped your business?
It has really made a difference. We have applied for and received two grants:
How did you find the experience of receiving support?
Very straightforward. At every turn the Department for Enterprise staff were helpful and professional. It really couldn’t have been simpler or smoother.
Tell us about your business – what do you enjoy most about the work you do?
It is not everyday that you can help build an app that enables people all around the world to connect with their friends and family. I still get a kick out of seeing where we can go next.
We have already hired two speech and language therapists (one in the IOM one in the USA) to help us develop our app for the speech and language therapy market.
Why did you choose the Isle of Man as the destination for your business?
I was born and grew up in the Island. I spent most of my career working in Europe but always wanted to return home. I can now build a business here and put something back. The Isle of Man is the best place in the world to be.
Outside of work, what do you like to do? How do you spend your free time?
I am very fortunate in that I can see my whole family every day and spend time with them. We can eat out, go for walks with the dog, ride bikes and play golf. Perfect!
How did you hear about the support schemes offered by the Department for Enterprise?
The local press had really good articles on the CBAS (Business Adaptation Grant) and Financial Assistance Scheme. They pointed me to the Department for Enterprise website and I took it from there. Very joined up.
Would you recommend the support scheme to other businesses and what would be your top tips for going through the application process?
I would 100% recommend applying.
My top tips would be
The Financial Assistance Scheme provides up to 40% funding towards a range of expenditure to help businesses start-up, expand or relocate to the Isle of Man.
To find out more about the Financial Assistance Scheme, click here.