Go2Games operates from the heart of Croydon, reaching out to gamers across the UK and EU. Started by four friends native to the borough, today their entire workforce is from the local community, representing the diversity that runs all the way through Croydon. During the pandemic they built upon their foundational commitment to education, training and skills in the borough. You can learn more about Go2Games here.
Go2Games is a tenant of South Bank Innovation and able to utilise spaces across London South Bank University to build and develop their product and community. With the opening of LSBU Croydon this has opened up even more possibilities in their home-town. You can watch their full video and read the transcript below exploring the importance of community to their business and how SBI supports them further their own journeys as well as their business.
If you're interested in space for your venture and the opportunities working with SBI can open up, explore your options with us here.
Having a space downstairs, although it's seen as a bit of a hot desk. So office space, I think that what we all missed over that pandemic period was the fact that interacting with people was so important and the ideas come from those types of interactions.
We worked together on Go2Games.com, but we’ve also just launched another company called Levels Learning.
Yeah, just a little bit more background on Go2Games, so Go2Games I've been running actually for over a decade now and it feels like that amount of time at times. But then other times it's been a very community focused business over the last ten years, and that's primarily because of the fact that It was born and bred in Croydon.
Myself and Josh have known each other since we were 12 years old, so Croydon is very much at the heart of us as people.
How do you ensure you foster community?
Go2Games has always been a disability confident employer. So, so it's partly because of our family backgrounds, but also because we have a great care for all of those in the community. We the disability confidence stuff is all about making reasonable adjustments in the workplace as if, for instance, when you come to a place like LSBU, obviously that's all been thought out.
So so even when you're looking at barriers based on accessibility and those types of things, they don't exist in the way in which some of the other environments that you might step into.
What have you been proud of lately?
At the end of last year, we launched Levels Learning. We've run numerous programs, but our main flagship program is around employability. But with our expertise for entrepreneurship and enterprise, we give it a little twist which makes it stand out and be something slightly, slightly different and slightly more engaging for the people we work with.
What Inspired your business?
When you think about the words levels if you tie it back to video games, obviously there's levels in video games and when you're listening to sports and lots of different things, even the government as well, you know, talking about the leveling up agenda and things like that and levels does speak to us and it always has done.
Josh had a key ring that he made at college, I think that had word levels on it. So obviously it's been in the mix of the way that we speak for a long time. So being able to manifest that in a particular way and then tie in the tagline of the business, which is it's a mindset.
Which one word has resonated with you lately?
Only recently really got used to utilizing the term entrepreneur to describe myself.
But I think that some of the conversations that we're having with the management team and others that we interact with, I think the term entrepreneurship is really interesting in the sense of that we're in a space that obviously is very high tech and has lots of opportunity to really think creatively. And we're really proud to be associate academics now, working with one on one sessions with learners from the programs that we run to running the business.
This year, it's 250 students, you know, across a day over a I think it was a half a semester, wasn't it?
How has your relationship with LSBU continued to develop?
We've been given and allowed, and sort of we do a lot with not only LSBU Croydon but LSBU Southbank, so we run sessions lectures up at Southbank and we've really sort of embedded ourselves in the Enterprise Hub downstairs, which has allowed us to have a fully functional office space, but also a fully functional office space that has other local businesses within it, which means that we can interact and engage with different people and through collaboration, provide much, much broader and wider ranges of opportunities for the surrounding community.
Yeah, so it's almost like a bit of a community within a greater community.
Has your business changed through having dedicated office space?
I mean, it's changed in the sense that everything's much more centralized. And so all the way through the process of the educational aspects within the classrooms, using the high tech screens, using all the laptops, using the equipment that’s available all the way down to the work experience where you then got an actual fully operational office space, which for us and from our experience with Go2Games. and being employers, there was a big gap with certain things that were missing.
So one of them was having that experience on their CV.
How do you engage with the local area?
We ran a campaign over the first lockdown and into the second called Keeping Croydon Connected and actually we found out in stark detail. We worked with Sarah Jones MP and Susanna Reid and others. It's something that we built and basically was just about furnishing schools and people, people in need with fully refurbished devices.
What causes are important to you as a small business?
We’ve been talking about DEI and inclusion and, and all of those different things and disability confidence for years now.
And you know I'm I'm pleased to hear the conversation changing generally it feels like it's changing if you listen to LBC and other things or if you’re in and up on the news.
Any final piece of advice.
Networking for me right at the beginning, I used to I used to go about, you know, into Europe and things like that and meet people in person.
And they're the indelible sort of relationships that still exist. And even when you think about me and Josh, you know, we met at school, we've got a group of friends that have remained very similar because we all still live in the local area. Network is key isn’t it. Yeah, and networking is about being in person, I think. And, and also it's what we learned through the pandemic is that and I felt it, you know, anxiety and things like that come from the fact that we need to keep fine tuned in the way in which we interact with people and even down to the way we gesticulate and the way that we talk.
It's important to have that connectivity because it actually breeds ideas.