To celebrate 10 years of Ghyston, the Bristol-based software development agency, co-founder and CEO Emily Hill has reflected on their journey so far. The bespoke software house creates transformational software for ambitious organisations across the South West and beyond.

Emily recently shared the Founder of the Year Award at The SPARKies 2022, with our judges deciding the title should be held by Emily and Nicola Telford, founder of Views for Change. The award, sponsored by leading UK Law Firm & Award Winning Solicitor VWV, recognises those who have shown entrepreneurial spirit, commitment, enthusiasm & success, which both Nicola and Emily have in abundance.

Emily has achieved a great deal over the last 10 years. She has built a first class software business, attracted and retained impressive client accounts and now leads a team of nearly 50. The software they have designed has made, and will continue to make, a real impact on people’s lives – there is no better example of that than the work they’ve done for care home operator, Sanctuary. They are already very much involved in the Bristol tech scene and clearly have plans to make an even greater impact in the region. As CEO, Emily has been the driving force behind this success and it was great to see her efforts recognised at the SPARKies 2022. The future promises much for Emily and Ghyston, so watch this space.”

Nathan Guest, Partner & Solicitor at VWV.

Emily’s Thoughts

In 2012 Ric and I escaped London life and, along with three colleagues, set up a software consultancy right in the heart of Bristol. Celebrating our 10th birthday, it is amazing to see how far we have come.

And it has been quite the adventure! Originally an arm of our London employers, Softwire, in 2017 we left the Softwire brand and became Ghyston, inspired by the Bristol legendary giant. Our team has grown from 5 people to 47 and I am hugely proud of the way the three developers who came along with us have developed into the roles they hold today; Joey heads up our Delivery team, and Joe and David are both senior technical consultants who are always impressing our clients.

Over the years both Ric and I have played our parts in shaping and running the business which has evolved so much!  In fact the only thing that hasn’t changed is our address, though we have moved from the 4th to the 13th floor of Beacon Tower!

Fantastic Clients

We have worked with a diverse range of clients from Bailey Caravans to IOP Publishing but there are a few to highlight as being instrumental in our journey.

The first stand-out contract was with Unite Students, who were looking to build a new student room booking application. This was an ambitious project for us to take on, but Ashley Hewson, their Head of IT, believed in us and awarded us the contract. The project was a great success and took Unite onto their next serious growth phase. We have continued to work with Ashley after he moved to Independent Vetcare, a group of thousands of veterinary practices.

Another project we are particularly proud of came from our client, Sanctuary. Nothing in the market was cutting it for them as they looked to bring a software solution for care delivery into their residential homes, so they asked us to build them one. We developed a UX capability to get under the skin of users’ needs and created a mobile solution that has dramatically improved tens of thousands of lives. Across a hundred care homes, carers now have better access to important information, and we’ve saved each carer an hour a shift of paperwork – time that can be spent talking to and caring for their residents instead. It’s a brilliant example of how good software can really make a positive difference to the world.

We have worked on many exciting software projects since these that we are equally proud of, and we look forward to the many more to come.

On to the next 10 Years

As well as reflecting on the past, reaching the 10 year milestone gives us a good opportunity to look forward to where we want to take the business next. Our goal is to be the technical powerhouse for the region. This means not only delivering an exceptional service to clients, but also being a brilliant employer and caring for our community and planet, and we’ve already started getting plans in motion.

Earlier this year we submitted our application for B-Corp Certification and updated our Company Articles to recognise people and planet as stakeholders in Ghyston. We have committed to being carbon neutral going forward and will be publishing net zero plans in the next few months.

In 2020 we started an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee which has highlighted for us how much more we can be doing both in Ghyston and to influence the industry as a whole. This is going to be a greater focus over the coming years, along with continuing the charity work we already do, offering pro bono technical support to local charities and fundraising through our charity of the year.

We have plans to get more involved in the local tech community, to share ideas and inspiration with others and give back to the region’s tech hubs. Our roundtable series for tech leaders will expand and we’re building a new area on our website to reach a wider audience for community engagement.

Thank you

Thank you to all our clients and team – both past and present for being with us on this journey. We are grateful to every one of you for the support you have given to us over the years. Bring on the next 10 years!