We are extremely excited to announce that we’ve been chosen as a finalist in the “Rural Business of the Year” category at the Amazon Growing Business Awards.
It might not be immediately obvious why we might enter an awards competition like this. As a company of (mainly) introverts, I can tell you it isn’t for the party or the networking! For me, awards are a chance to reflect on all the hard work we’ve done as a company and hopefully get some recognition for what we’ve accomplished.
The Growing Business Awards are the most established and respected celebration of SME and entrepreneurial success in the UK.
Being selected as a finalist is a huge achievement for our team. We entered the Rural Business of the Year category as being based in Cornwall is a core part of Bluefruit’s identity.
One of the questions asked us to provide evidence of why rural location is better than an urban one. This is something we could probably write a book on, but to save some time, why not check out what we said in our award entry:
Bluefruit Software are an outsourced embedded software company based in Redruth, Cornwall. Surrounded by tin mines, rolling countryside, and sea views – it’s not an obvious location for a fast-growing tech company. When people hear “Cornwall”, they’re more likely to think of beaches, pasties, and Poldark – not lifesaving medical devices or cutting-edge laboratory equipment. But it’s these high-tech products that Bluefruit Software’s 40-strong engineering team specialise in. Started in 2000 by “one man and his dog”, Bluefruit was founded by Paul Massey, who set out to build a quality driven software company in his home county of Cornwall.
Expanding organically, Bluefruit grew its reputation based on Paul’s firm belief in an unwavering dedication to quality. This led to an increase in clients within the compliance critical automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing sectors. In 2016 the company decided to grow its medical device capabilities, focusing on thoroughly tested Agile software solutions meeting the demanding requirements of the rapidly growing sector. Bluefruit software proved they could create code to meet international medical requirements, whilst meeting end users’ needs.
Bluefruit Software’s Cornwall location has had a positive impact on the local community. Faced initially with massive hiring challenges, Paul focused on developing a “homegrown” talent pool. This included working with local schools, colleges, and Universities to offer training and apprenticeships. When asked about this approach, Paul responded “I looked around and didn’t see a lack of software developers, I saw a pool of raw talent waiting to be developed.”
This passionate belief in local potential has resulted in several direct hires, along with a larger indirect impact on aspiration within the county. Kids growing up in Cornwall now know that software engineering is a realistic local career path.
Although Bluefruit Software is based in Cornwall, the company has clients around the world based in Boston, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Cambridge, London, and Nuremberg. Contrary to popular belief, having an office in a rural location has several advantages, including more affordable office rents allowing Bluefruit Software to rent plenty of office space in anticipation of growth. The combination of lower cost of living and great lifestyle offering is also a major benefit for employees. Improved travel connections also mean Cornwall is not as “far away” as it once was.
Despite all obstacles, Bluefruit Software have thrived in one of the most rural locations in the UK, growing in a sector typically associated with places like London or Cambridge, and delivering high-quality solutions in future looking sectors for companies around the globe.