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David Stribling -

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Having worked in a supermarket, Cardiff University Computer Science student David Stribling knows that working for someone else in his career is not an option.

Interested in online social interaction and the development of the virtual world, David initially carried out some research into existing online game sites. He decided that he could improve on these and create his own online virtual world. Along with his friend Jason Bryan, David began to create David knew that as soon as they had done the ground work and they had created a useable site, it could go live. “It is an ongoing large project so it’ll take a long time to develop – but this does work well as we can get feedback on each part as we go and it means we can improve it as we go along”, David explains.

One bonus of the business is that funding isn’t a problem. creates revenue through offering users paid for add-ons to enhance their virtual world. “You can buy things like VIP with extra features, clothes and eventually materials to make your own houses etc,” David explains. Money gathered from users is then reinvested into the business to fund further development of the virtual world. David was also able to receive some initial help when entering the SPARK competition through Student Enterprise. “It was really useful to win £500 through the SPARK competition”, David admits. “We used it to buy a server – we wanted to develop the system so that more users could play at the same time and it would be faster to use.”

David’s biggest personal success is evidenced by the growing virtual community that has  emerged. “We’ve quite an impressive user database of 5878 users now and the support we get is incredible”, David says. The project hasn’t always been problem-free, and David admits that “The biggest problem was time, and it’s hard to find motivation after a long day. The more time you have to work on it the better it will be so I think as long as you’re willing the put the hard work into it you’ll succeed.”

Student Enterprise introduced David to the Graduate Start-Up Support Programme and he now sees a business advisor regularly to discuss his ideas, “My business advisor, Keith, has been great. He helps with all of our business problems. It’s great to chat to people who know, and every contact is really useful”.

David and Jason’s virtual world is live now and can be found at