AN expanding North - East company – set up with the aid of a Teesside University fellowship – is helping to save the lives of hospital patients on the other side of the Atlantic.

Gospelware has grown rapidly since being founded in 2010 after receiving a Fellowship from DigitalCity Innovation at Teesside University.

Founders Ryan Davies, 31, and Michael Dunn, 28, both worked in the computer games industry and set up Gospelware after Mr Dunn was made redundant from his job. He successfully applied for a DigitalCity Fellowship, which gives £4,000 to cover living costs while a business idea is developed, as well as providing mentoring and advice from industry experts at Teesside University.

Now, the company, which is based at the Gateshead International Business Centre, has grown to employ seven people with an annual turnover of more than £200,000, of which 40 per cent is exports.

The pair aim to employ 34 staff by the end of next year.

Gospelware specialises in creating and developing innovative mobile apps and advising on mobile marketing and strategy.

One such app, developed for a Chicago medical company, lets paramedics use mobile devices to record injuries at the scene of an accident and then send videos, images and notes to the doctors at the hospital allowing them to prepare for the arrival of the patient.

Mr Dunn said: “The fellowship helped us enormously when we were starting out.

“It helped develop our work from just an idea to having a business which is pretty much unique in just a couple of months.

“It was really good to be around like-minded people who were in a similar position to us and I still keep in contact with a lot of the other fellows from my time there.

“We’ve tried to keep our work quite varied and done all sorts of different things.”

Among the apps that Gospelware have developed is one for London Zoo that allows users to combine photographs of themselves with features of various animals.

Other apps include, Beerdog, a social networking app for beer lovers, and a series of revision guides for GCSE students.

Gospelware also developed the official app for last year’s Thinking Digital conference, held in Gateshead, which saw some of the leading figures from the worlds of technology, science and business among its delegates.

Mr Davies said: “We initially intended to just be a games company, but we quickly realised that wasn’t going to be viable as it’s such a competitive market.

“However, we saw a need for some good mobile development.

The work that we have been doing with the hospitals in Chicago is something I’m particularly proud of. It’s also an area of the market where there’s room for a lot of growth. What we’re doing now is what we do best and that’s designing, developing and creating some really special apps.”

Cheryl Evans, the project manager at DigitalCity Innovation, said: “Its success proves that, despite the prevailing sense of gloom about the economy, this region is more than capable of producing talented people who are able to thrive when given the right help and support.”

For more information about DigitalCity Fellowships, visit fellowships/