THE list of Razorblue MD Dan Kitchen’s achievements is huge and shows his sharp business acumen, aptly captured in his company’s name.

It is all the more remarkable as in the process he has created 70 jobs, many at the Wynyard Park head office – and he is still under 30.

His career started when he began doing freelance IT work at night when he started his A-levels.

The success at this made Dan decide to concentrate on his paid work rather than continue his academic studies.

He worked from his parents’ house, building his business for two years before moving into an office in a local business centre, aged just 19.

He said: “In many ways it was easy to set up a company in my teens. I had no responsibilities or commitments to hold me back. What did I have to lose?”

In 2010, Dan joined forces with another IT entrepreneur and took on the role of technical director, employing ten people – teaching himself new skills, as he still does today, keeping his hand in to ensure he has up-to-date expertise.

A move to a larger building in Catterick, North Yorkshire – and a head count of 25, meant a change in direction was needed and he, albeit slightly reluctantly, became managing director.

“This period in the company’s growth was a real step change. We invested in more technical solutions for our clients. We have also developed more of our own bespoke solutions, which have been real market differentiators, such as our national network and cloud platform.

“I also took the opportunity to appoint some very capable long-serving members of staff as directors as a reward for their role in our business growth.”

Dan’s business model has always been to look years ahead and be providing leading edge technology and service. For example, his company is currently working on artificial intelligence and machine learning projects – and the firm was one of the first in the region to provide 24/7 service.

Dan is particularly proud much of his work comes from clients bringing more business to the company, because they are so happy with the service they receive.

An IT Support contract can be transformed into five or six different contracts covering a wide IT and communications brief.

Razorblue works for a range of business sectors, from local SMEs to FTSE-listed companies across the UK.

He said the biggest challenge he has faced in his career is people management.

“In the early days I didn’t know how to get the best out of people, but I do now. It’s so important to get people on your side and let them get behind what you want to achieve, but not only that – feel part of delivering it.”

The lack of what he calls “staff churn” is fundamental to growing his client base. “I want to provide the best customer service I can and that means keeping my team motivated and happy.”

Still ambitious for growth, razorblue has already outgrown the Wynyard offices, and also has offices in North Yorkshire, London and Leeds with field engineers covering much of the UK.

His tip for success is: “As an entrepreneur you have those eureka moments, or times when you feel exceptionally motivated. You have to embrace that and dive in at the right times – whether it be day or night.”


  • Favourite North-East building and why? Not a particular building as such, but Grey Street in Newcastle is beautiful.
  • What’s the best piece of advice in business you’ve ever been given? “Successful people do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do”.
  • Favourite animal and why. Has to be a dog, preferably a spaniel. They don’t complain and are always happy to see you.
  • Most famous person on your mobile phone. I couldn’t possibly comment.
  • What was the last band you saw live?Lots of DJ’s in the summer, is that a band?
  • What irritates you?People who think they’re entitled to things.
  • What’s your secret talent? Give me any technology and I can make it work.