I read an article from Harvard Business Review recently that discussed the overall success rate of companies that make strategic international acquisitions. Not only does the acquiring company’s international market reach expand, but studies have shown that even domestic performance improves. The former makes sense, but the latter I wouldn’t think was so obvious.
While we’re only a couple of months in, I would attest to the overall positive energy as a result of an acquisition that bridges continents and areas of expertise.
Just this past April, we (iCreate) were acquired by our long-time UK partner and distributor, HUE (registered as Ascent IT in London). It has been a very exciting time for both companies, and we’re looking forward to continuing the support of educators and parents around the world to engage kids in learning. After 4 years of building iCreate, I feel quite lucky to find such a perfect fit for our business and product line.
So, the lack of recent iCreate blog posts and social media presence over the last month or so has been simply because we are busy in the merging and transitioning mode. Two heads are better than one, of course, so we are combining our software and digital skill sets with HUE’s sophisticated hardware skill sets for an educational experience that truly bridges the physical and digital worlds.
For over 20 years, Ascent has been in the electronic hardware business, and just in the last few years identified a niche market with their elegant USB camera that not only facilitates stop-motion animation (hence our original partnership), but also doubles as the most affordable document camera/visualizer on the market. We will continue to learn from their experience and understanding of manufacturing, marketing, and selling physical “stuff” as we help to build out their US market channels.
What other specific changes will you see in the near future in regards to our company and product line?
– iCreate with HUE will be the new umbrella website brand presence to house both software and hardware direct sales to schools, homes, and distributors around the world (US, UK, and beyond).
– The SAM Animation software as we know it will stay as-is (functional, look-and-feel), but will simply be renamed as HUE Animation. There is literally no difference, we are just minimizing the potential brand confusion moving forward. HUE Animation has already been in the UK market for a year as part of the HUE Animation Studio package. Again, this is simply nomenclature, and we will work to make this transition as smooth as possible.
– The myCreate app will stay as-is with continued improvements, but no major new feature additions at this point.
– The web-based stop-motion animation app that we have been working on is on hold at this point due to technical limitations (namely available bandwidth in schools). We look forward to seeing an improvement in the technical infrastructure of the education system in the future to pick this up!
– We still strongly encourage and support teachers and others running workshops using our software and app. Please continue to keep us posted about these opportunities so we can provide you and the participants with complimentary product!
– All social media channels will be combined (HUE + iCreate) so bear with us as we move through those changes.
All in all, iCreate has never been in a more exciting position, and we look forward to working more closely with our HUE friends across the pond because not only do they believe in our same educational values, they are also quite fun to work with!