From the age of 13, Tony Prosser wanted to run his own business.
So, at Blackpool College, where he trained as a technical illustrator, he put £9,000 of his student loan in the bank to provide start-up financing, and supported himself by buying and selling second-hand computers. Now 25, he has realised his dream.
In just over two years, he has grown his business, Real-Time Visualisation, to a £200,000-turnover company and has set his sights on £1 million within the next three years.
He founded the company in 1996 (his last year at college) when he realised that the 3D computer graphics he used to animate technical illustrations could have great commercial potential in the automotive and aerospace industries. If he was designing a car or a fighter plane, he could take a virtual camera from the inside of the engine to the paintwork on the tail. This allowed him to cut drawing time by 90%; redesign at will; and offer images that could be used both by engineers and marketers.
Real-Time already has contracts with McClaren International and Jordan Grand Prix for redesigning the external bodywork on their Formula 1 cars, and with British Aerospace. As his business grows Prosser aims to build a Real-Time Centre where animated audio-visual presentations and product launches can take place under the same roof.