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Month: April 2015

Partner Spotlight – Skyrocket

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Skyrocket!

Gastown from Wikipedia

The Vitals

Name: Skyrocket
Location: Gastown, Vancouver
Year Founded: 2011
Specialities: Digital Strategy, Branding, Web and App Development

What inspired you to start your company?

We like to pull things out of thin air and make them real.
We work to improve our community and, hopefully, the world we live in.

Skyrocket is the combination of these two motivations. We want to help activate young startups with powerful brands and digital experiences. We also want to enable social causes and NGOs do the work that will give us all a better tomorrow. Both of these groups are filled with passionate people itching for innovation, disruption, revolution. We love these people.

So, we formed a collective of strategic thinkers, creative minds, designers and technology pioneers to make this happen.

Why Vancouver?

The entrepreneurial and innovative people in this city. Vancouver is growing a great tech culture, with both home-grown and international companies setting up shop here. The startup ecosystem sits at the center of this, made up of quality programs, mentors, accelerators and incubators.

Plus, nothing compares to the city’s physical beauty and the quality of life here. It’s a great place to make things happen.

Which work or brand are you best known for?

We’re quite happy with this recent project: The Vancouver International Jazz Fest.

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

The Species in Pieces Interactive Exhibition had us talking.

How has the business changed since you started?

We witnessed the tipping point for mobile in late 2011. Mobile and tablet traffic began to accelerate and didn’t stop. Mobile was no longer an add-on—we had to think in terms of fluid brand experiences across devices and screen types. These days, design-thinking is also more readily being embraced as a driver for competitive advantage.

Skykrocket foyer

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

Advanced analytics. Data informs strategy and creative. Better data means we’ll be able to sit at the junction of art and science and create amazing things.

What is the best thing about working at Skyrocket?

We have a ridiculously diverse and very close-knit team. Everyone has a unique personality and skill set. It creates a fun, open-minded and collaborative environment.

Where is the best bar in Gastown?

Alibi Room

Any wild company party stories?

We’ve thrown one in-office party… the place was packed. Some people made it on to the roof. We kicked out the last of them at 4am. We are excited and fearful at the prospect of throwing our next party.

What does the future look like for Skyrocket?

We’ve nailed our values as an agency and the type of clients we want to work with. Our upcoming projects reflect an alignment of these two elements—the excitement that flows from this is igniting our passion for our craft like never before.

Skyrocket office

You can learn more about Skyrocket on VendorDB and at

New Companies This Week – April 27, 2015

Courtesy of mssng peces

Courtesy of m ss ng p eces

“We don’t always add individuals to VendorDB, but when we do….they’re awesome.”

This week we’re diving headfirst into some great photographers, illustrators and editors.

Looking for fashion or celeb photography in your life? Call Tom MunroMario Testino or Patrick Demarchelier.

What about creative genius illustrations or design? Talk to FatoeSilke Werzinger or Luke Lucas.

Or maybe you need to bring someone in house to chop that award show video? Hire JOE K. EDITORVagabond Edit or Sam Goetz.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

4 Eon
Duane King
Exit Editorial
Graphics Unlimited
Identity Works
Ingrid Flygare Illustration
James Gulliver Hancock
Janet Eisenberg Casting
Jason Bell
Jeremy McDaniel
Jessica Rotondi
Jonathan Flaum
Jonny Hannah
Jordan Domont Illustration
Josette Lata
Josh Cochran
Karma Media Group
Kim Spurlock
Lars Johan Björkegren
Les télécréateurs
Lise Lavallee
Lucky Branded Entertainment
Luke Jethro Best
Luke Lucas
m ss ng p eces
Mario Sorrenti
Mario Testino
Mark Seliger
Marlie Decopain
Mary Ellen Mark
Matthew Rolston
Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
method products
Mr. doob
Nadav Kander
Nigel Parry
Nimit Malavia
Norman Jean Roy
Olimpia Zagnoli
Owen Gatley
Pamela Hanson
Patrick Demarchelier
Paul Imperio
Peggy Sirota
Peter Lindbergh
Project Graphic Management
Sam Goetz
Siggi Eggertsson
Silke Werzinger
Snap Indigo
The Odyssey
Timothy Cahill
Tom Munro
Vagabond Edit
We Are Famous
Yiying Lu

Partner Spotlight – QuickTapSurvey

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is QuickTapSurvey!

The Vitals

Name: QuickTapSurvey
Locations:  HQ in Toronto, Canada. App used globally in 80+ countries
Year Founded: 2010
Specialties: Mobile Survey & Data Collection App

How was QuickTapSurvey started?

Two classmates from the University of Waterloo in Canada – Ravin Shah & Tishan Mills – united in a basement office to form QuickTapSurvey. Their goal was to make data collection painless, fun and interactive.


What makes you different from/better than all the other survey apps out there?

  • NOT Web-Based – no browser, no URL, no delay, no internet connection required
  • Easy to Use – custom keyboards and shortcut keys to speed up data entry
  • Cool Integrations – MailChimp, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey
  • Good Looking – built by engineers, designed by artists

How has the business changed since you started?

1.   Rise of technology-driven experiential marketing and consumer activations.
2.   The ubiquitous and invisible nature of data collection in today’s marketplace.
3.   Increasing demand for marketing automation from lead collection to tiered email and social campaigns.
4.   Growth of data-oriented marketing and analytics for customer acquisition and loyalty.
5.   Tablets and phones were made for the consumer and later adopted by the enterprise. This trend will continue in technology and being ahead of the game on tablets was vital to our success over the last 5 years.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Data is everywhere; you just have to ask nicely! Use every interaction and touch-point between your brand and their consumer to learn more and establish a deeper connection for future interactions.

iphone resized

What is the best thing about working at QuickTapSurvey?

While we could brag endlessly about the #WorkHardPlayHard culture, overflowing snacks, unexpected shenanigans, competitive nerf wars and 3pm game breaks, the real answer is the energy you experience when you walk into the office. Brought on, of course, by the amazingly talented people who work here.

What does the future look like for QuickTapSurvey?

Since data is transforming business decisions at every stage, we expect QuickTapSurvey to be the go-to platform for mobile data capture, accessible to every brand and marketing agency fearless enough to embrace the new.


You can learn more about QuickTapSurvey on VendorDB and at

Partner Spotlight – Hook QA

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Hook QA!

Left (with beard) – David Evans Partner / Director of Production & Business Development @ Hook Studios/Hook QA   Right – Stewart Warner Partner / QA Director @ Hook QA

Left (with beard) – David Evans Partner/Director of Production & Business Development
Right – Stewart Warner Partner/QA Director @ Hook QA

The Vitals

Name: Hook QA
Locations: Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Los Angeles, California.
Year Founded: 2015
Specialties: Hook QA provides specialized quality assurance services to all tiers of the digital advertising industry, from global brands and agencies to independent production companies and development shops. Founded from within Hook Studios, an award-winning interactive development company, we have proven systems and processes that are designed to seamlessly support digital marketing timelines, challenges and technical requirements.

What inspired you to start your company?

Hook QA was born out of a stealth—yet very valuable—division of Hook Studios, when we noticed a growing gap in digital agencies’ quality assurance offerings. Part of our team has a background on the agency side: Stewart had launched CP+B’s QA team and ran it for years, while Dave had tried to get dedicated QA in-house at another large shop. Through our combined experiences, we realized that QA work often comes in waves. It is hard to find good freelancers available for when you need to scale-up, yet few truly bullet-proof third-party QA companies specialize in the ad industry and its unique needs.

There’s sort of a soft wall between our two companies, but technically, we’re an independent shop. This gives us the freedom to work with other advertising agencies and brand clients. We want to work with everybody.

How did the partners meet?

Dave and Stewart worked together at CP+B in 2008. They immediately became and stayed friends. When the Hook partners were thinking of expanding and making QA its own independent business, Stewart was the only person we could imagine starting another company with. We decided that it made sense to “get the band back together.”

What was the first job someone hired you for?

The redesign with Droga5. Chobani was Hook QA’s first stand-alone project. The Hook team already had a great relationship with the folks at Droga5, so when we casually mentioned our idea of starting Hook QA they jumped on having us help them out.

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

We’ve noticed a lot of great work on Google Androidify around the holidays. A host of different agencies worked with Google Creative Lab to create this multi-disciplinary campaign. (Full disclosure: Hook QA handled all the quality assurance on the project, but we’re commenting on the creative aspect.) It moved really quickly and leveraged ideas in a way that made it smarter, bigger.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Keeping up with the constant fragmentation in the mobile and tablet space. Android already had very serious issues with fragmentation because of the different sized screens and capabilities across device manufacturers. And now we’re starting to see fragmentation in the iOS space, too. There are six different Apple devices, plus the legacy devices to test on. This trend will continue as devices get further specialized for different uses.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

QA early and QA often. There are now so many devices and platforms that need to be considered for any digital project that hiring a single producer or developer to “moonlight”on QA is a risky proposition. At Hook QA, our team is adept to the constantly changing set of requirements that are inherent to the quick-turn digital advertising projects. We have over 50 devices in each of our office locations, so there isn’t a platform we CAN’T test on.

There is nothing worse than working through a long project and getting ready to deploy, only to have a client or other key-stakeholder find a critical bug at the last minute because a platform was under-tested. We try to be the producer’s and creative’s secret weapon against last-minute bugs.

What is the best thing about working at HookQA?

Well, we are officially launching right now, but we’ve sort of been in “stealth mode” for the past six months. During that incubation period, we began to realize the breadth of clients and assignments we could work on. On any given day we might be working on apps, sites, banners, digital out-of-home, virtual reality and newly trending wearables. It is fun to see all the amazing projects companies are dreaming up and building today, and it’s thrilling for us to be asked to make sure what they’re developing is rock-solid!

Hook QA Gear

A selection of the over 50 devices that Hook QA has available for testing in-house.


You can learn more about Hook QA on VendorDB and at

Or take it to the next level with them, socially speaking, on Facebook or Twitter.

New Companies This Week – April 20, 2015


Image courtesy of Collins.


Thanks to you, VendorDB continues to evolve into new and exciting areas of creative service!

Want to harnass big data to make your company smarter? Check out business intelligence platforms like or Domo.

Need a world class illustrator for you next project?  Ana BenaroyaElodie and Henning Wagenbreth all have amazingly unique aesthetics.

Or if you’re just in need of a simply tool to help make comps, PlaceIt has you covered.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

101 Percent
Aaron Raff
Act Zero Films
Adam Saewitz
Alex Horwitz
Alexi Lubomirski
Alina Landry Rancier
Ameba Marketing
Ana Benaroya
ANC Sports
Apt Entertainment Inc
Ash Bolland
At a Glance
Aux Armes
Avocados and Coconuts
Battle Medialab
Beautiful Creative
Black Antelope
Black Watch Productions
Boris Pramatarov
Brian Cronin
Brian Rea
Brigitte Lacombe
Bruce Weber
Bryan Wetzel
Buzzsaw Media
Carrot Creative
CG Lab
Charlie Company
Chee Company
Craig Holzer
Creative Assembly
Dave Swain
David Mascha
Davie Brown Entertainment
Dome Productions
Douglas Purver
Emotive Brand
ENVE Composites
Era design
Eric Gross
Eric Lin
Farmer Brown
Fluent Studio
Fluent Studios
Frame Studio
Francis Curran Design
Gawker Media
Gilles Bensimon
Henning Wagenbreth
Hillary Frileck
Hyperballad Music
Keith Conway
lineage interactive
Made By Radio
Match Frame Creative
Media Selectah
momenta music
Nth Degree
Oktobor Animation
Online Post Production
Qube Konstrukt
Red Ape
RHED Pixel
Select Studios
Senior Post
Shiny Object
sinefekt Post Production
Solid Green
Splash Worldwide
Steven Boyle
Stripes Agency
Style Coalition
Surround Integrated
Tandem Digital
Technology for Solutions
The Agency Collective
The Juggernaut
Three of Change
Tinker Street
Tonic Trix
Treblemaker Entertainment
Vaudeville Studios
Weta Digital
Work Play Work
WOW Agency
Wylie Creative
You Work For Them

Partner Spotlight – YipYip

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is YipYip!

The Vitals

Name: YipYip
Location: Rotterdam in the Netherlands
Year Founded: 2010
Specialties: Designing and developing great native apps for iOS and Android.

How did the partners meet?

We met on the Rotterdam University. During this period we already did some projects together, the collaboration was very successful. It was a logical step to continue that road when we graduated.

rotterdam routes - cropped

Why Rotterdam?

In the Netherlands there are two big cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. We choose Rotterdam because it has quite a growing tech climate with people/start-up’s that actually build stuff.

Which work or brand are you best known for?

We do a lot of work for TUI Travel PLC and the City of Rotterdam.

Which project is your most underrated?

That has to be Land of Mislaid. It’s an interactive children’s story for iPad with beautiful graphics and animations. We worked on it during our YipYip Labs days (20% of our time we dedicate to our own projects).

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

As everything gets more and more connected the systems behind it have to get more advanced and flexible as well. Connecting API’s, handling data and presenting them in a user friendly way for each different context of use gets more challenging. To offer these kind of products and not spending months on the design and development is certainly a challenge.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

It’s always hard to find great employees, especially mobile designers and developers.

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

This can usually go multiple ways. Because we, as an agency/production company, work for both agencies (as an app developer) and end-clients (for the full package) we have experience with both situations. When an agency is involved they usually take more control over the concept and design. End-clients seem to struggle with the creative part more and just hire us for our expertise. This last situation is more in our comfort zone, we don’t feel the need for an agency so we welcome all our end-clients with open arms. But I guess this depends on the company you’re asking.


What is the best thing about working at YipYip?

I find every day inspiring and great fun, we know what has to be done and try not to stress that much.

Where is the best bar in Rotterdam?

Verhip, crawling distances from our office. They have a nice variety of beers on tap!

Any wild company party stories?

More then a handful haha.

What does the future look like for YipYip?

Work on more great products for clients, keep a small team with a lot of seniority and release more of our own apps.


You can learn more about YipYip on VendorDB and at

Partner Spotlight – Empty Sea Audio

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Empty Sea Audio!

Empty Sea

The Vitals

Name: Empty Sea Audio
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year Founded: 2007
Interviewee: Founder | Creative Director: Mark Camperell
Specialties: Sound Design, Mixing and Music Composition for Film, Television, Branding and Video Games. Sister company, The Library by Empty Sea sells royalty-free sound packs for editors, sound designers and content producers.

What inspired you to start your company?

Empty Sea Audio was started out of necessity. I had been laid off from a full-time job and I was looking for a way to differentiate myself from the other freelancers in the market. Starting a company seemed like the logical choice.

How did the team meet?

Most of our team met in the Recording Arts program at Loyola Marymount University.

What was the first job someone hired you for?

The first real job we were hired for was to provide editorial and mixing for the cast commentaries on Season 1 of NBC’s Heroes.

What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?

Technically, some of our most challenge work comes from foreign market commercial spots. All of the different specifications can be a challenge to manage for each region. Thankfully, there are new tools that allow us to easily monitor specs.

Which work or brand are you best known for?

I think the project we are best known for is a high-powered, action webseries called DR0NE. DR0NE had some star power to it, as the executive producer was Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) and it starred Lance Reddick and Kenneth Choi. The biggest challenge was to choose and create sounds that gave the robot sentience and emotion.

Which project is your most underrated?

We did a series of shorts for Retrofit Films and Marvel that aired on Disney XD as interstitials. It was called Marvel Mashups and it took animation footage from the Marvel vault from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It was recut as comedy, much like SeaLab 2021. This project was challenging because we had to make the sounds and voice over fit the time period for each episode. I think in all we did like 80 of these and they were 2 minutes long each so it was a feature’s amount of material. At the same time it ran through virtually all of the classic Marvel cast of characters so there were superpowers aplenty to account for.

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

Some of the best work I’ve seen in the last year comes out of Riot Games. Their audio team is absurdly talented and they work with some fabulous vendors as well. Right on pace would be the work the cinematic audio team at Blizzard puts out. 

How has the business changed since you started?

More and more, agencies and production companies are asking us to partner with them directly to build out audio rooms in their spaces. We then staff these rooms with our folks. This seems to be a new trend in the last three years or so.

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

Remote location tracking was just introduced by Avid at NAMM. What this means is that going forward, ISDN may be a thing of the past. Remote VO talent and musicians will be able to integrate directly into ProTools without needing expensive connections and infrastructure. The result, better collaboration and lower overhead.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Our biggest challenge is to be able to consistently find the right people for our projects. Our business is volatile and freelance in nature. A lot of times, we are juggling freelancer schedules. Thankfully for now, we have a stable of folks we trust to get things done.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Vendors should be creative partners who shepherd you through and around obstacles in the creative process. Trust them to provide you with what you want and what you need.

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

I think it just shows the nature of the business these days. There are always ebbs and flows to how brands prefer to work. Right now brands seems going more on-demand, more direct, more agile. We’ve even seen brands crowdsourcing their creative.

What is the best thing about working at Empty Sea Audio?

We are passionate about two things. Sound and storytelling. We aim to cultivate our passions every day.

Where is the best bar in Los Angeles?

The best bar is in our office! No joke.

Which industry boondoggle is most likely to send your employees to rehab: Cannes, AICP or SXSW?

I’d have to say SXSW. One of our composers, Ryan Ross is also in the band The Lonely Wild. They have played the festival the last three years (including 2015). Their tales of its greatness leave us speechless every time!

Care to share a joke?

Not a joke, but an anecdote about the effective use of sound to evoke an emotional response. “See a dog, hear a dog. That’s sound editing. See a dog, hear a dog, poop your pants. That’s sound design.” Can’t take credit for that one. I heard it from Tom Ozanich, a sound designer and mixer at Warner Bros.

You can learn more about Empty Sea Audio on VendorDB and at

New Companies This Week – April 6, 2015

Image courtesy of Ambience Entertainment

Image courtesy of Ambience Entertainment

Huge thanks to everyone that submitted companies this week. We’re back with another great batch!

Check out The Magic Camera Company if you need challenging effects for your next spot. They craft mindbending models and miniatures.

If you’re putting on a show, use Lightborne for unforgettable stage visuals.

Look to Cuppa Coffee Animation if you’re in need of expert stop motion.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

3:AM Design
Ambience Entertainment
Assembly Creative
Bob’s Your Uncle
Braincase Media
Bryan grant studios
C-Level Security
CA Square
Canticle Creative
Central Planning
Chocolat Productions
Cinelabs Romania
Copper Post
Cuppa Coffee Animation
Daily Planet Productions
dJAX Adserver
Dorian Orange
Filmbar FilmprodUnited Kingdomtion
Filmmaker Company
First Person
Flock of Pixels
Frame Eleven
Gate 11
Gulliver Media
Hangman Studios
Helios Design Labs
Immagineria srl
Ink Project
Joyride Films
Kreazione Kolective
Libra Vision
Little Machine
Loaded Pictures
Lucid Editoral
Machine Agency
Mandarin Media
Motion Adrenaline
Purple Rock Scissors
Pyramid Attack
Rabon Digital
Radium Audio
Ready Pulse
Richter Studios
Santa Motion
Systematic Design Inc.
The Magic Camera Company
Voice & Script International
White Shark Media
Zen HQ

Partner Spotlight – Roam Creative

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Roam Creative!

Roam Creative


The Vitals

Name: Roam Creative
Location: Auckland, New Zealand.
Year Founded: 2013
Specialties: Mobile strategy, UI/UX, App development, iBeacons, BLE connected device

What inspired you to start your company?

Seeing the massive adoption of mobile and recognizing it as one of those paradigms shifts like the introduction of the Internet was, but faster, and realising that it’s a great chance to build a business.

How did the partners meet?

We were both running smaller mobile development businesses and recognised complementary skills in each other and realised we could do greater things together than we could apart.

Why Auckland?

Both founders had recently returned from time in the US/UK and Auckland is a great place to balance raising a family with raising a business.


What was the first job someone hired you for?

Fixing fax machines and cordless phones. Learnt an awful lot about hardware which years later has been immensely helpful with our iBeacon work.

What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?

Our Dropin iBeacon service as it combines mobile payments, hardware development, supply chain, UI/UX, mobile app development and backend highly scalable web services.

Which project is your most underrated?

Zoomy, which was built to be like Uber before Uber arrived in NZ. A great piece of work that accomplished a strong product offering in under 6 months that competes with an industry giant.


How has the business changed since you started?

Clients are realising that they need to ‘go native’ on mobile app development and that HTML and other cross platform layers (except Unity) are a bit of a red herring unless you’re doing basic work.

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

Internet of things and wearables are going to create new ways of interacting for people that will become “invisible.”

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Balancing and scheduling all the little jobs and the big jobs so everyone gets a fantastic result.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Mobile is a different medium from the web and print. It requires a different approach, different budgets and different timeframes.

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

It’s going to continue to increase.

What is the best thing about working at Roam Creative?

A great mix of talent that tend to check ego’s at the door. Everyones willing to lend a hand and provide advice to newbies.

Where is the best bar in Auckland?

We’re surrounded by them!

Any wild company party stories?

Not that we can share, for legal reasons.

What does the future look like for Roam Creative?



You can learn more about Roam Creative on VendorDB and at

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