IT may not be as glamorous as California's Silicon Valley but a quiet side street in Clifton is home to a small firm that is playing a pioneering role in the rapidly growing communications technology industry.
Here on the fifth floor of a nondescript office block is a firm that specialises in writing applications, or apps, for the new generation of smart phones and tablets which are flooding the market.
Mubaloo was set up three years ago by Mark Mason and Ben Trewhella with just two staff.
There are now 45 people on the payroll and the firm is already reporting a turnover in excess of £2 million.
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Its staff are divided between the creative designers and programme makers and a marketing team which is talking to companies worldwide.
"Since the launch of the iPhone the development of apps has rocketed," said Mark Mason, the company's Chief Executive Officer.
But being a new industry there are skills shortages.
In an attempt to combat this, Mubaloo has linked up with Bristol University and the University of the West of England to train students as well as offering work experience in app development.
It also sponsors Bristol University's computer science department. This has involved it in running a series of seminars on app design and development as well as helping to organise an "app- athon".
Students had to develop their own app from scratch in 28 hours. Mubaloo also offers internships and one to three-year placements.
"We get a lot of graduates coming to us from university and because of what we do, a lot of people want to come and work for us," said Mr Mason.
Mubaloo has seen a growth of 100 per cent over the last year and is predicting a similar increase for 2012.
Since the company was formed it has developed more than 120 bespoke apps for national and international blue-chip companies with household names ranging Axa Insurance to the Bristol financial firm of Hargreaves and Lansdown.
Mr Mason says that during the past 12 months the firm has positioned itself as the UK's leading app development company, "setting standards that others follow".
"These days it would be unthinkable for a company not to have its own website," said Mr Mason. "It will be the same for apps in the future. Companies might have 20 or so apps that will run the entire business, from financial dashboards to employee benefits and holiday booking.
"We are just on that cusp now and we are starting to see those apps come through into the market. Lots of apps are already being used by firms for internal communication."
Mubaloo was set up after Mr Mason sold a previous business, a digital marketing agency, and met Ben who has been interested in computers since childhood. "I asked a recruitment agency if they knew anybody who knew about this stuff I was working in. The first person they introduced me to was Ben and we hit it off straight away. He had a good background and had done a few apps, so I was the money, he was the brain, and we kicked it off," he said.
Mubaloo has also won the Business of the Year category in the Post's Business Awards.
Although it has opened offices in Berlin, Helsinki, New York and London, the firm's headquarters remain in Bristol. "This is where the talent is and it's a nice place in which to work and live. It is a city with a lot of technology and creativity," said its founder.