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DIGIT Movers and Shakers: January 2020

David Paul

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DIGIT looks at the top recruitment and awards news from Scotland’s technology sector, including companies such as Criton, PureLiFi, Digitonic, South of Scotland Enterprise and ExecSpace.

Appointments

Criton

Edinburgh-based travel tech firm Criton announced a double appointment in January. Dwayne Pascal will take over as the new Chief Technology Officer, while Laura Sullivan-Denham takes up the role of sales director. Pascal joins Criton with a strong background in product development at large technology firms, having previously worked at Vodafone, Amazon and Skyscanner. 

In his new role, Pascal will oversee the company’s technical strategy and work closely with the marketing and sales departments to develop and roll-out new features and services. 

Commenting on his new position, Pascal said: “As chief technology officer, I have the privilege of leading a fantastic team who are developing the next generation of hospitality technology. I am excited to lead Citron’s product development and technical solutions, and I am particularly looking forward to working with customers to really understand their problems and create innovative solutions that deliver significant impact.”

Sullivan Denham will bring 20 years’ experience and a vast knowledge of technology products to her role, including SAAS (Software as A Service) platforms, and will form an important part of Criton’s growth plans for 2020.

Sullivan-Denham commented: “I am delighted to join Criton as sales director at a time of growth for the business. Taking new, exciting and disruptive technologies to market is what I’ve delivered for the past 20 years and I am looking forward to defining and delivering a strategy for the business that will create a scalable and repeatable sales model.”

To read the full story, click here.


PureLiFi

PureLiFi, the Edinburgh-based company working with LiFi technology, has announced the appointment of Glenn Collinson to the new position of non-executive director. The announcement comes after pureLiFi completed an $18 million (£13.9 million) Series B fundraiser

Nick is the co-founder of Cambridge Silicon Radio and boasts experience of taking innovative technologies to market. The appointment represents a clear indication of how quickly pureLiFi is growing, as well as strengthening its ability to bring LiFi closer to the hands of its customers; getting the LiFi software designed into laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

Commenting on his appointment, Collinson said: “I am delighted to be continuing my journey with pureLiFi at an exciting time in the company’s growth, particularly on the back of the latest injection of investment. With LiFi technology now becoming more commercially available, I am confident I will be able to help the business take advantage of this massive market opportunity and build on their recent successes.” 

Alistair Banham, CEO of PureLiFi, said: “The introduction of a non-executive director to pureLiFi was a decision taken with great thought. We wanted a person with both an exemplary record for growth and development and someone who shares our ambition to bring LiFi to the hands of everyone and in Glenn, we have found just that. Glenn has significant experience when it comes to taking innovative technologies to market. After founding Cambridge Silicon Radio Ltd, a pioneering designer and developer of chips for Bluetooth, Glenn took it from nowhere to ubiquity. CSR was one of the key forces which made Bluetooth the ubiquitous wireless communications technology that it is today. 

“Prior to founding CSR, Glenn held senior positions at Cambridge Consultants and Texas Instruments, whilst he has also been working as an adviser at pureLiFi since 2016. With extensive experience in wireless technology semiconductor design and fabrication, as well as working with standardisation bodies and industry associations, Glenn’s appointment strengthens our ability to hit our growth targets and provide our LiFi technology to the markets.”


Digitonic

Digitonic saw a period of extended growth through 2019 and looks ahead in 2020 by announcing the appointment of Raymond McGovern as their new Operations Director.

McGovern takes up the newly created role tasked with developing a high-level operations strategy for Digitonic as it looks to build on a very successful previous year.

He brings 20 years’ experience with him to Digitonic and previously held positions at Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise. He has also helped to deliver significant growth for Scottish and UK businesses on a global scale. 

McGovern said of his appointment: “This is a really exciting time for the business. I’ve already made strong inroads with the team and can see that we have brilliant platforms from which to drive fantastic results for Digitonic. I am very much looking forward to what I’m sure will be an exciting 2020.”

Grant Fraser, Digitonic CEO, commented: “Raymond is an exceptionally strong communicator – he understands how to support teams in meeting performance outcomes in parallel with motivating colleagues to be their best. His experience of working and living in North America for nearly a decade will be of great benefit to the company’s international growth plans. We’re thrilled that he has come on board at a particularly important time for the business and feel confident that he will help us to meet and exceed all goals for 2020 and beyond.”


ExecSpace

ExecSpace, a venue finding agency based in Leith, has appointed a new Commercial Director to help to grow its business and raise awareness of the small company.

Industry veteran, Louise Lowe, will be responsible for setting and executing the growth strategy of ExecSpace by enhancing the experiences of existing customers, engaging with suppliers and driving the business forward.

Prior to joining, Lowe spent 13 years as Sales Director for venue finding agency Conference Care, where she had total responsibility for the sales strategy, re-organisation of the sales team structure and delivery of company sales budget. 

Lowe commented on her appointment: “After spending an initial two days with ExecSpace via my Consultancy business Lowe&Behold, I realised they were exactly the type of agency I was keen to work with and help.” 

They’re an inspiring team and if anyone deserves to be successful it’s them. I’m looking forward to helping them take their business to the centre stage in our industry as we enter 2020 in a very strong position.”

Emma Little, CEO and Founder at ExecSpace, said: “Following three years of solid profitability and growth and now that we have a robust business, we were very keen to build on this and take ExecSpace to the next level. Louise and I quickly bought into each other and have thoroughly enjoyed working together. Since joining ExecSpace, Louise has already made a significant impact on the business and I’m really looking forward to the contribution she’ll bring in 2020 and beyond”.

Louise is also working very closely, in a coaching capacity, with Head of Sales and Service – Kristin Lamb, a rising star that is set to ultimately take control of running the business on a day-to-day basis.


South of Scotland Enterprise

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has appointed an interim chief executive until a permanent position becomes available in its drive to bring a fresh approach to growth in the south of Scotland.

Nick Halfhide, Director of Sustainable Growth at Scottish Natural Heritage, will take on the role from 3 February.

Commenting on his new position, Halfhide said: “I am delighted for this opportunity to serve the people and businesses of Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders. I am determined to build a new development agency that listens and responds to what the communities in the South of Scotland need.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing commented: “With his understanding of Scotland’s rural economy as well as his organisational and leadership experience, Nick Halfhide brings the right mixture of skills to the role of interim chief executive. Nick will help to ensure SOSE is effective from the outset and able to deliver on our ambitions for the future of the south of Scotland.”

South of Scotland Enterprise Chair Russell Griggs said: ”I want to welcome Nick to this key leadership role as we continue to progress our ambitious aims for the South of Scotland. With a strong track record in building teams and engaging with communities, Nick has the skill and knowledge we need now to turn the new agency into reality. I look forward to working with Nick to build a capable and responsive organisation, providing the support that businesses and communities across the south of Scotland so richly deserve.”


Awards

Fintech Cluster

The Scottish fintech cluster, founded as an independent industry organisation by the financial services sector, universities, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, has won recognition for excellence in Europe.

It is overseen by FinTech Scotland and is the first in the UK and only the third in Europe to receive this important accreditation showing an exciting period for the sector.

The cluster award has been achieved as FinTech Scotland confirmed an increase in the number of strategic partners supporting the next stage of its strategy, including financial institutions, global technology and professional services firms, two of leading international universities developing fintech skills; the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, as well as Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government.

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “We’re very proud of this cluster excellence recognition. It’s a symbolic flag we can fly, which will increase our reputation among firms and investors across Europe, USA and the Far East.

“Scotland is increasingly being recognised as offering the innovation, skills, culture and expertise that global fintech enterprises and investors seek.

“As well as awarding the accreditation, ESCA’s benchmarking report details actions FinTech Scotland can lead to further develop the nation’s fintech cluster and global engagement which in turn will help shape our priorities for 2020 and beyond.”

The broad range of FinTech Scotland strategic partners are expected to participate in a range of innovation and collaboration initiatives to drive further the development of the fintech cluster.

Ingledew said: “We’re delighted to partner with a broad range of forward-thinking and innovative strategic enterprises in developing the fintech cluster, all who have recognised the economic, social and international value of our collaborative and inclusive model.”

To read the full story, click here.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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