DIGIT Movers and Shakers JUNE 2018
Rust, as Neil Young, so memorably sang, never sleeps. We’d also like to propose that Scotland’s digital technology sector is much the same. There’s SO much going on. Recruitment, relocation, expansion, rebranding – and so many awards and honours, that it can be tough to keep track. So here’s DIGIT’s monthly Movers and Shakers column for June 2018. All the moving, all the shaking, in one handy cut-out-and-keep guide. Enjoy!
Sopra Steria Scotland has announced that its Scottish regional director Alison McLaughlin is being seconded to the Scottish government to help realise its digital transformation ambitions.
Stepping up to take the reins from Alison will be Mags Moore, previously Head of Business Development in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mags comes to the role with a wealth of experience in the Scottish market, and as a digital influencer in her own right, having been a key supporter of a number of initiatives in Scotland such as Digital Leaders and SOCITM Top Talent.
Sopra Steria’s Managing Director for Government, Adrian Fieldhouse, said: “These are exciting times for Sopra Steria – we are looking forward to realising the ambitions of our new government strategy in Scotland, which will kick off with our planned launch to the market this month.”
“I’m also very much looking forward to working with Mags and am delighted that we have been able to support Alison in securing this unique opportunity . This appointment cements our company’s profile as a leader in digital transformation.”
Mags Moore, the new Head of Regional Government at Sopra Steria, told DIGIT: “Scotland is a key market for Sopra Steria. We are excited to embrace a new direction that will see us continue to strengthen our close work with the Scottish Government through supporting digital in Scotland, and we also look forward to expanding this into Northern Ireland.”
Quorum Network Resources Ltd are delighted to welcome Ian Waller in the role of Consultant Chief Technical Officer.
Starting immediately, Ian joins Quorum from RM Resources (division of RM plc) to help grow their interim and part time CTO function and deliver strategic direction for a variety of clients.
Commenting on the position, Ian said, “I am excited to be a part of the dedicated and driven team at Quorum. I look forward to the challenges ahead and working to provide insight and direction to our customers.”
James Frost, Quorum’s head of IT Director services, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Ian to our highly experienced IT executive team. Ian will help Quorum to continue to deliver the highest quality strategic technical direction and governance to our clients.”
Gareth Williams, Skyscanner’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, is to take up a new role as Chair of the company. He will be replaced as CEO by current Chief Technology Officer Bryan Dove.
Gareth Williams said: “I’m very excited to take on the role of Chairperson, where more of my focus will be on Skyscanner’s long-term vision. Former CTO Bryan Dove is a natural fit as my successor, having been pivotal in shaping our current strategy and structure. He has a wealth of experience and is additionally supported by a brilliant senior leadership team.”
Bryan Dove commented “Gareth is a tremendous leader and I’m delighted to continue working with him in his role as Chairperson. I’ve never been more excited or optimistic about Skyscanner’s future and our ability to make a positive impact on travellers and partners around the world.”
Vicky Brock, the founder and chief executive of Clear Returns, has joined the senior management team at ReBound. Her new role will “focus on developing ReBound’s returns intelligence solution and driving commercial relationships”.
In November 2017, Brock was named Scotland’s Most Inspiring Business Person of the Year by Founders 4 Schools. She is also an ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland.
Vicky Brock told DIGIT: “I founded Clear Returns to solve a problem I experienced as a shopper; whenever I returned items I found the experience overwhelmingly off-putting.
“Very few retailers seemed to take the process seriously or weren’t interested in ‘keep optimisation’: working to help customers buy the right products the first time.
“From my perspective, ReBound’s network, technology and data insights places it perfectly to help retailers fix this often poor customer experience. I’m delighted to have joined the team.”
Graham Best, chief executive of ReBound, said: “Vicky has an enviable reputation in our industry and we couldn’t be happier to have her join the leadership team here at ReBound.
“We share the idea that retailers have to start looking at returns as a key brand offering rather than a mere operational expense. As we continue to raise the importance of returns, I’m excited to add Vicky’s knowledge to ReBound’s offering, particularly her experience of applying data driven technology to returns.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed David Howie as the new regional head of innovation and technology.
Based in An Lòchran, Inverness, David Howie will be responsible for a dynamic portfolio that includes all HIE activities on innovation, technology and advanced engineering. This includes the agency’s developments around the Northern Innovation Hub; an HIE-led project funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.
Mr Howie joins HIE after five years with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), where he has led a team delivering around 60 projects a year across the north of Scotland.
David Howie said: “This is a great time to be joining HIE. There’s a huge amount of innovation work already achieved in recent years, and a strong pipeline of emerging projects. I very much look forward to working with the team, our clients and partners to build on this in the years ahead. I am particularly excited about the opportunities for the region, including those linked to digitisation and Industry 4.0.”
HIE, director of business and sector development David Oxley, said: “David’s blend of skills, experience and passion for the job will be invaluable in establishing a whole new approach to innovationand technology. His role will be vital in delivering our priorities for growing businesses in the coming years and I am greatly looking forward to working with him.”
CityFibre has appointed Allan McEwan as dedicated development manager for Aberdeen ahead of the transformation of the city’s digital infrastructure – which will see a £40m investment in to the roll out of full fibre connectivity to nearly every home and business in the city.
A graduate of Robert Gordon University, Allan previously served as Senior Business Development Manager within Petrofac, a leading service provider to the oil and gas production and processing industry.
Allan McEwan said: “This is a hugely exciting time to join CityFibre as it prepares to start work on its rollout of full fibre internet and I am delighted to be playing a key role in bringing this transformative infrastructure to the people of Aberdeen. “I want to ensure that everyone across the city is aware of the potential benefits of full fibre connectivity, not only to businesses but also to residents. I will be working closely with Aberdeen City Council, who have been hugely supportive of our plans, and developing additional opportunities and ensuring our community engagement programme is as robust as possible.”
Rob Hamlin, Commercial Director, CityFibre, said: “Allan’s knowledge of Aberdeen is first rate and I can think of nobody better placed to lead the roll out of our ‘Fibre to the Premises’ programme, which will see CityFibre invest £40m into the city. He will be a huge asset, helping Aberdeen to harness the positive impact this investment will have huge asset, helping Aberdeen to harness the positive impact this investment will have on the city’s digital future.”
Brightsolid, the Scottish colocation and cloud solutions company, has appointed an interim chief information officer to lead an ongoing transformation of its technology and
service delivery offerings.
Philip Large, who brings over 20 years of enterprise technology leadership experience to Brightsolid, will be responsible for the technical strategy and end-to-end design and delivery of the company’s technology-based services, working collaboratively with clients to meet their IT needs.
The appointment follows shortly after Brightsolid’s chief technology officer, Malcolm Dobson, announced plans to retire after more than 20 years of service. Philip will initially take on the new CIO position for three months, with the opportunity for it to become a permanent position.
Brightsolid’s chief executive, Elaine Van Der Berg, said: “We continue to strengthen our solutions offering and have restructured our business to meet the evolving needs of clients as businesses increasingly shift towards cloud computing. Philip will take the lead on our technology focus, working to ensure we can deliver new infrastructure models supported by a strong technology roadmap to help clients make the best financial and operational decisions on cloud computing.”
Philip said: “Cloud computing is driving transformational change and for many, it can be a complex and challenging transition. Our focus will be to provide a consultative approach, delivering cost appropriate and future-proof cloud solutions at a much quicker rate for clients, ensuring they can rapidly realise the benefits of cloud.
“The journey to the cloud is inevitable for all organisations, creating a significant opportunity for Brightsolid. By 2019, around 80% of IT budgets will be dedicated to cloud technology and we need to make sure we are in a strong position to maximise this opportunity. Our new strategy combined with a focus on technology improvement places us on a market-aligned, strategic footing, meaning we are in excellent shape to support clients on this critical journey.”
Kelvinside Academy has further boosted its commitment to creative learning and innovation in education with the appointment of American designer James Addison.
The move is the next step of the Glasgow school’s exclusive European partnership with NuVu, the world’s leading innovation school.
A successful innovation and tech camp, which centred on solving real world challenges, launched last summer. This camp will return in July and now, KA pupils will benefit from this unique style of learning throughout the new academic year with the appointment of NuVu design fellow James. To enrich the traditional curriculum, the MIT Masters graduate will lead pupils through two-week
immersive design projects.
James Addison is from Charleston, Illinois and completed a Masters of Architecture at MIT after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Architectural Studies. Previously James has worked on urban-rural revitalization projects in the Jiangsu province of China and was the lead design instructor for a technology-based entrepreneurship course in Mongolia. Jiangsu province of China and was the lead design instructor for a technology-based entrepreneurship course in Mongolia.
Headmaster Ian Munro said: “I believe as educators, it’s our duty to grow the spirit of innovation within pupils and develop their curiosity and creativity. I don’t believe the current educational model always does that very well.
“That’s why we’ve chosen to be open-minded and progressive in our approach. This move will introduce a new, but certainly no less powerful, style of learning for our pupils. I believe the KA-NuVu collaboration will challenge aspects of Scotland’s education system for the better and help pupils to develop essential social, problem-solving, communication and technology skills.
“James will be a fabulous addition to the school and he will immediately enhance our offering. I hope this encourages other schools to introduce industry experts as part of the education process alongside fully qualified teachers. If so, it could transform education in Scotland.”
James Addison said: “Growing up, my exposure to creative learning was very limited. As a fellow with Kelvinside I will have the opportunity to share my perspective with kids, to challenge them to see the world through a new lens and to guide them in affecting positive change. “This partnership also represents an opportunity beyond the classroom to co-create an educational experience with Kelvinside Academy’s teachers, the Glasgow community and local institutions that can be a beacon for education in Scotland.”
A cabinet reshuffele within the Scottish Government has introduced a number of new positions focusing on areas such as skills, connectivity and business. The new cabinet positions relevant to Scotland’s digital technology sector include:
- Kate Forbes is to become Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, working with the Finance Secretary on managing the Scottish Government budget and on tax policy
- Ivan McKee, who has wide business experience, will take on the role of Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, building on Scotland’s strong track record of attracting inward investment in recent years and working to boost exports
- Mairi Gougeon takes on a new role of Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment – reporting jointly to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
- Ben MacPherson takes on the role of Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development
- Jamie Hepburn takes on a new, expanded portfolio of Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills – reporting jointly to the Economy Secretary and the Deputy First Minister
- Paul Wheelhouse becomes Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands – taking forward the government’s key priorities of increasing renewable energy, broadband and islands policy
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“The new ministers I am announcing today bring a range of fresh talent to the Scottish Government, ensuring that we are equipped to deal with the challenges and maximise the opportunities facing the people of Scotland.
“The ministerial team represents constituencies the length and breadth of Scotland, coming with a range of professional backgrounds and bringing a breadth of real life experience to their roles.
“For instance, Claire Haughey brings her extensive background as a mental health nurse to the mental health portfolio, Kate Forbes will bring her finance background to bear in her brief and Ivan McKee brings the expertise he has acquired from a highly successful career in business to the role of Trade and Innovation Minister.
“All of the new ministers I have appointed today, have already proven themselves as effective parliamentarians – and I know that they will do likewise in Ministerial office.”
Scotland’s innovation centre for data, has appointed a new chairperson to help deliver on its mission to help Scotland generate significant economic and social value from cutting-edge analytics and data science.
Mark Hunter, Chief Data Officer and Director of Labs at Sainsbury’s Bank, who has been on the Data Lab board since 2017, will take over from Neil Logan, Chief Executive of Incremental Group, who is standing down after four years.
Gillian Docherty Chief Executive of The Data Lab, told DIGIT: “Neil has been with The Data Lab since 2014 and has helped us achieve a huge amount in a short period of time. It is fantastic that Mark is now stepping up from his board position to take on the position of Chair. He’s a leading light in Scotland’s ever-growing data landscape and his stewardship will be pivotal in driving our ongoing success.”
Mark Hunter, said:”These are very exciting times for The Data Lab as we look to build on our achievements so far. I am delighted to be working with such an ambitious Governance Board and the Data Lab team who share my enthusiasm for the future. I look forward to helping drive our collective vision.”
The industry body for Scotland’s financial technology sector has announced the board members who will work with CEO Stephen Ingledew to oversee and enable the organisation’s strategic plans to make Scotland one of the top five fintech hubs in the world.
The announcement follows the recent appointment of David Fergusson, the Chief Executive of Nucleus Financial, as chair of the organisation.
The board members represent a cross section of Scotland’s fintech ecosystem, including representatives from the organisation’s six recently announced strategic partners.
The board members are:
- David Fergusson (Chair) – Chief Executive, Nucleus Financial
- Jude Cook – Co-Founder and CEO, ShareIn
- Hugh Edmiston – Corporate Services Director, University of Edinburgh
- Louise Smith – Head of Design, RBS
- Linda Hanna – Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise
- Kent Mackenzie – Partner and Global Head of fintech in Scotland, Deloitte
- Anneli Ritari-Stewart – Managing Director, iProspect, Dentsu Aegis Network
- Melba Foggo – Managing Director, UK Consulting, Sopra Steria
- Yvonne Dunn – Partner, Pinsent Masons
- Neil Cunningham – Partnerships Director, Equifax UK
- Paul Ryan – Director of Watson Artificial Intelligence & Data, IBM
In addition, two observer roles have been announced, who will attend board meetings in a purely observational capacity:
- Maggie Craig – Head of Scotland, Financial Conduct Authority
- Karen Rodger – Head of Financial Services and fintech Policy, Scottish Government
Deloitte has announced the appointment of two new partners, Kent Mackenzie and Shaun Reynolds to strengthen its leadership team in Scotland
The new partners will be the strategic leads for their respective sectors, both in the UK and globally. These two new appointments bring the total number partner promotions in Scotland to 36.
Kent Mackenzie, fintech and analytics specialist, will take up the role as Deloitte’s Global Head for Fintech for Risk Advisory, leading its international strategy for the sector from the company’s Edinburgh base. With 17 years’ experience working in technology, risk and data across financial services he previously held positions with RBS, Lloyds, and Morgan Stanley.
Shaun Reynolds, the leader of Deloitte’s oil and gas transaction services team, specialises in advising clients in the UK’s oil and gas industry including the upstream, midstream and oilfield services sectors. Previously, he led the transaction services team for Deloitte’s Aberdeen office since setting it up in 2009.
Steve Williams, Senior Partner for Deloitte in Scotland and Northern Ireland said:
“These promotions are an indication of our firm’s significant level of investment and confidence in the Scottish and UK Fintech sector and in Oil & Gas which are vital parts of the Scottish economy. We are extremely proud to have Kent and Shaun join our partnership, both of whom are thoroughly experienced and have demonstrated outstanding leadership, drive and determination throughout their careers.
We are entering into a period of significant transition in Scotland. External factors such as technological transformation combined with political uncertainty mean it is critical the organisations we work with have access to the kind of expertise and advice that Shaun, Kent and their respective teams are able to provide so they are well prepared for the years ahead.”
Gavin Patterson will be retiring from his role as the BT Group’s Chief Executive after a major turnaround strategy failed to deliver the goods. Since the announcement of his departure, BT shares rose more than 2% in early trading.
Last month, as part of Patterson’s strategy, the company cut 13,000 jobs to address multiple pressures on the business such as increasing competition and falling revenues. Days after the cull, it was revealed that he had been paid about £2.3 million, which included a £1.3m bonus on top of his basic salary of £997,000.
Furthermore, under his leadership, the company saw a massive accounting scandal come to light, that had left a £530m cash black hole in its Italian business. This admission of fraud on his watch led to Patterson losing most of his 2017 bonus.
BT Chairman Jan du Plessis said:
“The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has … demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy.
“To that end, a number of concrete initiatives have already been launched and Gavin’s commitment to continue to lead the business during this transition phase will provide invaluable continuity.
“While I am confident that, for the remainder of his term, Gavin and his senior management team will continue to display the energy required to deal with every dimension of the task at hand.”
Patterson said: “I’ve been immensely proud of what we’ve achieved, in particular, the transformation of the business in recent years with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE, and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach.
“That, combined with the critical expansion of our superfast broadband network to 27m customers, and our stated ambition to reach 10m homes with ultrafast broadband by the mid-2020s have fundamentally repositioned the company.
“BT is a great business and with the new management team I’ve recently put in place, is I believe very well positioned to thrive in the future.”
Edinburgh-based TV performance analytics and optimisation company TVSquared has opened an Australian operation.
TVSquared Australia has launched in Sydney to provide ground support for Australia’s $3.1 billion TV advertising market, which represents one of the company’s fastest-growing regions.
Praful Desai is heading up TVSquared Australia as business development director. For the last 15 years, Desai has held analytical leadership positions within the Dentsu Aegis Network, most recently as the head of data and analytics for Vizeum Australia.
Desai said: “TV not only provides unmatched reach, but it has evolved into a primary driver of digital response. With demand for TV performance analytics at a fever pitch, it was the right time for TVSquared to open its Sydney offices to accommodate the growing number of advertisers that want to make TV work harder and smarter for their brands.”
QikServe, the digital self-service platform for hospitality, today announced that it has established its North America headquarters in Atlanta.
Located in the Atlanta Tech Village, the fourth largest technology hub in the U.S., the new office will provide QikServe’s North American customers with program management and implementation support services. The company has secured several large hospitality sector accounts across the country in the last 12 months – driven by increased demand for digital ordering and payments solutions in the restaurant and travel hospitality sectors.
An initial team will be tasked with ensuring customer success within both new and current accounts. The team will be expanded to a staff of six to eight over the next 12 months to support program management, operations, technical customer support, sales and account management functions.
Daniel Rodgers, the CEO, QikServe told DIGIT: “North America has rapidly become our largest geographic market and we are currently delivering several projects for some world most recognized hospitality operators, so opening a hub here was a no-brainer. Atlanta is well-positioned strategically to serve our US-based customers and the Tech Village provides the perfect environment for a fast-growing tech company as we scale up our global operations. Our location in the Atlanta Tech Village will help us benefit from access to top tech talent and we look forward to being an active contributor in the community.”
Karlee Young, Community Manager, Atlanta Tech Village, said: “Atlanta Tech Village is excited to welcome QikServe as our newest Villagers. As the 4th largest tech hub in the U.S., we believe we’re a tech startup’s best chance of success through faster connections to talent, capital and ideas. We’re thrilled to be QikServe’s U.S. headquarters.”
Edinburgh IT company Consider IT has expanded moved from its 1400sq ft office to a much larger and more appropriate 3500sq ft office space on Leith’s Shore.
The company offers a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity service, which includes over 900sq ft of purpose-built desk space in the event a client has an office disaster.
As part of the company’s rapid growth, it will appoint two new consultants to the team in the next few months.
Stuart Gilbertson, the managing director of Consider IT, told DIGIT: “I am delighted to announce that we’ve acquired a long-term lease on new office space on the Shore. This will allow Consider IT to quickly deploy appropriate services and solutions to the changing Cyber landscape. From our unique Disaster Recovery facilities to our Cyber Training, we’re positioning ourselves as the trusted go-to IT firm in Edinburgh.”
IT Governance, the information security and penetration testing provider, has opened a new office in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of an ongoing global expansion.
With offices already in the Gulf, US and across Europe, IT Governance’s latest opening coincides with its aim to help organisations in Scotland improve their cyber resilience at a time when this subject has never been more pertinent in this area of the UK.
New legislation in the country, such as The Scottish Public Sector Cyber Resilience Scheme, enforces a different approach to the way the public sector treats cyber threats. IT Governance’s specialism in this field means the company is well placed to help the public sector tackle the issue.
Alan Calder, founder and executive chairman of IT Governance, said: “The decision to expand our presence into Scotland is just the next step in our strategy for IT Governance. We’re very excited as this gives us the platform to service this market and bring our cyber resilience products to Scottish organisations.”
Morgan Stanley has moved its 1,400 staff in the city into a purpose-built office on Glasgow’s Waterloo Street, following an undisclosed investment.
The 155,000 sq ft office brings together teams previously based in two buildings nearby in the city, with divisions such as technology and data, finance, operations and fund services now under a single roof.
And Clare Woodman, the first woman to hold the position of head of EMEA for Morgan Stanley, said: “Certainly, I know that many of our functional areas and our control functions within the global Morgan Stanley will look at this space and think, can they deploy more activities here? It’s been very successful. All of the functions that we have put here have really been able to service not just the business we do in EMEA, but also the globe.
The Morgan Stanley operation in Glasgow supports the bank’s activities in territories around the world, from North America to Asia. Asked whether it planned to add more staff in Glasgow following the office move, Ms Woodman told The Herald: “What we will look at is how successful we are. We are just moving into this new building.
“It’s [a] very efficient space, it’s a great working environment and we will just see how all the functions work together. But I know, when each of our global functional heads come and see this working space, it certainly markets itself well for them to want to put more activities here.”
A new innovation centre has opened in Edinburgh, offering start-up companies direct access to world leading scientists, engineers and big data experts.
The Higgs Centre for Innovation offers specialist expertise and support in space-related technology and big-data analytics. Up to 12 companies will be based in the Centre and will work next to researchers and engineers from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) UK Astronomy Technology Centre and the University of Edinburgh.
The Centre incorporates laboratories and working spaces for researchers, and facilities suitable for businesses, and includes a Business Incubation Centre (BIC) based on the successful European Space Agency model already in operation in the UK.
The Higgs Centre for Innovation is funded through a £10.7m investment from the UK Government through the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and STFC is also investing £2m over the next five years to operate the Centre.
The Centre is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013 for his theoretical prediction of the Higgs boson.
Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: “Scotland has an outstanding reputation for science and innovation, and the Higgs Centre will harness this creativity, helping disruptive start-ups and entrepreneurs create the products of tomorrow.
“Big data and space technology have endless opportunities, and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are supporting our world leading innovators to help to build a Britain fit for the future.”
Beginning September 2018 the University of Edinburgh and Wayra UK, Telefónica’s open innovation platform, will launch an accelerator programme that will welcome 20 start-ups a year.
The £1.6 million agreement is Wayra UK’s first venture in Scotland and it is expected the collaboration will generate almost 400 jobs.
Supported by Scottish Enterprise, the joint programme will provide spin-out and start-up companies with the opportunity to scale, through direct access to Telefónica in the UK and beyond.
The announcement comes ahead of finalisation of the £1.1 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, which aims to establish the region as the data capital of Europe. As part of this, Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities will collaborate to help organisations benefit from data-driven innovation and increase the talent supply for the region’s booming tech sector.
Wayra UK, which already has five existing accelerator programmes, has over the past six years supported more than 200 British and Irish start-ups. These have raised more than £150m in funding and entered into almost £10m worth of contracts with Telefónica. It currently supports around 50 companies a year through its accelerator programmes, which provides advice and mentorship to take ideas through to investment.
Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK, said: “There’s no doubt that AI and blockchain will change the way that we all live and work. It is, therefore, an honour to work with the world-leading University of Edinburgh, a global player in artificial intelligence and Informatics, to find and support the entrepreneurs that will define our collective future.”
Dave Robertson, Head of College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh said: “Our vision is to become the leading AI and blockchain accelerator in Europe, supporting the best start-ups to scale globally, and we see this partnership as a valuable step to realising that aim. The search is on for the most innovative data-driven start-ups to join the programme in Edinburgh.”
ZoneFox is one of the first UK companies to receive support from the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) innovation centre.
The goal of LORCA is to position the UK as a global leader in the growing field of cyber security and to help keep the nation safe from online threats. LORCA will help some of the UK’s brightest cyber security stars across all stages of growth address business challenges and achieve greater impact with their innovative solutions.
Dr Jamie Graves, CEO ZoneFox said: “The UK has so much cyber talent and the mission of LORCA is to get that recognised on a global scale and help innovative start-ups grow their businesses. The support and networking that it will give start-ups and scale-ups such as ourselves will be a potential force multiplier for our business. In particular we’re looking forward to working and networking with other international cyber clusters and expanding our London footprint to accelerate the significant growth we have achieved over the last 18 months.
“I think that the LORCA research out today hits upon a key point. SMEs and enterprises do not face the same challenges; when it comes to security there is no one-size-fits-all solution. SMEs don’t have the resources or internal expertise to know how to best defend themselves against cyber attacks; they need a partner. And for enterprises they need to see that the days of being ‘locked in’ to one solution are long gone. Today’s tech platforms – cyber included – are all about interoperability. They have to be, cyberestates are complex enough; transparency and actionable insight is the name of the game.
“ZoneFox is thrilled to be invited as one of the first cohort of later stage innovators to receive support from LORCA. We are looking forward to working with LORCA and its wider network to drive ZoneFox’s growth and help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in the growing cyber security sector.”
Lydia Ragoonanan, Director of LORCA, said: “The threats posed to businesses by cyber-attacks are continually changing. We’re proud to be working with industry to understand their needs, with investors who can help develop the solutions scale at pace, and with incredible innovators who are helping secure UK’s position as a world leader in cyber security.
“By bringing all these things together in our new centre we will stay ahead and help British businesses grow and succeed.”
Awards & Honours
Previse has been recognised as one of the hottest fintechs in Europe by Fintech50.
The Fintech50 is a prestigious list of the top fintech companies in Europe, chosen by an expert panel of leaders from around the world, representing investors, financial organisations, global techs and innovation leaders. Previse was selected from over 1,800 fintechs from all over Europe.
In choosing the final 50, the judges look for companies with a track record as well as growth potential for the future. The list included Revolut, the retail FX company which this year was valued at over £1 billion, as well as a number of well-known fintechs serving institutional investors.
This is the latest in a year of positive announcements for Previse. The company opened a new Glasgow office in October 2017, secured R&D funding from Scottish Enterprise and appointed business heavyweights David Tyler, Chairman of Sainsburys, and British Land Chairman, John Gildersleeve, to its advisory board. It also announced partnerships with the leading provider of digital supply chain solutions, Virtualstock, and social enterprise, Auticon.
Paul Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Previse said: “We are pleased to be included in this prestigious list of the hottest fintechs in Europe. Being selected out of a pool of 1,800 companies is strong validation of the importance of the slow payments problem we’re solving, how we’re solving it, and our tremendous team.
“Slow supplier payments are damaging the world economy. Every year hundreds of thousands of businesses which are fundamentally sound, creating good jobs and with potentially transformative ideas and products close purely as a result of their cash flow challenges.
“Previse solves this problem by enabling corporate buyers to pay suppliers of all sizes, instantly, making slow payments a thing of the past. We use hundreds of millions of data points and sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms to provide a score of a corporate buyer’s likelihood to pay the invoice. This allows funders to instantly release funds to the supplier to meet the invoice. Suppliers get cash on delivery. Widespread adoption of InstantPay will have a major positive impact on the economy.”
Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT)
Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT), the non-profit organisation which celebrates and champions trailblazing women in Scotland’s digital technology sector, is celebrating multiple wins in the 2018 Women in Technology Awards.
The organisation was voted the UK’s Most Influential Network by the judges, while Gillian McLennan, an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan in Glasgow and a board member of SWiT picked up the Mentor of the Year award. Lynsey Campbell, the chair of SWiT was also a finalist in the Leader of the Year award.
Lynsey Campbell, the Chair of SWiT, told DIGIT: “SWiT are absolutely delighted to win this award and honoured to be finalists in such a strong category. We have already connected with the two other nominees to see how we can join forces and do more together.
“To be recognised on a UK-wide scale for all that we do means so much to us and enables us to share our message far and wide. We are a passionate group of volunteers who want to champion, celebrate and invest in women and technology and we are thrilled to win.”
Edinburgh-based anti-counterfeiting specialist SnapDragon has been named one of the world’s most disruptive companies.
The Disrupt 100 report, run by Tällt Ventures, tracks the world’s most disruptive businesses. The list is judged, compiled and curated by some the world’s leading entrepreneurs, investors and business owners.
Each company within the Disrupt 100 was sourced from over five million global businesses. These companies are then judged by senior representatives from blue chip companies and global brands including Google, Uber, Oracle, Silicon Valley Bank and Virgin StartUp.
Rachel Jones, founder and CEO of SnapDragon told DIGIT: “It’s been a really exciting year for SnapDragon, especially with the launch of Swoop, our new DIY IP protection software for brands, the first of its’ kind to market.
“We have worked extremely hard to provide a robust service to empower any company, large or small, to protect itself from criminal counterfeiters and prevent counterfeit sales of its’ products online.
“To receive this recognition is a tremendous honour, especially amongst such strong competition.”
The winners of Round 12 of the Scottish EDGE competition, which provides funding and support to start-up companies in Scotland, have been announced.
As the UK’s largest business funding competition, Scottish EDGE has awarded over £10 million thus far, in awards which are given as a 40% grant and a 60% loan, with a maximum award of up to £150,000. Both the Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE awards are grants of up to £10,000.
Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald said: “Congratulations to the inspirational winners and also to our runners up who worked exceptionally hard to get this far, our judges had a challenging task narrowing down the 20 exceptional businesses who pitched down to just eleven. We welcome the entrepreneurs awarded tonight to our high achieving alumni of 293 previous Scottish EDGE winners who thus far have generated an additional £104.22 million in turnover, secured £82.47 million in additional investment and created 1,381 jobs.”
The Round 12 Scottish EDGE winners are:
Aurora Sustainability – Sets up demonstrative Circular Economy Biorefinery in clusters for social, private and public organisations, offering mentoring and trainings on the CE business model. From: Moray | Amount: £45,000
Broker Insights Ltd – A platform that provides insurers with powerful search capabilities to direct their sales resources to the right brokers, at the right time, for the right business.
From: Dundee | Amount: £75,000
Cearban Ltd – An adventure wildlife tourism business, offering transformational experiences, such as swimming with basking sharks around the Inner Hebrides.
From: Oban | Amount: £50,000
Guy & Beard Ltd – High quality barber shops made out of converted shipping containers in convenient locations, with free parking and affordable prices. From: Bishopton | Amount: £75,000
Just Venue Holding Ltd – An online platform that aims to socialise event space booking, by connecting event hosts and organizers with space owners and managers. From: Dundee | Amount: £50,000
MiAlgae Ltd – Developed a novel algae production to harvest Omega 3 oils from micro-algae grown on waste water. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £100,000
Novosound – Sells novel, printed, ultrasound sensors to the industrial inspection, medical imaging and dental imaging markets. From: Paisley | Amount: £50,000
The Little Herb Farm – A fine food manufacturing business creating a range of sweet fruit vinegars using mainly its own herbs and a range of chilled dips.
From: Fife | Amount: £40,000
The Start-up Drinks Lab Ltd – Provide manufacturing, packaging and storage solutions for small-medium sized soft drink companies for everything from “concept to shelf”.
From: Glasgow | Amount: £75,000
Higgs EDGE winner:
Cytochroma – Combines state of the art, automated technology and pioneering science to generate stem cell derived liver cells that model human physiology.
From: Edinburgh | Amount: £150,000
Creative EDGE Winner:
Curious Chip Ltd – Creator of Pip – a handheld computer that combines
programmability, expandability and high-performance graphics into a portable, attractive and easy-to-use package. From: Glasgow | Amount: £50,000
Young EDGE Winners:
404 Ink – 404 Ink is the multi-award winning independent publisher of books and literary magazines. Dubbed the ‘nasty women shaking up the book industry’, they were named the Emerging Publishers of the Year and #1 in the List Hot 100 for cultural influencers in 2017.
From: Edinburgh| Amount: £10,000
Fodilicious Ltd – An innovative food business based in Scotland providing the UK’s first gluten free and dairy free freshly prepared meal options which follow the low FODMAP diet – suitable for people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut relatedillnesses. From: Livingston | Amount: £10,000
Phox Water Ltd – Phox Water’s slogan ‘Drink Clean’ doesn’t only relate to the filtered water its product creates, it is a reminder that the water we consume has a carbon footprint. Phox’s product suite is designed to let people avoid bottled water and the harm it does to our environment. From: Glasgow | Amount: £15,000
The Turing Trust – A social enterprise that is innovatively reusing ICTs to provide education and training in Scotland and rural African communities. By re-imagining the use of technology, The Turing Trust are pushing towards a Circular Economy, building capability at home and creating sustainable incomes and improved digital education access.
From: Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000
Tipsy Unicorn Sweets – Tipsy Unicorn Sweets prides itself on creating delicious sweets using all natural ingredients. Since launching the Rock Rose Gin and Tonic Jelly ranges, the business has struggled to keep up with demand. This has led to discussions with a third party about outsourcing production.
From: Nairn | Amount: £10,000
Token Zero – Token Zero is developing a remote environmental monitor for rental properties, in order to inform landlords and property managers of potentially damaging situations developing in their premises, allowing them to intervene early and save money.
From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
Udrafter – An on demand and real-time student recruitment platform where local businesses can post one off jobs to be completed by skilled students within hours, even minutes. Udrafter is Scotland’s first dedicated one-off student jobs platform that provides a wide range of different student skill sets, all in one friendly platform that saves businesses time and money. Aberdeen | Amount: £10,000
WildCard EDGE winners were:
Alterwaste Ltd – A business which turns industrial waste by-products into new sustainable materials. Alterwaste’s first product is a fully compostable material made from industrial eggshell waste with the potential to replace plastic and other non-sustainable materials in a range of industries, from cosmetics to construction. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £15,000
Farm-Hand Ltd – Builds flexible precision irrigation products that enable farmers to irrigate in a ‘right-volume, right-time’ approach in water-scarce regions. The company works for economic uplift, scare resource conservation, social cohesion and labour freedom in the agriculture space. From: Longniddry | Amount: £10,000
Hearing Diagnostics Ltd – Hearing Diagnostics aims to develop more accurate hearing screening technology to enable early detection and diagnosis of hearing loss. The business’s technology combines the use of novel algorithms and research methods to ensure high accuracy and reliability of screening results.
Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000
Inrobin Ltd – Inrobin provides predictive maintenance and risk management solutions to industrial companies. Manufacturers can connect their industrial assets to Inrobin’s digital platform, which analyses the data and gives new insights, these insights serve to create a risk profile that results in lower insurance premiums.
Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000
Scrumptious Garden – This business turns underused urban land into attractive, productive, market gardens. Scrumptious Garden partners with city councils and housing associations, gaining free access to land that is otherwise a costly drain in return for creating beautiful and welcoming spaces.
From: Livingston | Amount: £10,000
SecondPerspective – An innovative rehabilitation product based company. Focusing on product development and user experience provided through SP’s product range. The first solution to be brought to market is an intelligent pressure cuff system employing blood flow restriction therapy for use in rehabilitation.
Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000
Thermoelectric Conversion Systems Ltd – Proposes a scalable clean-technology to fill the void in present cooling technologies and aims to target data-centre equipment suppliers to develop highly-efficient industry-leading technology. By employing thermoelectric-coolers driven by novel power converters, data-centre cooling efficiency can increase by 50%.
From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000