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DIGIT Movers and Shakers October 2018

Ross Kelly


DIGIT Movers and Shakers October

The October edition of DIGIT’s Movers and Shakers column features all the latest recruitment, expansions and awards from across Scotland’s digital technology sector. 


Global Surface Intelligence

George Lindsay Global Surface IntelligenceGlobal Surface Intelligence (GSI) has made two senior appointments to strengthen its leadership team to support its planned growth over the next two years.

The Scottish-based geospatial analytics firms, which provides natural resource management analytics, announced that Peter Young and George Lindsay will take up the positions of non-executive director and chief operating officer, respectively.

This marks the beginning of a significant expansion plan by the firm, having successfully raised £1 million since Gavin Tweedie was appointed as chief executive in June 2017.

Tweedie commented: “As we look to upscale the business and drive forward our expansion programme, it is crucial we have strong leadership in place from the outset.

“Peter and George both bring a wealth of experience and some great contacts within the geospatial sector. Their previous experience in running successful and profitable companies will also be critical in helping us achieve our ambitious goals.”Peter Young Global Surface Intelligence

Peter Young has been involved in leading high-tech industries in Aerospace, Space and Defence for more than 30 years. He was CEO of Telespazio VEGA for seven years while concurrently serving as senior vice president for the Satellite Systems business unit of the parent company, Telespazio Sp.A.

Lindsay also commands extensive experience in similar industry, having spent five years as chief operating officer at Aglytix. He was appointed as a GlobalScot in 2012 by former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking on the appointment, Lindsay said: “It is exciting to return to Scotland and be greeted with so much innovation and a desire to excel. The GSI senior management has demonstrated a commitment to making the company a major player in the geospatial sector, giving its clients unique products to measure their natural resource assets and I look forward to helping this dynamic young company achieve its potential.”


IFB, one of Scotland’s leading managed service and data network providers, is bolstering its senior management team with two new appointments.

George Gordon has been appointed as chief operations officer while Andrew Gordon will assume the role of finance manager. The company said the pair will help to facilitate future growth “throughout the UK and beyond.”

IFB’s new COO brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and will focus on shaping the company’s operations function in line with the business’ growth strategy.

George said: “I am delighted to be joining IFB at this time as it strives for further growth. Seeking a new challenge focusing more on innovation and technology, IFB is a great fit with its drive and enthusiasm to expand.”

Andrew Gordon will lead the financial team while providing the support required to take the business to the next level, the company said. With more than 24 years of experience working in the industry, as well as four years as a business owner, Andrew has held a number of senior financial management roles in the UK and overseas.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining IFB which has a long and established reputation in the network and communications field. With a great team in place, it’s an exciting time to be joining as the company looks to continue its development.”

Graeme Gordon, IFB’s CEO, said the company intends to focus on “building the best people” to boost future growth. The firm’s two new appointments also represent the next stage of a series of “key steps”, which will focus on customer support needs and delivery.


Brightsolid is boosting its sales team with the appointment of a senior client engagement manager, Darren Anderson.

Anderson will help support the business’ revitalised sales strategy as the firm looks to push forward with its cloud computing offering. He has previously held consultative positions with NCC Group, Dell Secureworks and SAP.

With more than a decade’s experience in information security, penetration testing and cybersecurity, the company said Anderson will “apply his knowledge and expertise to support Brightsolid’s clients with their data storage and security requirements.Darren Anderson Brightsolid Technology Scotland

His primary focus will be supporting the firm’s public sector portfolio, working collaboratively with clients to identify the appropriate cloud solution based on individual needs.

Commenting on the move, Anderson said: “I’m pleased to be joining a forward-thinking team that places cloud technology at the core of its service offering. At a time when cloud computing is driving transformational change in public organisations, clients are looking for a cost-effective, managed service by a reputable company.”

As part of Brightsolid’s revitalised strategy and restructure, the company plans to make further key appointments in the coming months.

Malcolm Smith, chief sales officer at Brightsolid, said: “Digital transformation is a top priority in businesses, particularly within the public sector with its continued need to improve services. As services become more innovative and digitally-powerful, firms are revising their data hosting strategies to ensure optimum storage and security solutions.

“With the increasing demand for cloud migration, Darren’s appointment and the expansion of our sales team is crucial in supporting clients on this journey.”


Ramin Vatanparast TrustpilotFormer SAGE and Wood McKenzie executive, Stephen Garland, will join Trustpilot as Chief Technology Officer to help boost technology and product innovation for growth, the company has announced.

Garland will be joined by former Yahoo and HP executive, Ramin Vatanparast, who joins as Chief Product Officer. Both will report directly to Trustpilot CEO Peter Holten Mühlmann.

Garland provides a proven track record in evolving startups to scale-ups and transforming enterprises to high performing SaaS Data and analytics platforms, while Vatanparast brings a wealth of product management and development experience.

The pair will collaborate to further define and implement Trustpilot’s technology and product strategy, with a strong focus on growth driven through technology, innovation and talent, the company said in a statement.

Peter Holten Muhlmann, CEO and Founder at Trustpilot, said: “Stephen and Ramin’s collective experience will be invaluable to Trustpilot as we continue to cement ourselves as the largest, most powerful reviews platform globally.”Steve Garland Trustpilot

Vatanparast commented: “To continue to provide the best experience for both consumers and businesses through our products and offerings, we require the very best technologies and will be tapping into areas such as Data, Machine Learning, and AI.

“Delivering products and offerings which continue to meet Trustpilot’s ambition to be the most open reviews platform for both consumers and businesses is going to be both exhilarating and enjoyable, especially based on data insights.”


Smart home security specialists, Boundary, has strengthened its team with two key hires as it prepares for a successful year ahead.

Ross Findlay Carolyn Barbour Boundary

Ross Findlay, founder of My Funding Lab, will join the team as operations manager, where he will be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the firm in core areas, such as finance. Findlay has a broad range of experience in the banking sector, including three years with the Commonwealth bank in Australia.

Carolyn Barbour has also been announced as Senior Xamarin Engineer. Barbour joins the team having previously worked at Connect-Auto, a retail specialist for some of the world’s largest vehicle brands. She will be responsible for developing Boundary’s cross-platform app, which will become the control interface for the business’ customers.

Speaking on the announcement, company Co-Founder, Robin Knox, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have Ross and Carolyn come on board. Their knowledge and experience will be extremely valuable in helping us to achieve our goal of creating a leading smart home security alarm that is affordable, accessible and most importantly, makes our homes safer.”

In addition to its latest recruitment drive, Boundary says it plans to recruit for a further four positions before the end of 2018, with a back-end engineer and digital marketing guru also expected to arrive in early 2019. In the coming months, Knox and fellow co-founder, Paul Walton, intend to generate a further £2 million in investment via Angel Investors.

Knox added: “Recruitment is a key focus for us and what we are looking for is people who want to come on board for the journey and to see the results of their hard work turn into a really successful business.”

The ID Co.

The ID Co. has undertaken a significant recruitment drive, bringing in three new recruits over the past month. These latest appointments, the company said, has brought its commercial team “up to full quota.”

The ID Co

Kate Patton joins The ID Co as Senior Client Executive and brings with her a wealth of experience in managing key accounts and relationship management. Having worked both in the United States and the UK, Patton has developed a broad skill set, the firm said.

She has previously worked at KAL as Senior Key Account & Sales Manager, QikServe Limited and Leyton UK.

Joining Patton will be Dave Jennings and Iain Dickie, who have been appointed to the roles of Senior Client Executive and Inside Sales Support respectively. Jennings commands a reputation as an established figure in the technology sector, with experience working at a host of global tech companies in the UK.

Most recently, he was a Client Executive at Gartner where he worked with enterprises generating more than $1 billion in revenue.

Dickie has worked for a number of notable UK firms, including SG Distribution, Old Mutual and Investec Structured Products. His previous experience, The ID Co said, enables him to provide substantial knowledge of financial services.

James Varga, CEO at The ID Co, said: “We are now ten months into the Open Banking revolution and we continue to see exciting traction with customers now across 5 countries. With moves to implement Open Banking across many jurisdictions across the world, there’s no doubt that this will only continue to increase. We are excited about the prospect of helping even more business realise the benefits brought through Open Banking.”


Simon Montford has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer at DX3, an early-stage venture that aims to develop winning strategies for companies operating within heavy industry. He is also currently serving as CEO at WEB3IOT, an Edinburgh and London-based IoT events and news organisation.

DX3 DLT is a strategic consulting firm which specialises in helping heavy industry prepare for the ‘Machine Economy’.

The company was formed by a team of software engineers and industry veterans based in Edinburgh and London. In addition to offering strategic consulting, DX3 DLT is a founding member of the DX3 Consortium.Simon Montford

Through an in-depth knowledge and expertise within a number of fields, the team will help clients leverage the convergence of IoT, artificial intelligence and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

The Edinburgh-based company will focus on helping operators of heavy machinery in the oil and gas, mining, and construction sectors.

Speaking on his appointment, Montford said: “The reason why we consider the convergence of these technologies so important is that we believe they will become the building blocks for a faster, better, and more democratic machine web; what we like to call Web 3.0.

“One of the most exciting prospects of the third web is that it will enable machines to use cryptocurrency to transact autonomously with other machines, and this will lead to the creation of a machine economy.”

Montford confirmed that he plans to raise a “modest seed round” of funding by Christmas 2018 from his personal network, with a more substantial round being raised in Q2 of 2019.


Award-winning Broker Insights has moved to the Water’s Edge commercial office development in Dundee, the company announced this month.

The ‘insurtech’ firm, which received heavy accolades at June’s Scottish EDGE Awards, has taken a space in the historic former transit shed 25, which was refurbished by Tayforth Properties Ltd.

The move coincided with the announcement that the company would partner with a number of high-profile companies in the insurance industry, including Zurich, AXA, QBE, Hiscox and Ecclesiastical.

The letting follows completion of a major refurbishment programme at the landmark building. The project created 15,000 sq ft of office space spread over two levels.

The development opens out from a central hub into a double height set of 11 office spaces, two of which are for co-working units. There are also seven meeting rooms and event and exhibition space.

Speaking on the move, Iain Crole, Co-Founder and EVP at Broker Insights said: “Water’s Edge fits perfectly with our company strategy; to modernise the commercial insurance industry and build a dynamic team of local talent to deliver a positive and vibrant customer service.

“The office space and design gives the team a real feel-good factor. We’re looking forward to meeting the other units moving in and the great atmosphere and community spirit that will bring.”


Scotland Women in Tech Awards

Scotland Women in Tech (SWiT) held its annual awards show at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow on 24th October. The 2018 awards brought together influential members of the technology community to celebrate and recognise outstanding individuals for their successes within the tech sector and their contribution to fostering gender diversity.

Among the star-studded lineup, ScotlandIS Chief Executive Polly Purvis was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award.

Scottish Women in Tech Awards 2018

Other winners on the evening included Tayyaba Nafees, CyberShell, who won the Rising Star award; Carole Logan with the Inspirational Woman of the Year award, and Sandra Cairncross Vice-Principal, Edinburgh Napier University, who won the Gender Diversity Champion awards.

Toni Scullion, who received the Secondary School Teacher of the Year award, said: “Being recognised at the Scotland Women in Technology awards is a real honour. It is truly amazing to have won and I’m really humbled to be in such great company with all these inspiring women whose work is making such a difference in the sector.

“Being recognised as the Secondary Schools Teacher of the year is amazing and will definitely spur me on, hopefully inspiring some of my pupils or other teachers along the way.”

Commenting on the ceremony, Lynsey Campbell, Chair of Scotland Women in Technology, said: “We hope these awards inspire more women to pursue a career in technology and I hope we can inspire the next generation to be the innovators and creative minds we need to make Scotland a global leader in technology.”

Startup Summit Competition

Startup Summit Competition Winner

Three finalists battled it out for the top prize at this year’s Startup Summit Competition, with CEO of Pillow Property Partners, Scott Weir, coming out on top.

From 100 candidates, the judges had whittled that figure down to eight outstanding semi-finalists, then further narrowed that to the final three who pitched at today’s final at FutureX’s Startup Summit 2018 in Edinburgh.

The three finalists: founder of Estendio and Present Pal creator, Chris Hughes; co-founder of MyWay Digital Health, Debbie Wake; and CEO of Pillow Property Partners, Scott Weir, took to the stage to pitch and impress the panel of judges.

The panel named Weir the overall winner for his work on Pillow Property Partners, a short-term accommodation and holiday lettings provider with managed properties around Scotland.

Weir received substantial business support from IBM, STV, Adopt An Intern and Johnston Carmichael; along with a place on FutureX’s Silicon Valley Accelerator Programme. In total, the prize is worth £200,000.

Weir said of his win: “My fellow finalists were fantastic and probably deserved to win just as much as me, so I am overjoyed to be picked. The team will be thrilled that their efforts have been rewarded.

“I am very pleased about the tech support we will receive. That will be invaluable to me as, right now, I do all the tech. Having that professional and knowledgeable support is going to be amazing.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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