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Meet the ‘Rising Stars’ of Scotland’s Technology Sector

Ross Kelly


Rising Stars

The five regional winners for Scotland will now compete nationally to be named as one of 10 ‘rising stars’.

Tech Nation has revealed the Scottish regional winners of its Rising Stars 3.0 competition.

Three Edinburgh-based firms – including Playerdata, Trickle and Valla – were chosen by Tech Nation alongside Glasgow startup Frog Systems and Aberdeen-based LiberEat.

Winners for each region and nation across the UK were selected by a panel of industry experts and are regarded as tech leaders.

These companies will now compete nationally for the chance to be named as one of Tech Nation’s 10 Rising Stars 3.0, with the national winners revealed in February 2021.

Paul Reid, CEO and Founder of Trickle said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as a Rising Stars Scotland Regional Winner.

“This is a great testament not only to the impact that Trickle is making as a growth company in the tech for good space, but it’s also a great reflection of our team’s dedication and passion to bring positive and impactful change to the best asset an organisation can have – its people.”

Danae Shell, Co-founder and CEO of Valla, added: “There are so many fantastic Scottish startups in our community, so it’s a real honour for Valla to be selected as a regional winner for Scotland.”

Tech Nation Rising Stars

Now in its third year, the Rising Stars competition is a UK-wide initiative aimed at showcasing some of the most innovative up-and-coming tech startups Britain has to offer.

The competition provides the opportunity for the best of the nation’s early-stage scaleups to meet leading investors, influencers and corporates.

Two of last year’s winners, Talking Medicines and Neatebox, have grown rapidly since winning the competition.

Hazel Jane, Entrepreneur Engagement Manager at Tech Nation commented: “I’m thrilled to see five exceptional Scottish companies join us at Rising Stars 3.0 as the regional winners.

“Last year, we saw Neatebox and Talking Medicines take home five awards between them, and I’m certain we’ll see the same levels of success this year. Rising Stars is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the high potential companies we have here in Scotland.”

Three of Scotland’s five regional winners are healthtech companies, Tech Nation revealed. This represents the largest tech sub-sector in the Rising Stars competition this year, with 13% of participants specialising in this field.

Tech Nation said the statistics reflect the growing strength of Britain’s burgeoning healthtech industry, which has attracted £6.2 billion in global venture capital over the past five years and firmly established itself as the second biggest sub-set of British tech.

Rising Stars 3.0 received 330 applications in total this year, with 62% of applications from outside London. The competition also received 39% of applications from female founders and co-founders, Tech Nation revealed.

Meet the Regional Winners

Frog Systems

Founded by Phil Worms, Frog Systems has developed the first dedicated mental health and wellbeing video platform, containing 1000s of short films.

The platform draws on the power of the lived experience to communicate positive messages of hope and support – from those that have survived dark times to others facing their own personal challenges.

In October, Frog Systems was secured first place at the annual Startup Summit Competition, which provides support and investment opportunities to tech for good startups.


LiberEat makes life easier for people with dietary restrictions, providing bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options and recipes to users with options filtered by their requirements.

The platform also enables businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets to become more accessible and provides useful analytics and insights.

LiberEat was founded by Barry Leaper and Louise Cahill.


Playerdata, founded by Sukrit Hotrabhvanon and Hayden Ball, aims to transform the way athletes train – providing everyone from amateurs to professionals access to the latest in wearable technology and performance data.

Covering amateur to semi-professional levels across both football and rugby, Playerdata has over 350 members in its revolutionary community.


Trickle is on a mission to reinvent employee engagement and wellbeing, to build better workplaces and achieve better business performance.

Founded in 2018 by Paul Reid, Ross Dempster and Joe Brock, the Edinburgh-based firm believes businesses are only as good as their people and that work should be a place where people are listened to, valued, supported and have a strong sense of belonging.

Trickle brings these attributes to the core of everyday operations, with a goal to help businesses thrive and become more resilient by creating a people-first culture.


Bringing transparency and insight into the legal sector, Valla is a data platform for the legal industry. The company was founded by Dr Kate Ho alongside Danae Shell.

It analyses millions of legal documents, extracting data and turning them into insights that are easy to understand, helping lawyers and consumers make data-driven legal decisions.

Valla’s first product puts a price on discrimination in the workplace.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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