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Startup Summit Competition Finalists Unveiled | Meet the Final Three

Ross Kelly


Startup Summit Competition

The entrants will pitch for a top prize worth over £60,000 in front of 1,000 attendees at this year’s online Startup Summit.

Three Scottish tech for good entrepreneurs have been selected to take part in the 2020 Startup Summit Competition final.

Judges from FutureX and Johnston Carmichael selected Dr Tayyaba Nafees (CyberShell Solutions), Phil Worms (Frog Systems) and Caroline McKenna (Social Good Connect) to progress from the semi-finals, which took place virtually on September 30th.

Applicants for this year’s competition spanned a range of backgrounds and industries – including cybersecurity, philanthropy and mental health – and the three finalists reflect this broad variety.

Kirsty Irvine, semi-final judge and Senior Business Development Manager at Johnston Carmichael said: “From gaming to cybersecurity to mental health and more; we heard pitches from a diverse range of businesses in the semi-final, all who, regardless of stage, would have benefited from a place on FutureX’s Silicon Valley Scale programme.

“However, the three we’ve chosen to go through to the final gave real evidence of their ability to achieve growth in the coming year so would best maximise the opportunities from the programme.”

The overall winner of the competition will receive a fully-funded place on FutureX’s Silicon Valley Scale programme and a business support package worth over £60,000. This package includes business support from Johnston Carmichael, STV, FutureX, Purpose HR, and AAI EmployAbility.

The Silicon Valley Scale programme takes a select group of rising UK tech leaders to Silicon Valley where they will have the opportunity to connect with leading global players in the tech industry and pitch to potential investors.

Previous cohorts have met with executives from Airbnb, Facebook, SurveyMonkey, RocketSpace, Y Combinator, Waze, and Threshold.


Bruce Walker, Co-founder of FutureX, said: “The SUS20 Competition Final is going to be one to watch. From over a hundred applications, we have selected three very exciting technology companies who are using business as a force for good.

“The prize fund will be used to accelerate their impact and wrap support around promising startups – the judges are going to have a tough decision to make!”

The competition final will be hosted live on Day 2 of Startup Summit 2020 on October 29th.

For more information, you can visit

Meet the Finalists


CyberShell is for software industries that need to identify cyber threats and risks during software development and want to safeguard emerging business-critical-services.

The company’s Vulnerability scanning tool and Training solution provide the faster and automatic insertion of the cybersecurity controls in CI/CD pipeline with user-friendly support on live cyberattacks, unlike the traditional expensive and time-consuming end-of-line defence via penetration testing.

CyberShell is led by a team of award-winning cybersecurity experts who empower software development teams to identify and prevent vulnerabilities.

Through its platform, CyberShell founder Tayyaba Nafees says customers can build trust and assurance in their software products while reducing their cybersecurity budget by half.

Frog Systems

Frog Systems is a tech for good company that has developed the first dedicated mental health and wellbeing video platform to utilise the power of the lived experience to communicate positive messages of hope to those in need.

Through its Champions Cinema, Frog showcases real stories, told by real people, to demonstrate to those feeling alone and stigmatised by their personal challenges that there is hope and that help is available.

The software automatically signposts the user to their nearest local support services relevant to the video’s content. The platform can be fully customised and licensed by any organisation with a duty of care.

Social Good Connect

Social Good Connect is a unique digital search and match platform connecting employers and their employees to volunteering opportunities to positively impact the community.

Founder Caroline McKenna says the startup is on a mission to create a ‘world where people care and are inspired to make a positive social impact’.

Social Good Connect partners with a range of employers to embed staff in volunteering roles, making it easier for private, public and third sector communities to connect and measure their social impact.

The firm has already worked with a range of organisations to help facilitate volunteering opportunities, including Dundee-based Broker Insights, Tayside Cancer Support, and Social Bite.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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