Curiosity is crucial for the PR cat – and other lessons from my first year at Hot Tin Roof

October 19th, 2016





I joined Hot Tin Roof just over a year ago, and what a year it has been. I joined the agency as a relative newbie to PR, armed with a cheery attitude, an ambition to learn, and a distinct lack of Mac computer operating skills that had to be addressed immediately!
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North of Scotland students lift coveted awards

October 7th, 2016

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An exceptional student from Robert Gordon’s University has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2016. Stuart Whitehead won first prize for an innovative project developing a software platform for internet of things (IoT) applications. The judge considered the project to be outstanding.
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Digital tech industry to think big, move fast at ScotSoft

October 5th, 2016


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Key players in Scotland’s digital technologies industry will gather in Edinburgh tomorrow (Thursday 6 October) to ask what it takes to build a global business and stay agile while scaling for growth.

The issues will be debated as part of the Global Forum at this year’s ScotSoft conference. Two panels of experts will answer questions and share advice, encouragement and their personal war stories with the audience of CEOs and decision makers at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
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Digital Xtra opens new round of funding for extracurricular computing projects

October 3rd, 2016

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Scotland’s Digital Xtra Fund launched in May 2016 and awarded £250,000 to 12 projects, which expect to reach a combined total of 10,500 young people across the country by March 2017. An additional £150,000 has now been made available in response to the high number of applications received for the first round of funding.

Applications open today (3 October) via Public Contracts Scotland and eligible organisations can bid for grants from £1500 to a maximum £25000 per project to support computing science and digital skills focused extracurricular activities for 2016/17.

Funding is intended to support enterprising organisations that give young people aged 16 and under opportunities to learn computer science related digital skills and contribute to widening the provision of extracurricular computing science related activities across Scotland.
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Cyber security on the agenda for ScotSoft as international expert comes to Edinburgh

September 26th, 2016

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Internationally renowned cyber-security expert, Troy Hunt, has been unveiled by ScotlandIS as a keynote speaker at this year’s ScotSoft developers conference.

In his keynote speech the Australian based web security expert, Microsoft regional director and MVP will be drawing on his years of experience running the ethical data breach service ‘have I been pwned’,.



Hunt will look at what motivates attackers to dump data publicly, how it is sold, traded and redistributed and why. He will also share his experiences of interacting with the people attacking the systems, those who have been impacted and law enforcement agencies.
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Equity Gap is Scotland’s most active angel syndicate

September 23rd, 2016



Equity Gap, a leading Scottish business angel syndicate, focused on funding emerging Scottish businesses with growth potential, has reported strong investment activity and vigorous deal flow.

Investments completed during the last year include Insignia Technologies, Synaptec, Appointedd, Shotscope and VERT Rotors, making it Scotland’s busiest syndicate in the first half of 2016.

The syndicate has rapidly grown from 15 original founders to 100 members, completing over 50 rounds of funding, since 2010. Through the co-investment model it has leveraged £19.9m investment into the Scottish economy in partnership with Scottish Investment Bank and other syndicates.

Scotland has fostered a vibrant business angel community since the early 90’s and the global angel community looks to the Scottish model – including the pioneering public private co-investment fund – to inspire and instruct.
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New funding opportunity with Digital Xtra coming soon

September 22nd, 2016

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Scotland’s Digital Xtra Fund is to make an additional £150,000 available to support computing science and digital skills focused extracurricular activities for 2016/17.

Applications will open in early October and eligible organisations will be able to bid for grants from £1500 to a maximum £25000 per project.

The Digital Xtra Fund launched in May 2016 and is part of a wider programme of activity dedicated to developing digital skills and making extracurricular computing science activities available to all young people aged 16 and under, whatever their background and wherever they live in Scotland.
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RMD targets growth with renewed focus on power protection

September 21st, 2016

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RMD Ltd has announced that it is energetically aiming to double its turnover within three years by capitalising on its profitable power protection specialism.

Formerly known as RMD Power and Cooling, the business has also rebranded and launched a re-designed corporate identity and website to reflect its new strategic direction.

The Alloa-based company plans to drive growth through its core business – the supply, installation and maintenance of power protection systems. While it will continue to offer IT facility solutions it will no longer prioritise the large scale datacentre design and build projects which have been a key focus in recent years.
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New look Aquila Inisight expands into new offices

September 12th, 2016

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Fast growing data analytics company Aquila Insight has moved into the former offices of FanDuel in Edinburgh’s CodeBase incubator to supports its rapid expansion.

The firm, which is headquartered in Edinburgh and has offices in London and Derby, has also rebranded to mark a new chapter as it approaches its fourth birthday.
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Vert Rotors unveils breakthrough low-vibration nano compressor at IMTS 2016

September 9th, 2016



Compressor manufacturer Vert Rotors today unveiled the world’s smallest low-vibration, clean air compressor at the International Manufacturing Trade Show in Chicago, following recent successful testing to prove readiness for production.

The VERT.04.W ‘nano’ compressor represents a breakthrough in engineering, producing clean, oil-free air compressed to 115 psi compared to current small industry-standard rotors that struggle to produce more than 32 psi.

Developed in response to global consumer demand, Vert’s micro compressors operate with minimal vibration and noise and use water-injection rather than machine oil, eliminating environmental threats or possibility of oil contamination.
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Competing with Ireland for tech business

September 2nd, 2016



Calum Lamont, Director, Farrpoint

In 2009/10 Scotland was in the running for becoming Microsoft’s European hub to provide Cloud services. When they settled on Ireland research was commissioned to look into the reasons why. The rumour mill had created a number of theories including the lack of infrastructure in Scotland and a deficit of skilled tech employees.

The report showed that Scotland has very well established infrastructure with a talent pool that continues to grow. More recently, the amount of support and focus placed on encouraging young people into the tech sector sets the nation apart from much of Europe.
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Tackle Brexit inertia head on with positive action, says digital tech sector

August 31st, 2016

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ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland’s digital technologies industry, is calling for policy makers to take action in five key areas to limit any negative impact caused by the decision to leave the European Union.

Its five strategic priorities are access to markets, people, productivity, research and academia, and regulations. The call for action comes after a ScotlandIS member consultation found the majority of respondents are concerned about the impact of the EU referendum result, with three quarters predicting it will negatively impact access to skilled staff, sales, and customer confidence.

On exports 62 per cent said that they anticipate a negative impact on their ability to increase sales overseas, and 22 per cent would consider relocating their business. Respondents were split on the question of their ability to attract growth capital, with 53 per cent expecting a negative impact compared with 47 per cent predicting no change or a positive impact.
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brightsolid Awarded Preferred Partner Certification in Dell PartnerDirect Channel Program

August 23rd, 2016



Scottish cloud and data centre brightsolid, today announced that it has received Preferred Partner certification in Dell’s PartnerDirect program, meeting the necessary technical and sales training requirements.

As a Dell Preferred Partner with certifications in Cloud Services & Solutions, brightsolid has always maintained a close working relationship with Dell and excels in hardware, software and services knowledge that help eliminate IT complexity for customers and help create greater efficiencies.

Dell Storage technology has enabled brightsolid to deliver continued reductions in the cost of cloud services for its customers while reducing time spent on routine IT management and saving days in the deployment of the latest cloud technology.
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Hot Tin Roof’s top 5 Festival eats (and drinks!)

August 10th, 2016



Once again, the population of our fair city is doubling in size as thousands of visitors, street artists, and performers flock to the capital for the Edinburgh International Festival.
With a plethora of shows to sink your teeth into, you’re bound to be eating out more than usual so it’s hardly surprising that the city becomes a culinary haven in August. Restaurants, chefs, cafés, street vendors and everything else in between seize the opportunity to feed and water thousands of festivalgoers.
Having racked up several years of avid Edinburgh ‘festivaling’, the cats at Hot Tin Roof like to think we know a thing or two about the delicious delights on offer – and this year is no exception.
So here are just a few of the not-to-be-missed opportunities for foodies this August.

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Spoonfed helps popular social enterprise take a bite out of corporate catering

July 25th, 2016



A growing Scottish software-as-a-service company has helped increase Social Bite’s corporate catering revenue by 1000 per cent, seeing monthly sales from the service grow from £7,000 to £70,000.

Spoonfed, provider of end-to-end drop off catering software that offers an efficient ordering system for corporate catering, began working with Social Bite in 2015 to help them increase efficiencies and reduce errors created by manual order taking.

Since implementing Spoonfed’s software, corporate catering has become Social Bite’s biggest revenue generator, accounting for 50 per cent of all company revenue.

The popular social enterprise has also seen a 25 per cent increase in average order value over a six-month period.
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Scottish technology companies join support for diversity in software development

July 13th, 2016

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A leading software development conference in Scotland has seen a significant increase in the number of underrepresented groups speaking at and attending their conferences, thanks to a number of initiatives.

The Scottish JavaScript Conference (ScotlandJS), was attended by over 250 people this year, with 50% of speakers and 30% of attendees being female or non-binary (individuals who do not identify as either male or female).

The initiatives, undertaken by the event’s organisers to increase participation from more diverse groups come in direct response to the overwhelming number of men in the Scottish software development industry. Women and other minorities are hugely underrepresented in Scotland’s tech sector, with 96% of software developers being male.
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TenTel and Hallmark combine as ‘one-stop shop’ for letting agents

July 8th, 2016



Challenger telecoms company TenTel has acquired ownership of utility management firm Hallmark to provide an all-inclusive hub for the lettings industry.

This acquisition along with an ongoing partnership with British Gas offers a one-stop shop for change of lease management, including changeover administration of tenants, broadband and phone services and all utilities.

Investment of over £100,000 in new technology, such as Hallmark’s Letting Agent Portal, enables fast check in/outs at no charge, offering commission to letting agents and expediting the process for tenants.

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New CEO Withers tasked with taking Sofant to the next level

June 22nd, 2016



Pioneering Scottish smart antenna designer, Sofant Technologies Limited, have appointed David Wither as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following their announcement earlier this year of over £1.5 million of European funding.

Wither will play a major role in developing and implementing a strategic business plan to take Sofant’s technology to market including forming a number of strategic partnerships. The steerable antenna technology Sofant has developed could potentially double the battery life of mobile devices and greatly reduce energy usage in wireless networks.

With over 20 years’ experience in radio technologies and more than 10 years as CEO, Wither has a strong background in technology sales and business development, including positions in Sarantel Group PLC, RF Micro Devices Inc and Baxter International Inc.

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Partnership to create Scotland’s largest cloud infrastructure

June 21st, 2016



Two of Scotland’s leading data centre providers, brightsolid and DataVita, today announced a partnership that will create a critical digital infrastructure, improving communications and cloud accessibility for businesses across Scotland.

This partnership closes a digital divide between the two largest economic areas, with DataVita located in the west central belt and brightsolid located in Aberdeen and Dundee.

This partnership enables faster collaboration and sharing across the country from two of the largest cities in Scotland with faster access to data and greater diversity in communications at a lower overall cost.

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From Manhattan to Sydney, investment drives Spoonfed’s international growth

June 17th, 2016



Scottish software-as-a-service start-up Spoonfed has today announced a second round of funding worth £585K from angel investment syndicate Equity Gap, private US and Channel Islands investors and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, to accelerate international growth and take the company into profitability.

Launched in 2013, Spoonfed has provided its end-to-end drop off catering software to customers throughout the UK including high-street chains, independent sandwich retailers and contract catering businesses and has also won contracts in USA, Canada and Australia.

To date, the technology has enabled clients to unlock new markets with automated business processing of office catering orders, in one case boosting monthly revenue from £7,000 to £70,000 and increasing average order values by 25 per cent.
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Scottish digital technologies trade body achieves a national first

June 15th, 2016

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ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland’s digital technologies sector, has become the first organisation in Scotland and one of a handful in the UK to be accredited by a European scheme which recognises excellence in cluster management.

Initiated by the European Commission Directorate for Enterprise and Industry, the European Cluster Excellence Initiative awards a benchmark to cluster management organisations, such as trade bodies, that are striving for excellence, adding value and fostering close industry relationships for their members.

With encouragement and support from Scottish Enterprise, ScotlandIS completed a detailed interview process to successfully achieve the bronze award and become the only creative industries trade body in the UK to be accredited.

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Aquila Insight hails midlands talent and picks Derby for new base

June 14th, 2016




The UK’s fastest growing data analytics company, Aquila Insight, has chosen Derby as the base for its newest UK office thanks to the city’s excellent connectivity and commitment to innovation.

The firm, which was founded in Edinburgh in 2012 and also has an office in London, will join a growing community of creative and digital businesses in its new home at Sadler Bridge Studios. Its decision to open in the Midlands follows a successful year, with turnover doubling to £4.2 million for 2015/16 and a growing portfolio of high profile clients including Sony, Tesco Bank and RBS.

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ScotSoft extends Developers Conference after successful first year

June 8th, 2016

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The leading event in the Scottish tech calendar will be bigger than ever this year as it returns with a ramped up strand for developers.

ScotSoft, hosted by digital technologies trade body ScotIandIS, will bring together more than 1000 CEOs, decision makers and developers from the private and public sectors in Edinburgh on 6 October. This year, its Developers Conference will run for a full day thanks to its popularity in 2015.

Speakers at the Developers Conference will include Sam Ramji, CEO, Cloud Foundry, and Mario Viviani, Amazon’s resident technology evangelist. The day also includes speakers from Administrate, xDesign, PwC, TCS, Dogfish Mobile, BEMO, Skyscanner, The Data Lab, FanDuel and more.
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Anderson Strathern Asset Management appoints June Hanney to head up Compliance

June 2nd, 2016



Wealth management firm, Anderson Strathern Asset Management, has appointed June Hanney as compliance manager, based at its Edinburgh headquarters.

Hanney brings with her over 25 years of financial services experience, from RBS, Huntswood Associates and Martin Aitken & Co among others. She joins from One Solution Group where she was group compliance manager working across the firm’s London and Glasgow office.

At Anderson Strathern Asset Management she will work closely with the CEO, investment team and advisers, leading on compliance oversight, adviser development and FCA reporting. With the compliance landscape constantly evolving, Hanney will continually review controls and processes to ensure best practice keeps pace with changes in the industry.
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Aquila Insight flying high as turnover doubles for third consecutive year

June 1st, 2016



The UK’s fastest growing data analytics company, Aquila Insight, has delivered another set of impressive annual results with turnover growth of over 100%.

Capitalising on the explosion of data innovation in business and consistently delivering value for clients, Aquila Insight’s turnover has more than doubled year on year since launch in 2012, increasing to £4.2 million for 2015/16. The firm also continued the rapid expansion of its London and Edinburgh offices on the back of high profile client wins including British Airways.

Aquila Insight has ambitious plans and is aiming to expand internationally with the opening of its first overseas office this year. It continues to recruit at a pace of 12 new analysts every quarter across in its UK offices and has grown from two founding partners to over 75 staff.
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Collaboration plus investment can boost broadband

May 30th, 2016


Scotland has set a target to achieve 95 per cent coverage of superfast broadband across the country by 2017 with a £410 million investment from public subsidy and supplier contributions. Progress is being made towards this objective with three initiatives in place, however it is the final 5 per cent of coverage that will prove difficult. Achieving the projected 10Mbps speeds as part of the planned USO will be an improvement for some rural premises but will not be enough longer term as the low benchmark does not suggest a future-proof infrastructure. Superfast broadband speeds should be the minimum target for most rural areas in line with the rest of the country. This was echoed by the recent First Minister’s commitment for universal superfast broadband by the end of the next parliament.

The newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, has a tough job ahead of him to connect rural Scotland and ensure penetration levels in line with the rest of the UK. Scotland has unique issues with a difficult geography and dispersed population. These issues can only be overcome successfully by building on current initiatives and refining a cohesive strategy nationwide to strengthen collaboration between private investors, suppliers, councils and government agencies.
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Aridhia announces expansion as it unveils research as a service platform in major netherlands university medical centre

May 26th, 2016



A Scottish clinical and translational informatics company has announced that it is part of a consortium selected to deliver a digital research environment based on its AnalytiXagility informatics platform to one of the Netherland’s most prestigious university medical centres, with the aim of facilitating biomedical research on an unprecedented scale.

The consortium, incorporating Aridhia, ICT service provider Vancis, and clinical datasets experts MGRID, are delivering their world-leading Research as a Service (RaaS) platform to Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (UMC) in a 3 year deal, making it the first University Medical Centre in the Netherlands to offer a digital platform to all research teams across the institution.
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The streets are paved with code

May 9th, 2016



Recently the Mayoral candidates went head to head debating their visions for the digital future of the capital. All of the candidates demonstrated an understanding of the current problems and indicated commitment to progressing tech and connectivity in London. Both the front-runners have stated that connectivity is as important as water supply. This is commendable but with such a huge task ahead of them what should the successful candidate focus on? Here at Farrpoint we have years of experience in what makes a city smart and what you need to have in place in order to get there. If it’s done right the economic and social benefits are huge.
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Sofant secures €2 million of EU funding for smart antenna

April 28th, 2016



Pioneering Scottish smart antenna designers, Sofant Technologies Limited, has secured €1.97 million (£1.54 million) of European funding.

The investment, part of the €3 billion Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme will be used to take Sofant’s patented technology to market, potentially doubling the battery life of mobile devices and greatly reduces antenna energy usage.

Sofant has developed three core technologies comprising RF MEMS, antenna and software. This powerful combination will provide a steerable and focussed antenna – SmartAntennaTM – that can lock onto the best signal available at any given time.

This technology will be equipped for the new 60GHz Wi-Fi (WiGig) and 5G, with plans to commence development of the network in Scotland in 2017.
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Sixth ScotlandIS annual awards honour Scotland’s digital stars

April 27th, 2016

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ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, has announced the winners of the sixth annual Digital Technology Awards at a sell out ceremony at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket.

The highlight of the night, the awards for Digital Technology Business of the Year, were shared by four companies. The Large Digital Tech Business of the Year trophy went to Skyscanner. The Edinburgh headquartered travel search business was recognised for its continued innovation, development of new products and its exceptional worldwide expansion.
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