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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Scottish technology companies join support for diversity in software development

July 13th, 2016

DW logo


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

ScotlandIS logo


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

ScotlandIS logo


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

ScotlandIS logo


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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Scotland’s future cities

April 24th, 2016



We may not have flying cars or even hover boards as predicted in Back to the Future II, but Scotland is making significant strides with its futuristic smart city initiatives.

A smart city is one that improves the quality of life, increases sustainability and creates economic benefits using digital technology. With a predicted seven billion people living in urban areas by 2050, it is becoming more important to implement sustainable resources, and technology is the key catalyst for this change.

There is so much data currently available from commuters buying tickets through to people connecting to public Wi-Fi and data generation is set to accelerate. Councils are now looking to consolidate this data, adopt open data strategies and enable a cross-departmental view of council operations to better inform decision making.
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Glasgow’s first start-up school searches for digital entrepreneurs of the future

April 20th, 2016

Digital world


A Glasgow tech incubator is launching an ambitious start-up school for teens which will give them the chance to pitch their ideas to real life investors.

Working alongside Glasgow City Council and Skills Development Scotland, RookieOven is giving 16-18 year olds from Glasgow the chance to take part in its first pioneering Academy programme, during which they will devise creative digital product ideas and turn them into the foundations of a solid business.

Students will be learning from some of the brightest minds in the RookieOven community, as well as some of the most prominent leaders in Scottish tech start-ups. Ashley Baxter, founder of Insurance by Jack, Cally Russell, CEO of Mallzee, and Rohan Gunatillake, creator of Mindfulness Everywhere, will be among the entrepreneurs sharing their top tips, imparting advice and providing inspiration to the young people.

The Academy is the brainchild of Michael Hayes, founder of the RookieOven co-working space and co-founder of Add Jam, a mobile and web app development agency. Michael was inspired to create the Academy by a teacher friend who went above and beyond to harness the creative talent of a student who, while gifted at graphic design, was struggling academically.
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Aquila Insight – How big can big data be?

April 19th, 2016



In February 2016, a press conference revealing the discovery of a gravitational wave was streamed live into our Edinburgh office to a small group of, frankly, quite emotional people. Predicted by Einstein over 100 years ago, this discovery was the culmination of a 25 year international project which included many of the Scottish Universities.

As you’d expect of a big data analytics company, we have our fair share of physicists, engineers and mathematicians at Aquila Insight. So we pay attention when science confirms a significant breakthrough. After all, it’s hard to beat an accurate prediction made across space-time from a distance of one century ago.

In our day-to-day roles, we analysts are used to dealing with large data sets comprised of billions of records and terabytes of data. With scalable resources, we can usually turn this data round quickly to give actionable business insights for our clients. But storing, processing and analysing the interactions that people make with our clients every day pales into insignificance compared to sheer volume of data that the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will produce.
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Scotland’s digital award entries up by half thanks to tech industry growth

March 16th, 2016

ScotlandIS logo


• Record number of entries – 50% increase in entries on 2015
• 15 categories including 3 new awards for 2016
• Award ceremony – 20th April, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

ScotlandIS, the trade association championing the digital technologies industry, has released the shortlist for the hotly contested 2016 Digital Technology Awards.

The awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the talent and ideas abundant in Scotland’s world-class digital technologies industry. This year the awards received a record number of entries, reflecting the health of the sector.
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David Purvis to power operations at RMD

March 3rd, 2016



One of the UK’s leading data centre infrastructure specialists has appointed a new head of operations to support the company’s growth in 2016 and beyond.

Alloa-based RMD has strengthened its management team with the recruitment of David Purvis, who joins from infrared sensor specialist Pyreos where he was senior director of global sales.

With a background in engineering and over 20 years of sales and customer support experience, David Purvis will be responsible for planning and controlling change at RMD as well as working closely with external marketing, design and PR consultants.
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Discovering Digital World roadshow for all ages comes to Dundee

March 3rd, 2016

Digital world


From ethical hacking to virtual reality, Dundee is at the cutting edge of digital technology and this Thursday (3 March) people of all ages can learn how they could be part of this growing sector.

Leading industry professionals and Scottish technology businesses have teamed up with Skills Development Scotland and Young Scot to offer an insight into the wide variety of careers in this constantly evolving industry. The roadshow is coming to Dundee as part of the Discovering Digital World series, which will visit eight towns and cities across Scotland between February and May.
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Hot Tin Roof selects the top ten coffees in Edinburgh

March 3rd, 2016

Last week the cats of Hot Tin Roof became ambassadors for Brew Lab’s new coffee shop in the West End – a short hop from our office! With 10 free coffees, we are loving the chance to sample the goods on offer at the garage-turned-cafe.

Edinburgh’s independent coffee scene is booming, with Brew Lab being one of many lip-smackingly good options the city has to offer. We decided to put our caffeine addiction to good use and draw up our list of the ten best coffees we’ve found in and around the city.

Cairngorm 41A Frederick St, Edinburgh

This is one of our favourites! Cairngorm is tucked away from the bustling George St and has a very unassuming exterior. Inside it has limited seating but a relaxed atmosphere including some jazz classics and hip, filament lights. The coffee is tasty, and their toasted sandwiches are legendary.



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Girls into Digital World launches at Microsoft Scotland

March 1st, 2016

Digital world


An innovative role model programme dedicated to encouraging more girls to challenge convention and pursue digital careers launches today (1 March) at Microsoft’s Scottish HQ.

‘Girls into Digital World’ is a three-day programme of activities to inspire and engage girls in S3 take up digital careers, running in Edinburgh from 15-17 March 2016.

A group of 36 girls chosen from across Edinburgh will participate in the programme of visits, talks with role models, and “hands on” activities with employers. The new initiative will be run by Skills Development Scotland with partners Microsoft, Standard Life, Edinburgh College and Heriot Watt University.
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Anderson Strathern Asset Management Appoints Donald Barlow as Senior Investment Manager

February 29th, 2016



Wealth management firm, Anderson Strathern Asset Management, has announced the appointment of Donald Barlow to its investment team. He takes up the position of Senior Investment Manager, and will be drawing on his institutional and private client investment background.

Barlow brings with him 18 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has previously held the positions of Senior Research Analyst and Investment Manager at Martin Currie. He was also Assistant Investment Analyst in Clydesdale Bank’s Private Client Solutions business, and worked in private client roles at Tilney Investment Management and Edinburgh Fund Managers. More recently, he was an Investment Writer at Standard Life Investments.
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CodeClan becomes UK’s first accredited digital skills academy

February 24th, 2016

codeclan logo


Scotland’s only digital skills academy has become the first in the UK to offer its students a Professional Development Award (PDA) from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

CodeClan teaches students to code software in an intensive 16-week course and will be the first educational facility in the world to offer SQA’s internationally recognised (PDA) in Software Development.

CodeClan has been instrumental in working alongside SQA to establish this new award, which will be available at three levels on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9). The new PDA will also be available to all SQA approved educational and training facilities.

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A day in the life of Shay

February 23rd, 2016

Shay is the newest cat and originally hails from the antipodes. She has decided to brave the slightly cooler climes of the Hot Tin Roof office. We asked her why and other questions.

Here’s what she said:

How did you end up working at Hot Tin Roof and how long have you been here?

There is actually some background to this. I worked in a PR agency in Brisbane for a number of years but decided to take time off to satisfy my travel bug and backpack through Europe. I enjoyed an incredible four months of travel and ended up meeting my Edinburgh-local partner who followed me back to Australia. When his Visa expired, we travelled through the US before arriving in Edinburgh just before Christmas in 2015. I’m a newbie at Hot Tin Roof, but I am loving it here and loving the Edinburgh lifestyle.



Tell us what it’s like to work at Hot Tin Roof in Tweet format.

The original stone walls may be cold, but the constant flow of tea is hot, fuelling the unremitting typing of the cats.

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Tech body calls for focus on growth in Scottish Parliament Election 2016 manifesto

February 19th, 2016

ScotlandIS logo


ScotlandIS is calling on all political parties to focus on fostering growth in the digital technologies sector as it launches its manifesto ahead of the Scottish Parliament election.

Describing the sector as ‘the invisible industry that is changing the world’, the trade body says that better connectivity for every citizen, a workforce equipped for the future and greater digital inclusion will help Scotland to achieve its potential as a digital nation. It also highlights three significant opportunities for growth: exports, data science, and cybersecurity.
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Scottish school students celebrate launch of political app in London

February 3rd, 2016

Digital world


A group of Scottish school students have turned their creative technology idea into reality after winning a dragon’s den style competition to design apps that solve real world problems.
The students from Wick High School are travelling to London for the official launch of their award-winning app at The Barbican on 4 February alongside six other Apps for Good teams from across the UK.
Wick High School’s One Click Politics app, which is designed to get young people tuned in to the political world, won the ‘Information’ category at the national Apps for Good Awards in June 2015.

Since then, the team has been working with agency partners to develop their concept professionally and the app will be available to download from Google’s Play Store this week.
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TenTel appoints Finance Director and Customer Director

February 1st, 2016



Challenger telecoms company TenTel has announced two senior appointments as the business gears up for rapid expansion in 2016.

Daniel Halliday, who has been with TenTel since 2014, has been promoted to Finance Director and Scott Mackay has joined as Customer Director. These appointments complete the company’s senior management team and follow its growth from just three staff to over 50 employees in under two years.

A disruptive player in the industry, TenTel specialises in no contract and short-term contract telephone and broadband, a concept that has proved popular with the lettings market. The company recently moved to new premises in the Edinburgh area, creating 40 jobs as it continues to increase its customer base with over 1,000 customers joining every month.
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