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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It’s 2016 and we are hiring – PR Account Manager

January 8th, 2016



Edinburgh’s vibrant digital technology sector is fizzing with startup fever and everyone is on the look out for companies that will disrupt the status quo. Hot Tin Roof works with entrepreneurial, ambitious and innovative companies. Our aim is to be part of the next big thing.

As one of a small team of PR professionals, you will be responsible for planning and implementing PR strategies for a diverse portfolio of clients, as well as supporting other PR consultants within the team.

We are looking someone with:

• a proven track record of managing and leading accounts and team members
• strong writing media and social media skills
• an entrepreneurial mind-set and a positive, give it a go attitude
• proven experience in consumer and B2B PR agencies

We believe that Account Managers are the core of the business and empower them so they can effectively deliver on client objectives and contribute to the businesses’ long term objectives.

The successful candidate will be highly motivated, a self-starter with a proven track record in B2B and B2C Agency, as well as account management, staff management, media relations, writing, press contacts and client liaison skills.

For further information please contact [email protected]

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter for the attention of Sarah Lee to [email protected] by Friday 29 January.

Interviews will take place during the second week of February.

Hot Tin Roof picks 10 Favourite PR Stunts of 2015

January 8th, 2016

With 2016 well underway, we decided to look back over some of the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful PR stunts that were pulled off across the globe in 2015.

As PR professionals, it was a tough choice but we managed to narrow it down to our favourite 10…

Kiwi Birthday!

As a team of travel lovers, we were totally won over by Air New Zealand’s 75th birthday celebrations. The airline marked the occasion by teaming up with STA Travel to offer 100 return flights for £75. People went crazy for the offer with some even camping outside STA’s London Victoria branch for two days to snag cheap tickets. With 50 on sale in store and the rest available over the phone and on social media, those keen to bag a bargain needed to act fast!



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Scotland’s Digital Technology Oscars Open for Entries

January 5th, 2016

ScotlandIS logo


The ScotlandIS Digital Technology Awards 2016 are now open for entries with a hat trick of new categories up for grabs.

A new ‘CEO of the year’ award has been introduced for 2016 to recognise the exceptional role played by CEO’s in delivering the vision, growth and profitability for their companies and their contribution to the Scottish economy.

Meanwhile, a new ‘Education provider/training programme’ gong will highlight and celebrate the work being done throughout Scotland to incubate the digital technology skills that the industry needs to continue growing. Read the rest of this entry »

Young Scot and Skills Development Scotland join forces for Digital World tour

December 11th, 2015

Digital world


A series of interactive roadshows has been launched to showcase the exciting possibilities on offer to young people in Scotland if they pursue a career in digital technology.

Discovering Digital World is a partnership between national youth charity Young Scot and My World of Work, Skills Development Scotland’s online careers information and advice service.

Aimed primarily at secondary school pupils in year groups s1-s3, the innovative series of events will provide attendees with hands-on workshops, masterclasses and engaging demonstrations testing out products and dabbling in coding, design and developing.
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The Ho-Ho-Hot Tin Roof Christmas wish list.

December 10th, 2015



We’ve been good all year, honest. In light of this we’ve decided to let Santa know what the cats would like to see nestling under that tree when the big day arrives:


Please, please may I have a 1965 Jaguar E-Type Coupe in primrose yellow? I would pop Alfie in the back, pick Lee up and take off for the most marvelous adventures!

First we tour Scotland, calling in to meet friends and visit special places, before dropping down through England, seeing family on the way and then over onto mainland Europe.

Travelling light, we’ll buy what we need as we go. Stopping for breath in bustling cities and dawdling through drowsy backwaters. We will not be in a hurry to leave or arrive.
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First Lego League Inspires 1,000 Scottish Children to Revel in Robotics

December 7th, 2015

Digital world


Lambda Jam and the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) have been building on the success of last year’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) to bring the enjoyment of robotics to 1,000 Scottish schoolchildren.

The young master builders and inventors have been gearing up to put their robots and ideas to the test at tournaments across the country.

Working in teams, children aged 9 – 16 have spent three months designing, building and programming Lego robots, which are capable of tackling a variety of set missions.

This season’s missions have been centred on the theme of TRASH TREK, which has encouraged participants to think about the world’s problem of waste. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s winter but this is not the time to think about hibernating

December 5th, 2015



Alec Stewart, Anderson Strathern Asset Management

I spotted a bear in Princes Street Gardens last week. Not something I was expecting to see. But a bear none-the-less.

As the wind bites and the vagaries of Scottish weather continue to perplex I feel a bout of conviction coming on and would strongly advise all bears to go into hibernation and let the bulls run.

I’m sure that I’m not the only fund manager to say it has been a trying year for the markets. By being vanilla but acting with a degree of conviction, when we felt it was the right thing to do, we still managed to outperform the market.
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CodeClan appoints Polly Purvis as first Chair

December 1st, 2015

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One of the leading figures in the Scottish digital technologies industry has been appointed Chair of CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital skills academy.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of trade body ScotlandIS, which works on behalf of its members in the digital technologies sector, will bring more than 15 years of industry experience to the board as CodeClan’s first Chair.

Purvis was one of the project team behind the creation of CodeClan, working to meet aggressive time targets to attract its first students, and she will continue to play an active role in determining its future direction.

CodeClan is home to a welcoming, active and inspiring community, bound together with a shared goal of producing talented, work ready people hungry for a career in digital. Read the rest of this entry »

Scottish teenagers get the lowdown on Cyber Crime this Christmas

December 1st, 2015

Digital world


The next generation of Scottish tech stars will have the chance to learn about cyber security and hacking prevention this Christmas through a series of fun and informative lectures.

Over 2000 secondary school pupils from across Scotland are lined up to attend the annual Cyber Security Christmas Lectures hosted by five top universities. The organisers aim to inspire more young people to consider a career in cyber security and Scotland’s wider digital technologies sector.

Cyber security has never been more important and cyber-crime is costing UK firms an average of £4.1 million per incident, up from £3.07 million in 20131. And according to a recent PwC report2, 38% more security incidents were detected in 2015 than in the previous year, and theft of “hard” intellectual property increased 56%. Read the rest of this entry »

ScotlandIS appoints North East Scotland representative Allan Sutherland

November 30th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo


ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, has announced the appointment of Allan Sutherland, as its Grampian Co-ordinator.

Sutherland will play a key role in promoting and lobbying on behalf of the digital technology sector in the North East and Aberdeen. Home to tech success stories including Internet for Business, Codify and Inoapps, amongst many others, the industry is continuing to raise its profile and importance to the Scottish economy, in the North East

In 2014 Aberdeen and the North East is estimated to have contributed 12% to Scotland’s GDP, a figure which is predicted to increase in 2015. The region is one of the top 20 in Europe for value of economic output per head of population. The ScotlandIS Grampian Co-ordinator role was created in response to the growing importance of the area’s digital technologies sector and to provide a northern representative for its members.
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Record year for LEWIS as agency says hello to new home

November 26th, 2015



LEWIS, the award-winning digital and design agency, has revealed record annual results, with an increase in turnover to £1.6m

The figures, for the period 2014 – 2015, come as the fast-growing firm enters a new chapter in its four-decade history. Having grown steadily over recent years, LEWIS has outgrown its base in Leith, prompting a move to larger offices overlooking the waterfront and creating three new jobs. The agency has also unveiled a fresh new brand complete with new website.

Over the last year, LEWIS has expanded its portfolio with new clients including Dynamic Earth and National Museums Scotland. It has continued its ongoing relationship with top brands including ScottishPower, Santander and Royal London. Read the rest of this entry » receives further funding from Scottish Equity Partners to accelerate international expansion

November 23rd, 2015

SEP_logo box, the flash sales website for premium outdoor and sports gear, today announces a Series C investment round of £9.5m from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), Grafton Capital and Draper Esprit.

Established in 2011, London based SportPursuit runs week long deals from over 1,000 of the world’s leading outdoor and sports brands including Berghaus, Marmot, Arc’teryx, Under Armour, Garmin, and GoPro, offering discounts of 40-70% off RRP. The deals are exclusive to SportPursuit and prices are guaranteed to be the best in the market.

SportPursuit operates in the market for the clearance of high-end sports apparel which is estimated at over £10 billion per annum across Europe. By delivering a broad range of quality brands online, with high customer satisfaction and strong repeat business, SportPursuit is well placed to take a substantial share of this significant opportunity.
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University of Glasgow researchers make an impact in 60 seconds to win science storytelling award

November 20th, 2015



Edinburgh based informatics company, Aridhia, today announced the winners of its first Impact in Sixty Seconds competition, in partnership with The University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) and Glasgow City of Science.

Early-career researchers from MVLS were invited to submit an engaging, dynamic and compelling 60 second video illuminating an aspect of their research. This was an opportunity for students to present their work in simple terms that anyone could understand, even the general public.

The award recognises the importance of engagement and communication between innovative collaborations in the field of medical science. It promotes the pivotal role of open innovation in preparing UK researchers to face future challenges when undertaking collaborative research.
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Mobile is changing data and data is changing mobile.

November 10th, 2015



When was the last time you went a day without checking your smartphone? Or even an hour? According to Ofcom, over 60% of Scots own a smartphone and more than half of us say mobile is our preferred means of getting online. Such devices are now so firmly entrenched in our society that it’s hard to remember a time before we had them.

With the increased use of mobile comes an avalanche of data generated, captured and analysed. What does this mean for the way brands interact with us, as the marketers track every click and swipe?

Ian Hammond, head of analytics at big data analytics company Aquila Insight takes a look at how data will change mobile and vice versa:

1. Get busy living

Many of us already rely on our phones to run our lives. We use our mobiles to complete everything from our weekly shop, telling Tivo to record Strictly while we’re in the pub and our phones are collecting data 24/7. This means that mobile servicer providers, such as O2 and EE, are a major source of marketing information and they could eventually become the biggest. Traditional recipients of our data such as retail banks will become disenfranchised if they fail to adapt.
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First Hamsin wind turbines go Live on Orkney as developers seek new sites

November 4th, 2015

SEP_logo box


The first phase of Orkney’s new fully funded community wind turbine scheme will go live on the islands this month, with farmers and landowners at 20 properties set to benefit from deeply discounted electricity for at least two decades.

Hamsin Wind (Hamsin) is aiming to install over 60 single onshore wind turbines at residential and commercial sites across Orkney by the end of 2015 and is actively seeking applications from interested parties. Hosts do not have to pay any money towards the turbine, its installation or future maintenance. Planning and capital costs are entirely covered by Hamsin.
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Aridhia Announces Northern Ireland Based Alzheimer’s Research Collaboration to Benefit from AnalytiXagility Workspace

November 3rd, 2015



Aridhia, the Edinburgh based clinical informatics company, announced today that their AnalytiXagility data platform has been chosen to underpin a three year research programme that was awarded Innovate UK funding via the Neurodegenerative Diseases: Business Models and Big Data competition, following a joint bid by three of Northern Ireland’s leading organisations.

The resulting Moneta Research project – led by Asystec Data Solutions, the University of Ulster and the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) – will use the funding to support their research into identifying people most likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
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ScotlandIS awards CodeClan Scholarship

October 30th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo


ScotlandIS today announced the award of its CodeClan scholarship to Michael MacLeod, a freelance journalist and former TV producer.

CodeClan is Scotland’s first digital skills academy and the ScotlandIS Scholarship was set up to fund one outstanding applicant through the academy’s ground-breaking coding course.

There was fierce competition for the award, which aims to increase access to the CodeClan CX3 course. It was open to applicants who had not been to university and had not worked in an IT or software career to date.

Before winning the scholarship, Michael had an interest in coding and taught himself the basics whilst working as a journalist. He made the decision to leave his full time job to pursue this further.

Commenting on the news, Michael said: “I am delighted to have won this scholarship and to have a place at CodeClan. I’m really looking forward to the intensive learning ahead. I see coding as a force for good and a means of vastly expanding my horizons after I graduate from the course.”
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Hot Tin Roof selects the spookiest Halloween PR stunts

October 23rd, 2015

Love it or fear it, Halloween is more popular in the UK than ever before and it is one of the best excuses to get creative with your PR.

With things that go bump in the night and eerie goings on, this spooky time of year provides an ideal opportunity to pull off the perfect PR stunt. Get it right and you will increase brand awareness at the same time as having fun. Just pity the poor unsuspecting victims who get a scare along the way!

To celebrate the arrival of Halloween once again, here’s a round up of our favourite spooktacular PR stunts from recent years

Vending machine nightmare!

Kellogg’s added a spooky theme to their Rice Krispy Squares, releasing special Halloween flavours, ‘malloween’ and ‘totally shocklatey’. But offering these free in various vending machines across Dublin seems a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? Those who dived in to claim their free sweet treat were given a fright when a scary hand came out from the vending machine door to grab for them. Halloween or not, we will certainly be avoiding all free vending machines in future!

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A day in the life of Darcey.

October 5th, 2015

The cats at Hot Tin Roof had the pleasure of Darcey’s company for a week of work experience. In between making herself useful and learning what a PR Agency does, Darcey found time to answer a quick Q&A for us. Here’s what she had to say:

If money was no object, what would you spend your day doing?

I would spend my day walking around New York City at Christmas time, browsing in every shop wasting no time looking at price tags.
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A Day in the Life of Jane

September 23rd, 2015

Here at Hot Tin Roof we like to know the answers to the important questions, to this end we asked Jane, the latest cat recruit, to give us the lowdown.

Here’s what she said:

Lunchtime! What do you do and where do you do it?

Food should nourish the soul as well as the body, so I try and avoid falling into the shop-bought sandwich trap – it’s too depressing trying to force down a soggy flavourless sarnie that’s 3 days old!

I like to bring leftovers or healthy salads whenever possible, but if not I’ll pop to somewhere nearby like Social Bite. I think it’s very important to support local businesses and know where your food is coming from. Social Bite is committed to using quality ingredients, and I really admire the work they do to help homeless people get back into work. It doesn’t hurt that their food is also delicious!

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Scotland’s First Digital Skills Academy Appoints CEO Harvey Wheaton

September 21st, 2015

codeclan logo


CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital software skills academy, today announced the appointment of Harvey Wheaton, as its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Wheaton will play a key role in launching CodeClan in Edinburgh, and leading it to success as it prepares to open its doors in October to the first cohort of students.

With 25 years experience in software development, Harvey has worked for a broad range of companies including ICI, Astra Zeneca, Cap Gemini, JPMorgan Chase and Electronic Arts.

Most recently Wheaton has coached a wide variety of software development teams around the world, from video games companies to large financial institutions, helping them transform the way they develop, test and deploy their products and services using Agile methodologies.
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Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards 2015 – Abertay University undergraduate lifts coveted award

September 18th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo


A student from Abertay University has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2015. Peeter Parna won first prize for an outstanding project combining fluid dynamics, gaming and advanced programming. This is the first time a student from Abertay has won this coveted award.

Second place went to Marija Pinkute, a University of Edinburgh student whose project is aimed at the automatic generation of Tweet messages for news articles. Third place was won by Damien Anderson, from the University of Strathclyde, for his project on generalised Video Game playing.

The Lockheed Martin Software Engineering Project Award went to Archibald ‘Sam’ Elliot, from the University of St Andrews, for developing a concurrency system for Idris and Erlang.
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CodeClan awards first SIMUL8 Scholarship to Iwona Sztorc

September 18th, 2015

codeclan logo


CodeClan’s first scholarship has been won by Iwona Sztorc who, with a background in marketing, recently left her job to learn how to code and start a new career in technology.

Competition for the scholarship was fierce and candidates were assessed against strict criteria including their interest in the industry, background in technology and financial status.

Iwona has already experimented with web design and ‘self taught’ has started to learn to code and build her own websites, including a site to document a charity cycle she and her partner took part in.

Commenting on the news Iwona Sztoc said: “I am thrilled to have won this scholarship, securing a place at CodeClan would have been a phenomenal achievement in itself but to win a scholarship is unbelievable. I am enormously excited to be starting at CodeClan and the limitless opportunities it will open up to me.”
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ScotlandIS calls on Scottish digital tech industry to ‘think big’ as ScotSoft 2015 gets underway

September 17th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo


Audiences at today’s ScotSoft conference for the digital technologies industry will be urged to ‘think big’ to help shape the future success of the sector in Scotland.

Organised by industry trade body ScotlandIS, the event will bring together over 350 CTOs and decision makers in the private and public sectors for its annual Global Forum in Edinburgh.

ScotSoft is an opportunity for business leaders and senior managers to escape day-to-day concerns, hear new ideas and discuss opportunities with their peers. United under the theme ‘Think Big,’ four industry leaders from the US and Europe will cover topics as diverse as intrapreneurialism – fostering a culture of innovation and ideas within an existing organisation – and the importance of improving research and development.

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Quarter of a million funding boost for tech start up, GeckoLabs

September 14th, 2015



Software startup GeckoLabs announced today that it has received investment of £250,000 to broaden its product range and open a new office in London, creating 10 jobs.

Venture capital firm AngelLab led the investment through it’s Venture Partner Andrew Weisz, who will also join the GeckoLabs board, with additional funding provided by the London Co-Investment Fund. As well as growing its team, GeckoLabs will use the funding to strengthen its marketing activity and develop new tools for its customers. The company also hopes to expand in to North America and Asia in the near future.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2012, GeckoLabs develops modern cloud-based software to help educational institutions manage and improve their recruitment processes. It currently works with over 30 of the UK’s top universities and colleges, including Robert Gordon University, Newcastle University, University of East Anglia, University of East London and University of Southampton.

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Scottish Equity Partners completes investment in Hamsin Wind

September 9th, 2015

SEP_logo box


Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has completed its first clean energy infrastructure investment from the Environmental Capital Fund. SEP will invest up to £9 million in Hamsin Wind (Hamsin) to fund the roll-out of approximately 200 small, community based, single onshore wind turbines in high wind speed locations across the Highlands and Islands.

Working with development partners, Mistral Energy and ABG, Hamsin has engaged Kingspan Wind as the turbine supply partner, with Hadrian Electrical Engineering the installation and long-term operations and maintenance partner. Many of the Kingspan turbines are manufactured in Scotland and local contractors will be utilised on Hamsin turbine installations.
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Top Cat Takes On Total Warrior Challenge

September 2nd, 2015



Usually preferring a black and white movie marathon to the sporting variety, Hot Tin Roof director Sarah Lee is braving mud, freezing plunge-pools and flames to compete in The Total Warrior Challenge for charity this September.

Sarah has joined a team from the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, led by Chief Executive Linda Scott, to complete the 12 km all-terrain extreme obstacle course which features punishing obstacles such as Shocker, an electrifying dash through hundreds of hanging live wires. Their goal is to raise £2,000 for the No Limits Sports Club, a charity which provides a positive and encouraging environment for children and young adults who experience disabilities and feel restricted to due lack of sporting facilities.

With two weeks to go to the competition, we ask Sarah how she’s doing…

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Digital Skills Academy to Launch SIMUL8 Scholarship

August 31st, 2015

codeclan logo


CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital skills academy, has today announced an exclusive scholarship to fund one outstanding applicant through its first ground-breaking coding course.

Known as the SIMUL8 Scholarship, the bursary will be fully funded by Scottish software company, SIMUL8 Corporation, which is keen to support CodeClan’s drive to get more coders into the workplace.

With the aim of producing 20 work-ready software developers after every 16-week course, CodeClan’s graduates will help bridge the significant digital skills gap in Scotland. Forecasts suggest Scotland alone could offer up to 11,000 job opportunities a year in the digital sector, rising by 2000 every year.

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