Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Alba Incubation to Showcase Fresh Batch of Startups at YCF 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

The Alba Incubation Service, a Scottish Enterprise funded project, is set to highlight the talent and innovation its clients have to offer at the annual Young Company Finance conference.

Now entering its 14th year, Young Company Finance seeks to bring together entrepreneurs and investors through a series of talks from industry professionals – investors, analysts and advisers. As part of the conference, around 20 early stage companies are to exhibit through the Young Company Showcase.

Five of Alba’s clients will present their exceptional business ideas to potential investors for the first time at this year’s event on Wednesday 17 September. Codbod, Bizvento, Ibisvision, iWise2 and PingGo will all look to demonstrate their business potential and ambition to a variety of investors in the hope of creating new partnerships and attracting investment support.

Ibisvision was set up in 2014 to complete the development of a unique software programme. The resulting application; RingOfSight, is used by optometrists, eye surgeons and hospital clinics to aid in the diagnosis and follow-up care of patients with glaucoma.

Responding to the increased desire for digitisation of business conferences, Bizvento have built an integrated event management platform. The programme provides organisers with tools for mobile content delivery, audience engagement and attendee networking both before and after the event.

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How to Tell a Lie: JCI Edinburgh to host “A Night of Tall Tales”

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Wednesday 17 September 2014, 6.00pm – 8.30 pm

Roxburghe Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4HQ           

JCI Edinburgh will next Wednesday host an open event providing young professionals with an opportunity to network and test their communication skills in a fun competitive environment.

The event, which is completely free and open to non-members, will provide attendees with the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills whilst finding out more about the work of JCI.

The evening will be split in two, with the first hour providing an informal welcome for non-members who would like to find out more about JCI and the benefits a membership provides. At 7pm the tension will heat up with a competition: A Night of Tall Tales. Participants will be given 3-5 minutes to tell the audience a story that will either be true or fabricated, with the audience then judging whether the story is true or false. The winner will be the competitor receiving the most votes contrary to the factual stance of their story. Both members and non-members will be able to sign up in advance to participate and it will provide a lighthearted environment for competitors to develop their public speaking confidence.

The organiser of the event, JCI Edinburgh’s current President Leeanne Bradley hopes the competitive element of the event will encourage non-members to come along and find out more about what JCI can offer.

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Need to cut patient readmissions? There’s an app for that

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Aridhia transforms Nuffield’s re-admission risk model, into an online app designed to reduce number of patients readmitted to hospital within 30 days

A new app for doctors could help them improve patient outcomes and ease the budgets of NHS England hospitals by predicting the risk of readmissions.

Since 2011, over £390 million has been withheld from English hospital budgets under a policy that penalises the hospital if a person is readmitted within 30 days.

But with the new app it will take doctors less than two minutes to predict a risk of readmission that may be avoided if an intervention is deployed accordingly, potentially saving their hospital thousands of pounds as well as improving patient outcomes.

The app – PARR30 Community Edition – which is being made available through Aridhia’s Community Programme, calculates risk through a predictive mathematical model developed by the Nuffield Trust using an anonymised 10% sample of all NHS England hospital admissions between April 2008 and 2009.

Easy to use in real-time and by the bedside, the app processes 17 pieces of information that can be obtained from hospital information systems or from the patient’s notes. These include their date of birth (to calculate age), detail on recent admissions, and diagnosis of any major health conditions (these include eleven major health conditions drawn from the Charlson co-morbidity index).

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Aridhia provides platform and support for ground breaking NHS data exploration event

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Data scientists from health informatics company Aridhia will be in London this week to provide expert advice and support at one of the largest collaborative NHS data exploration events ever held.

The Data Challenge Day, hosted by the Waltham Forest, East London and City integrated care pioneer site, aims to demonstrate the power of joined-up data and collaboration. Insights gained from the event will be shared with the contributing organisations leading to the delivery of better care pathways for patients in East London and more effective commissioning decisions.

Aridhia will also provide support through the deployment of AnalytiXagility, its cloud-based collaborative data science platform and safe haven. Scalable and secure, it is pre-loaded with the latest analytical tools and technologies to enable analysis of complex datasets in multi-disciplinary teams.

The challenge will link data from almost 200 NHS organisations, including GPs and hospitals, covering a third of London. The Aridhia data science team, consisting of eight highly experienced informatics experts, will work directly with analysts, clinicians, commissioners, and care providers, to undertake ‘hands on investigation’ of the data and identify previously unseen trends and stories.

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SEP Launches Infrastructure Fund

Monday, September 1st, 2014

£135 million raised to invest in UK energy projects
GLASGOW (UK), 1 September 2014 – Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) announces that it has raised £135 million for a new infrastructure fund to invest in UK-based clean energy projects.
The Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) has been backed by SSE plc, the FTSE 100 energy company, as well as a syndicate of financial investors led by Lexington Partners, the world’s largest independent manager of secondary private equity and co-investment funds.
The fund has been anchored with the acquisition of an existing SSE infrastructure business (SSE Pipelines), which provides low pressure gas connections for residential and commercial customers across the UK.
SEP will use the balance of the fund to invest in a diversified portfolio of new, UK-based, clean energy infrastructure projects – such as hydro power, energy efficiency, heat pumps and district heating schemes.
The UK clean energy infrastructure market is growing rapidly, with a substantial requirement for new capital. Demand for capital is driven by the need to replace ageing traditional power assets, to increase the cost competitiveness of renewable power, and the requirement for increased security of energy supply.
ECF marks the first move into the infrastructure market for SEP, but complements the Environmental Energies Fund (EEF) launched in 2011, which acquired a portfolio of venture capital and private equity cleantech investments from SSE.
SEP has recruited a new team to manage the fund, headed by existing SEP partner Gary Le Sueur.

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PR Masterclass for Award Winning Startup

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

We were excited to welcome Dr James Prendergast into Hot Tin Roof this week for media training. Back in June, James won the first ever Edinburgh University post-doc Enterprise Award for his start-up, Dipodo.

Part of his prize was a one-to-one training with our Director – Sarah Lee – to help him learn the practical skills that will help him launch Dipodo and get to market.

A researcher in biomedicine and specifically, the study of genome and epigenome evolution and their relevance to disease, PR and marketing was uncharted territory for James.

Anyone working in biomedical research has to keep on top of new research published every month in a myriad of articles. James knows first hand the difficulty of trawling through life-science journals, trying to find relevant articles in a sea of irrelevance.

He told us that, currently, there are a whopping one million plus articles across 25,000 journals – so finding useful information is tremendously tricky, not to mention tedious!

Spying a gap in the market, James has developed Dipodo, a free online tool that allows users to create their own personalised research journal with tailored searches to suit their unique areas of interest.

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JCI Edinburgh to Host Referendum Debate for Young Professionals

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Wednesday 20 August 2014, 6.00pm – 9.00 pm

English Speaking Union Scotland, 23 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8HQ           
With less than five weeks to go until the referendum, JCI Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Club is hosting a debate on Scottish Independence that specifically seeks to address the concerns of young people in business.

Featuring speakers from both sides of the campaign, the event aims to equip young professionals with the facts they need in order to make an informed decision on the 18th of September. The panel will feature a variety of young business professionals and will give attendees the chance to gain answers to their burning questions.

The event, which is completely free and is open to non-members, will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to gain clarity on the issues that particularly affect them.

The evening will be split in two, starting with a debate featuring members of JCI Edinburgh. The second part will centre around a panel discussion with the opportunity for questions from the floor, featuring journalist Ian Fraser, Iain McGill of Harmony Employment and Scottish debating champion Paul Stretton.

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To See Oursels in the news

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

To See Oursels is a touring season of films featuring a director’s cut of Scottish history, culture and identity. Combining a range of classic Scottish films and rarely screened TV dramas, expert introductions and panel discussions, the season shines a spotlight on Scottish identity – from the heroic to the gritty – and on how Scotland has understood itself on screen over the last four decades.

Janice Forsyth interviews John Byrne and Jonny Murray, BBC Radio Scotland, 28 Aug 2014

Moving documentary charting Scots through the ages gets Aberdeen debut, The Press and Journal, 27 Aug 2014

Scotland Film Event Highlights – August 2014, The Skinny, August 2014

Tuesday in Edinburgh – what’s on today, The Edinburgh Reporter, 19 August 2014

Teenage Kicks, To See Oursels: this week’s new film events, The Guardian, 02 Aug 2014

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Film season offers Scots the chance To See Oursels on screen

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Audiences across Scotland are invited to watch the director’s cut of Scottish history, culture and identity this summer as touring film season ‘To See Oursels’ hits the road.

Combining a range of classic Scottish films and rarely screened TV dramas, expert introductions and panel discussions, the season shines a spotlight on Scottish identity – from the heroic to the gritty – and on how Scotland has understood itself on screen over the last four decades.

To See Oursels will visit six venues across Scotland, spanning Inverness to Dumfries. Screenings kick off at Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday 3 August with Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, which will be introduced by the season’s curator, Dr Jonny Murray of Edinburgh College of Art.

Fans of the much beloved film will also be treated to Q&A sessions with the director. Taking place after the screenings in Dundee, Inverness and Edinburgh, Bill Forsyth will join the audience to explore the film’s comic subversion of a wide range of Scottish stereotypes.
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Free for Startups: SocialBro Helps David Beat Goliath On Twitter

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

SocialBro, the Twitter analytics, marketing and management platform for business, is giving startups and small businesses a helping hand with the launch of a free forever package. From today, users with a Twitter community of 5000 or less will be able to access SocialBro’s powerful tools through the new Free Cloud plan and analyze and act on Twitter data to grow, engage and monetize their audience.

SocialBro is one of only two members of the prestigious Twitter Certified Program (alongside complementary Twitter client Hootsuite) to offer free access to a product providing analytics and action capability. It combines real time actionable data with the power to deliver and manage campaigns, harnessing the amazing potential of Twitter as a marketing channel to deliver high impact results across a range of metrics.

Javier Burón, SocialBro’s co-founder and CEO, says: “With more and more consumers demanding a truly personalized experience, Twitter has created a level playing field where small businesses can take on global brands. Many small companies are incredibly creative in using Twitter to attract new customers and SocialBro’s new free option is the final piece of the puzzle, enabling them to leverage their online community and use SocialBro with Twitter to drive their growth.”
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SocialBro Joins the Twitter Certified Program

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Watershed moment for SocialBro on its journey to becoming the ‘go-to’ platform to extract brand value and revenues from Twitter.

SocialBro, a leading Twitter analytics, marketing and management platform for business, has been chosen to join the Twitter Certified Program, which recognises products that help make brands more successful on Twitter.

SocialBro, which has over 240,000 users including Visa, Toyota and Sefutbol, the Spanish National Football team, joins a select cohort of elite companies such as Hootsuite, Adobe and Nielsen, and is one of the first platforms from outside the US to get the Twitter ‘seal of approval’. To date, only 32 products have been accepted into the prestigious Program and the announcement underlines both the critical importance of data to businesses and SocialBro’s status as a trusted, value add platform.

Smart and disruptive, SocialBro’s suite of analytics and management tools is a game changer in the hands of the new breed of digital marketer. By providing actionable statistics and accurate reporting of social media, SocialBro enables organisations to monetize their Twitter campaigns, increase customer retention and reduce acquisition costs.
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Scotland’s Rising Tech Stars Recognised

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Recognising a range of exciting Scottish companies pushing the boundaries in digital technologies, the 2014 Digital Technology Awards were announced yesterday. Contributing £4bn in GVA to the economy, some 80,000 people work in Scotland’s digital technologies industry, which is increasingly contributing to export revenues. The awards, organised by trade body ScotlandIS, feature nine categories.

The Best New Product or Service Award category was won by DeltaDNA, formerly Games Analytics. The judges considered their new product, revolutionising the way games publishers interact with their players, has significant global market potential.

StormID were awarded the Public Services Innovation Award for their ground-breaking “Council Toolkit” which allows local councils to rapidly and efficiently build responsive public services websites.

The Digital Agency of the Year Award went to Glasgow-based digital studio ScreenMedia, who impressed the judges for re-investing profits from a successful fitness app to develop their mobile technology and design prowess, building on an already remarkable client portfolio.
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Aridhia Appointed to UK Government’s G-Cloud Framework

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The latest in collaborative analytical capability now available on-demand to Government and Healthcare Organisations enabling data-driven healthcare

Health and biomedical informatics company, Aridhia, has been accepted onto the UK government’s G-Cloud Framework. This means that AnalytiXagility, the advanced analytics platform for collaborative data science developed by Aridhia, is now available for the first time through CloudStore’s pay-as-you-go model.

The AnalytiXagility platform delivers on demand collaborative, secure, analytical workspaces allowing multi-disciplinary teams to connect with, load and analyse data sets of all sizes. AnalytiXagility also offers specific sector capability such as the DiabetesDataProfiler within the Healthcare sector, in addition to its core collaborative, analytic and security capability.

Data-driven healthcare will enable integrated chronic disease management ultimately improving patient outcomes through effective, efficient service delivery and, in time, transforming healthcare delivery.
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SocialBro Discovers Value Of Retweets For Advertisers

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

As Twitter advertising revenues continue to increase, brands are demanding more information about the users who retweet and engage with their updates, says SocialBro, the Twitter analytics and management platform.

According to SocialBro’s CEO and co-founder, Javier Burón, brands that invest in sponsored tweets believe that in-depth insights are the key to achieving return on investment.

He says: “Social advertising needs to be strategic and brands are telling us that they want to be able to follow up with the users who show interest in their paid-for campaigns. They want the sponsored tweet to be the first step to building a long last relationship with new followers and they want to be able to track users who retweet them. It is almost impossible to do that manually but our new tool, Discover Retweeters, answers that problem.”

Launching today, Discover Retweeters enables Twitter marketers to identify and target users that have retweeted any chosen tweet. SocialBro developed the tool in response to demand from its customers, a growing list of well-known brands includes Coca Cola and T-Mobile.
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SocialBro Releases Its Own Twitter Mute Function For All SocialBro Users

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Following fast on the heels of Twitter’s release of mute functionality to selected user accounts, SocialBro, the leading Twitter analytics and marketing platform, has today launched its own mute function.

Available now to all SocialBro users, the mute function is integrated with SocialBro’s filtering and search functionality, enabling them to quickly filter out Twitter users on a mass scale and giving them more control over the content they see on Twitter.

The new feature is a particularly powerful tool for businesses and high profile individuals with large Twitter communities who are seeking to ‘zoom in and out’ on their most relevant social contacts so that they don’t miss important tweets.
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Aridhia Appoints Former EMC Director Chris Roche

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Aridhia announced today the appointment of Chris Roche to a newly created post on its executive team of Chief Commercial Officer.

Roche joins Aridhia from global IT company – EMC – where he worked for 14 years, playing a key role in business transformation, as it grew from 5,000 to 60,000 people world-wide.

Roche combines a background in computing, specialising in artificial intelligence, with a strong commercial drive and focus. He will now apply his experience of bringing disruptive technology into new sectors, taking Aridhia and its AnalytiXagility platform to market.

Roche comments: “I have worked with disruptive technologies for over a decade and the AnlaytiXagility platform has fantastic potential to transform healthcare, research, education and stratified medicine. The core services offered by AnalyiXagility are applicable to all multidisciplinary teams that want to embrace collaborative data science across all industries. But the additional services that Aridhia has and continues to develop, is what attracted me commercially to the role.
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Embracing The Evolution Of Technology Is Vital To Business Success

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Entrepreneurs must embrace the constant evolution of technology to ensure they stay ahead of the game.

This will be the overriding message from the line-up of speakers at Alba Innovation Centre on Tuesday morning, looking at business and tech trends of 2014. Wearable technology, big data and the Internet of Things will all be examined, as well as predictions for the key technology developments we should expect to see in the second half of the year.

The event, aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs, features keynote speeches on current technology and business trends, and an examination of how future developments in technology will provide key opportunities for Scottish businesses. Peter Andrew, Head of Innovation at Innovation Centres Scotland, will discuss the growth of the digital sector, in particular looking at digital assets and security, personalisation and smart digital.
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Alba Showcases Scottish Strengths In Innovation At EIE14

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Alba Incubation Service, a Scottish Enterprise funded project, is once again set to highlight the talent and innovation that Scotland’s technology sector has to offer with a strong turnout at Engage Invest Exploit 2014.

EIE14
showcases the best startups and spin-outs in Scotland and attracts a long list of investors, including leading venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners, which has invested in a large number of Scottish tech-led businesses including leading flight search engine Skyscanner and current Alba tenant and world leader in aerial inspection, Cyberhawk.

Seven of Alba’s clients are set to showcase their exceptional technology ideas at this year’s event on 8 May – Tantallon Systems, Interface3 Digital, Codbod Technologies, Basewarp, C4B Solutions Ltd, TigerFace Games and Cosneta will look to exhibit their business potential and ambition to as many technology investors as they can in the hope of attracting investment support and creating new partnerships.
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Aridhia Wins Genomics England Competition To Help Accelerate The Adoption Of Genomic Medicine

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Aridhia, a health and biomedical informatics company, has won a Genomics England-led Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to accelerate the development of data management and analytical techniques that will help Genomics England transfer genomic science to genomic medicine within the NHS.

Aridhia’s bid focused on the scale and accuracy of the analytics required to deliver genomic medicine as a routine service by enabling the industrialisation of multiple annotation pipelines from different sequence and bio-informatics providers. If healthcare and research organisations are to deliver on the promise of genomic medicine, considerable developments around the integration, clinical validation and curation of large scale clinical and genomic datasets remain.

The objective of the competition was to discover innovative technologies that would address the requirements of Genomics England’s 100k Genome Project and demonstrate that the solution could provide the NHS with meaningful and actionable data based on patients’ genetic material, with the goal of making this data a routine part of clinical decision making.

The Department of Health is investing up to £10m in this competition, which will be managed by Genomics England Limited and which is expected to run in two phases.

The ground-breaking work will be carried out at the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre on AnalytiXagility, the recently launched healthcare and research data science platform developed by Aridhia. The consortium of specialists involved in the project and led by Aridhia includes Fios Genomics, EMC and Pivotal.

David Sibbald, CEO of Aridhia, explains: “Clinical interpretation of sequence data can inform likely disease progression, prognosis and can identify potential response to treatment. Ultimately this could lead to improved treatment success rates and reduce unnecessary side effects. One of the key challenges is the availability of industrial-strength annotation pipelines that can be deployed at scale and integrated effectively with a range of other data associated with patient care and treatment.”

Whole genome sequencing is predominantly a research activity today with genomic annotation currently a limited add-on to diagnostics. The Aridhia-led collaboration aims to develop an innovative set of annotation services technologies, based on its existing AnalytiXagility platform, which will address the challenges of delivering clinically relevant reports, as well as the operational challenges in storing and linking genomic and phenotype data.

The ultimate aim is to identify the best way to present this information to clinicians in an easily interpreted format, giving the NHS access to clinically relevant, actionable information which can be used to directly influence patient care.

The project will run in two phases. Firstly the AnalytiXagility platform will be extended to execute instrumented annotation pipelines, yielding valuable data to improve those services. Scalability tests will be run. Secondly, the service will be integrated with NHS systems to demonstrate how genomic data can form part of a patient’s electronic health record in a way that can be used in specialist care. Direct integration of clinical records from the NHS is also expected, along with qualitative measures of user acceptance demonstrated in an NHS setting.

Twitter Budgets Rise As Big Brands Home In On Customer Acquisition

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Twitter budgets are on the up and marketers are becoming more conscious about ROI, using their time on Twitter to achieve clear business objectives and generate leads, according to SocialBro.

The survey by the Twitter management platform found that the majority of businesses (57%) are spending at least fifty per cent more on Twitter marketing compared with two years ago, with 15% of respondents stating that their spending has tripled.

SocialBro’s survey also uncovered differences in social media objectives between smaller and bigger businesses. While the majority of SMEs (up to 200 employees) rated brand building as their key reason for using Twitter with lead generation in second place, bigger companies with 500+ employees were much more likely to list acquiring new customers as a top priority along with building relationships with influencers.

Javier Burón, CEO and co-founder of SocialBro, says: “These findings reflect the fact that Twitter has really matured in the last couple of years, introducing new ways of advertising and revamping its design. Companies expect to see hard business benefits and they accept that it is worth investing to deliver a consistent and creative brand experience that achieves measurable return on investment.”

While 74% per cent of respondents said they loved Twitter’s real time communication capability and two thirds commended its potential to spread messages virally, 53% said that their biggest bugbear with social media was its potential to be time intensive.

“A badly managed social media campaign has the potential to be a black hole for time,” warns Burón. “But it doesn’t need to be that way. It is easy to make your Twitter routine more efficient as long as you have structured planning, monitoring and reporting systems in place.”

An advanced Twitter analytics and management platform, SocialBro can help marketers by automating certain Twitter actions, allowing users more time to nurture followers and pursue those aspects of the campaign that really benefit from personal engagement. It also provides actionable data to help businesses optimise and monetise their social media activity.

Wanted: PR Account Executive

Friday, April 25th, 2014

IF you have to be the first to discover the next big thing, have a burning passion for news and are active on all social media channels. We want to hear from you!

Hot Tin Roof is a dynamic, ambitious and independent PR agency. Fast and furious, we create iconic reputations for pioneering UK companies. We have a powerful reputation for getting results offline and online for our clients.

Creative, intelligent and determined, we run our campaigns with skill, imagination and honesty. Our absolute loyalty to our clients, the energy and the gritty single-mindedness with which we tackle every campaign is the secret to our success.

We are currently looking to hire a PR account executive with one to two years agency experience. This role will integrate online and offline PR.

The person we are looking for should be:

  • creative thinker
  • plain talker
  • great writer
  • news junkie
  • internet savvy
  • good fun
  • massive energy
  • obsessive attention to detail
  • unflappable
  • multi tasker
  • enthusiastic with a passion to learn

Key responsibilities:

  • pitching press releases to journalists
  • copywriting
  • research
  • produce documents, briefing papers, reports and presentations
  • manage companies online presence
  • maintain website content
  • update blogs, social networks and forums
  • research and engage with relevant blogs, websites and forums
  • implement online partnership strategy
  • conduct research
  • general office administration
  • assist with PR campaigns
  • maintain and update our databases



CVs with a 250-word review of the next big ‘thing’, to [email protected] by Friday 9 May 2014.

Interviews take place w/c 19 May 2014.

Silent Herdsman Continues Its Growth And Market Penetration With New Investment From Scottish Equity Partners, Albion Ventures And Scottish Investment Bank

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Silent Herdsman Limited1 today announces that it has raised £3 million of investment from leading UK institutional investors to support its continuing growth and international expansion.
The investment has been made by an investor syndicate led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and comprising Albion Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. The funding will assist Silent Herdsman in accelerating the growth of its global ecosystem and customer base. In addition the funding will enable the expansion of the range of animal health and welfare monitoring services that the company provides to farmers around the world.
Silent Herdsman® is a decision-support platform that features a unique high-tech behaviour-monitoring collar, which triggers alerts to a farmer’s mobile phone, tablet, laptop and/or PC to identify a change in activity, for example oestrus detection, using predictive analytics software. It provides the basis for a highly scalable and highly functional software system that assists farms to take swift and precise actions based on animal activity, which in virtually all cases, greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of their beef and dairy herd business. Using a pioneering patented2 technology, Silent Herdsman has the ability to deliver highly accurate health predictions resulting in improvements in animal health, increased milk yield, and enhanced profitability for famers on a rapid payback.
Stuart Paterson, Partner at SEP said, “There are currently over 1 billion beef and dairy cows world-wide and over 34m dairy cows in the EU and US alone. This number is continuing to grow as countries get wealthier and demand for dairy products increases. As a result, this represents a market opportunity of over $1bn per annum to Silent Herdsman. Moreover, the solution significantly enhances the efficiency of world food production which is of global concern. The company is rapidly making sales both in the UK and internationally, and as a result, SEP is delighted to support the company’s growth plans.”
Robert Whitby-Smith, Partner at Albion Ventures said, “We are excited about the opportunity to back the Silent Herdsman team and their ambitious growth plans. The animal health monitoring market is expected to grow rapidly and Silent Herdsman’s differentiated, and patented, products are poised to capitalise on this.”
Annette MacDougall, CEO at Silent Herdsman commented, “This investment underpins our unique and distinguishing product features and represents a significant endorsement towards our global expansion plans. The Silent Herdsman predictive analytic software platform is uniquely positioned to assist dairy and beef farms globally to bolster productivity gains, improve operational performance and increase profit on farm. We are delighted to be working with a sterling team of professional and knowledgeable investors who have supported our technology roadmap for taking on-line data services towards internationalisation and expansion.”
Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said, “We are pleased to be part of this investment round, alongside our private sector partners. Silent Herdsman is an exciting, forward-thinking company with an international mindset. Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with Silent Herdsman since its inception to help it grow and enter the market with its unique technology. This funding is the latest stage of an integrated package of support that will allow the company to realise its strategic growth plans.”

Brands That Don’t Engage On Twitter Risk Losing 15 Per Cent Of New Followers

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Follower retention metrics and management more important than ever as businesses invest in Twitter advertising to increase the size of their communities.
Businesses on Twitter will lose fifteen percent of new followers within three weeks unless they make an effort to engage early, according to Twitter management platform SocialBro.

According to SocialBro’s sample data, famous or influential individuals (100,000+ followers) will lose one to three per cent of new followers in the first week and 10 per cent after three weeks. The baseline churn rate increases to five per cent and 15 per cent for companies while ‘ordinary’ individuals can expect to lose 20 per cent of new followers in the first week and 40 per cent over three weeks unless they make an effort to engage with these users.

In a bid to increase follower numbers, brands are spending more on social advertising than ever before and Twitter announced ad revenues of $220 million in the last quarter of 2013; a 121% increase on the same period in 2012.

To help businesses ensure the best possible return on their Twitter ad spend, SocialBro has developed its Follower Retention tool. Launching today, it is designed to help users hold on to their hard won followers.

Javier Buron, CEO and founder of SocialBro, says: “Unsurprisingly, the more influential you are, the more likely your followers are to stick with you. But the bigger your community, the greater scope there is to gain an edge over your competitors by engaging your followers. Our new Follower Retention reports make this much easier by providing you with insight in to how you are performing and helping you to draw conclusions about the quality and relevance of followers you are attracting and keeping.”

With SocialBro, users can track campaigns in terms of quality and engagement and work to improve their follower retention figures. Users can also analyse which strategies work best for their community.

According to Javier Burón, businesses can reduce their churn rate by implementing some simple actions.

He says: “Make an effort to ‘follow back’, using lists to listen to your most important followers. Behind every profile is a real person, so do your best to interact with them, just as you would if they came in to your shop. Mention them; thank them for following you; favourite their tweets. Obviously you need to prioritise those that are real accounts and those that represent a real opportunity, but try not to ignore new followers or they will soon say goodbye.”

Follower Retention follows the launch of SocialBro’s Rule Builder and Mention Helper tools, both of which are designed to help users make the most effective use of their time on Twitter.

Londoners Help Primary Teacher’s Tweet Reach 42 Million Says SocialBro

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

A social media experiment started by a fourth grade teacher from Ontario has shown up in the feeds of 42 million users, according to Twitter analytics specialist SocialBro. The post was retweeted 88,898 times with London the most active city, even though the original post originated in Canada.

The teacher, whose Twitter handle is @MrLaythorpe, wanted to teach his class about internet safety and demonstrate how far a photograph can travel in a week via social media. He posted an image of himself and a colleague holding a sign stating, “I am talking to my 4 grade students about internet safety and how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people. If you are reading this please retweet it.”

Researchers at SocialBro ran analytics on the retweets and found that the tweets crossed language barriers with many users getting involved despite not speaking English as their mother tongue. A number of influential users helped to spread the picture far and wide and well known participants in the experiment included Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, comedian Dara Ó Briain, and actor Zach Braff. The highest proportion of retweets came from the US, which counted for 15.3%, closely followed by the UK at 5.3% and at city level London was the top location.

“Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool for spreading messages and information around the world,” says Javier Burón, founder and CEO of SocialBro. “The experiment highlights how quickly a picture can go viral on Twitter and that language barriers on the web are less of an issue today. This is clearly highlighted by the number of countries retweeting where English isn’t the first language.”

SocialBro is an advanced cloud solution for the management and analysis of Twitter communities. It enables Twitter for businesses, helping companies to better engage with their audience and increase their communities’ growth qualitatively.

Since its launch in May 2010, SocialBro has achieved rapid growth attracting over 180,000 users from 70 countries including a significant proportion of professional Twitter users, corporates and agencies, such as CBS, NASCAR, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile and Publicis.

What Isn’t SEO?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

SEO is dead… Well so say a considerable chunk of those in the know, but the truth in this statement depends upon what you consider to be SEO. If you mean manipulating search engines through cheap tricks that get even the worst sites onto the front page of the results, then yes, you are correct, ‘SEO’ is dead (or at least dying).

photo of Google's logo

Image Credit: Carlos Luna/Flickr

SEO is a way to make your website accessible to search engines, allowing them to understand the content contained on a page so it can be ranked accordingly. I’m sure we can all agree that good quality, highly relevant content deserves to be most visible; as such, SEO should never really have been about gaming the system.

All about the game, and how you play it

But it was, and why not? Quick, dirty tactics that produce the same results are financially more viable than investing time and money into producing great content. If you could get to the top this way, why wouldn’t you, especially when everyone else was doing it?

Herein lay the problem, everyone was doing it! The internet was becoming a dumping ground of thin, low quality content, making it much harder to find what you were looking for.

Google has been addressing this issue for a number of years through updates to the algorithms used to discern a pages relevance to search terms. With the introduction of Penguin and Panda, some of the more common ‘optimisation’ tricks are starting to be expunged (thin, duplicate content and anchor link text that linked to keyword rich sites respectively).

This is the beginning of what could be described as the death of SEO, but perhaps it would be fairer to be call it a repositioning.

You won’t fool the children of the revolution

On the brink of a digital revolution where offline content is losing its attraction at a rate of knots, the lines between SEO and PR are becoming increasingly blurred. Building relationships with bloggers and editors while creating fantastic, shareable content is the main objective of each of these disciplines, and is far from being dead.

SEO still continues to have a hugely important technical aspect to help search engines index content correctly. Regardless of how strong your content is, a site riddled with broken or spammy links, awkward navigation and poorly optimised page titles will still struggle to perform.  However, these skills are becoming less exclusive due to the very nature of producing digital content… it’s only a matter of time before SEO and PR become interchangeable job titles.

Car Loan 4u Announces £8 Million Investment From SEP

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Car Loan 4U, the UK’s leading online car finance specialist, today announced an £8 million investment from leading UK venture capital firm, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). The investment will enable Car Loan 4U to accelerate its growth and build on its position as the UK market leader.

Launched in 2006, Car Loan 4U provides a market-leading online service for consumers looking for car finance, and has overseen its most successful period of growth over the last 12 months.

Turnover has grown by more than 75% to £11m and headcount has increased to 150 employees. The company hopes to more than quadruple its annual revenues over the next four years.

The investment will be used to build the Car Loan 4U brand and implement and expand the capabilities of Car Loan 4U’s advanced technology, creating a superior customer journey.

Car Loan 4U CEO James Wilkinson commented: “The investment from SEP represents a landmark for Car Loan 4U and will be invaluable in helping us continue our ambition of revolutionising the market, by transforming the way consumers take out car finance online.”

“It comes at an exciting time in the company’s history, and the extensive digital technology experience of SEP makes them the perfect partner for us to develop our strong growth. We have expansion plans across the board and in a short space of time, have evolved from a small business exploiting a gap in the market to emerge as a clear leader in our sector.”

He added: “The online opportunity in the car finance industry is huge. This investment will allow us to accelerate innovations in our technology and deliver a vastly improved customer experience, as well as expanding our brand and helping us set a new industry standard for the way consumers shop online for car finance.”

Andrew Davison, a Partner at SEP, will join the company’s board. He said “Car Loan 4U has been self-funded to date and we have been impressed by the fact that it has consistently grown revenues to become the UK’s leading provider of online used car finance.

“We believe there is a very large market opportunity, with seven million used cars being sold in the UK last year. This involved £8 billion of dealer arranged finance across an estimated 845,000 deals. We are just at the beginning in terms of the use of the Internet in financial services. Our investment will enable the company to increase its brand awareness, allowing it to capitalise on the trend towards greater online loan provision.”

Car Loan 4U will join SEP’s expanding digital media and e-commerce portfolio which includes Media Ingenuity, operator of credit card comparison site TotallyMoney.com and the world’s fastest growing international travel search company Skyscanner.

Technology investment bank GP Bullhound and lawyers DWF advised on the deal for Car Loan 4U.

Adopt an Intern Hits 500 Milestone

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

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Adopt an Intern (AAI), which specialises in the creation and facilitation of paid internships for Scotland’s graduates, today announces the placement of its 500th graduate.  AAI was established by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy in 2010 and receives core funding from the Scottish Government.

The 500th intern, David Scott, will undertake an initial 3-month placement with Edinburgh-based Hot Tin Roof.  The landmark will be recognised by a visit to the specialist technology PR agency today by Angela Constance, Scottish Government Minister for Youth Employment.

AAI has worked with a wide range of organisations across Scotland and internationally, since its formation, to design graduate-level placements, the majority of which have led to full-time employment.  AAI helps to define the particular need of the business and then handles the recruitment and shortlisting processes necessary to find the right candidate, thereby simplifying it for the host organisation to find someone who will make a genuine contribution to their business.  Unusually, due to its core funding from Scottish Government, AAI offers a free service and even funds the interns in specific cases, saving small enterprises from across the public, private and social economy sectors both time and money.

Joy Lewis, Chief Executive of AAI, said:

“We have all worked exceptionally hard to reach this 500 milestone including the organisations throughout Scotland that have developed these placements with us over the last 3 years or so.  I know that they have greatly benefited from the terrific talent produced by our higher education institutions, to which huge credit is also due.

“Reaching 500 is an important milestone, but what really matters is the individual inspiration we give to our graduates as they take their first steps on a career path, the success we can add to organisations throughout the country and the positivity this creates for the Scottish economy as a whole.  For our part we will not relent in our efforts to make these differences.  I encourage SMEs throughout Scotland to get in touch with us in 2014 and discover what we can do for them”.

Angela Constance, Scottish Government Minister for Youth Employment, said:

“I am delighted that Adopt an Intern has been able to place a 500th graduate. The Scottish Government has invested almost £1 million over the last four years to support high quality, paid graduate placements and 500 represents a considerable return on our investment.  Meaningful high quality work experience, which equips young people with the skills and experience to enter the labour market, is one of a range of actions that can help reduce both unemployment and underemployment of graduates.

“I hope to see many more internships taken in the future and wish Hot Tin Roof and David the best of luck with their new working relationship.”

Sarah Lee, Managing Director of Hot Tin Roof, said:

“Internships are an incredibly important and valuable route in to employment.  There is a lot of competition for PR jobs and real work experience is key for graduates looking to build a career in the industry.

“We have been offering young people work experience for a number of years and it has been a very powerful way of finding the brightest and the best with whom we can work to build their skills and jumpstart their career, as well as bringing new energy into our office.”

SEP Reports Strong Performance In 2013

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Leading UK venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has reported a sharp upturn in investment activity this year and strong operating performance across its portfolio of 40 high growth companies.
SEP, one of the largest venture capital groups in Europe, confirmed that investment is scheduled to total £60m in the current year to 31 December. Companies added to the portfolio include leading digital solutions provider Tryzens, email marketing company Pure360, and social analytics company SocialBro, reflecting what SEP says is particularly strong deal flow for digital media opportunities. SEP expects to complete another significant e-commerce investment within the next few weeks.
Aggregate revenues for the portfolio have grown 22% in 2013 to almost £700 million, while employment across the SEP companies has increased by 12% to more than 4,200.
SEP partners with innovative high growth companies in technology and technology-enabled business sectors. Approximately 90% of the SEP portfolio is UK based, with one third headquartered in Scotland, including Skyscanner, the world’s fastest growing travel search company. SEP remains the largest shareholder in Skyscanner, following the recent $800 million secondary deal with US venture firm Sequoia Capital.
Other strong performers across the SEP portfolio included energy services company Anesco, which topped the 2013 Fast Track 100 covering the UK’s fastest growing private companies. London based fashion retailer, matchesfashion.com, has also grown strongly, increasing employment numbers to more than 350 staff, attracting 2.5 million visits to its website every month and shipping to 195 countries throughout the world. Significant progress has also been made by managed services provider Control Circle, named Managed Services Provider for the second year in a row at the International Datacentre and Cloud Awards 2013; and Livingston based Cyberhawk which has completed a series of world firsts in offshore and onshore oil and gas inspections through the use of remotely operated aerial vehicles.
SEP’s Managing Partner, Calum Paterson said: “As long term investors, what really matters to us is how our companies do across their entire journey, but many of them have done particularly well in the last 12 months. The employment and revenue numbers demonstrate that for the right companies, venture capital can and does have a very substantial impact”.
SEP has expanded its own team during the year, hiring Andrew Carnwath from F&C and Paul Neeson from Caird Capital. Further recruitment is planned in 2014 for the firm’s London and Glasgow offices.
Ian Marchant, former Chief Executive of SSE plc, Senior Non-Executive Director of the Wood Group, and President of the Energy Institute will join SEP’s Investment Advisory Board in January.
The firm expects investment opportunities to increase further in 2014.
Paterson said: “Technology innovation is increasingly disrupting everyday life, business activity and the global economy. We feel sure that this trend will continue at an even greater pace in 2014. Our challenge is to find the entrepreneurs who can successfully commercialise the opportunities which are opening up and to help them build great companies. We view the UK as having the best environment for venture capital investment and entrepreneurship in Europe, and the success of our portfolio companies underpins our position as the investor of choice.”

Neo to host Global Day of Code Retreat in Edinburgh

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

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International software innovation company Neo will again host software developers from across Scotland on 14 December for Global Day of Code Retreat. The annual event will take place at Neo’s European base at TechCube in Edinburgh, and in up to 200 other cities around the world.

A day-long, intensive practise event focusing on the fundamentals of software development and design, Code Retreat will give developers the opportunity to work on code away from the pressures of ‘getting things done’, thus allowing the freedom to invoke their creative side, practise their skills and develop new ideas.

Much like a musician who needs time to practise playing an instrument, programmers need to refine their skills without the constraints of time, budget or business brief in order to develop. Scotland’s tech and software development industry is vibrant, but to continue to lead in this field, skills must be refined and developed and new ground broken.

The Code Retreat format has proved to be a highly effective means of skill improvement. Practising the basic principles of modular and object-oriented design, developers can improve their ability to write code that minimises the cost of change over time.

Global Day of Code Retreat is an annual event taking place in Australia, New Zealand, the US, China, Singapore, South Africa, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Scotland among many others.

Paul Wilson, Managing Director at Neo explains: “Since the idea was conceived in 2009, Code Retreats have become a global phenomenon. Last year around 2000 programmers took part in 150 separate Code Retreats.

“As a global organisation, Neo organises Global Day of Code Retreat events in many of its offices. After extremely positive feedback from last year’s event, we look forward to another enjoyable and successful day.”

Neo is a global product innovation company working with clients including Time Magazine, American Express and Paypal, and whose board contains some of the biggest names in software and product development, including Evan Henshaw-Plath (lead developer at Twitter) and Joi Ito (Director of MIT Media Lab).

For more information contact: Jen Richards :: 0131 225 7880

Informatics And A New Business Model Could Unlock Long Term Economic Growth And Sustainability Of Health Sector

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

In Manchester this week two leading experts in health informatics and big data will urge the UK’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to adopt long term commercial thinking in order to improve patient outcomes while delivering economic growth and a sustainable health system.

In 2013, with pressure increasing on the health service to improve treatment and deliver value for money, NHS England created fifteen new Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs)1, which will focus on innovation to boost outcomes and contribute to economic growth. These organisations bring together education, clinical research, informatics, training and healthcare delivery, and all have wealth creation central to their remit.

In a paper to be presented at the European Connected Health Alliance’s mHealth Ecosystem meeting in Manchester, Dr Cathy Kelly of health and biomedical informatics company Aridhia, and Chris Roche of big data experts EMC, will argue that to create wealth and so deliver growth for the UK’s economy, AHSNs should focus on building an open business model that addresses the long term healthcare market.

The authors counsel that economic growth will be created both from high-value jobs, such as data scientists and application developers, and from the creation of new information services for researchers and clinicians. These services could, and should, extend outside the health service and be offered and consumed by pharmaceutical and clinical research organisations.

The paper recognises the challenges facing AHSNs in their remit as platforms on which the NHS, academia and industry can collaborate to identify innovations and rapidly develop promising solutions to healthcare problems, as well as being tasked with transforming themselves into wealth creation bodies capable of driving economic growth. Prior to the creation of the AHSNs, the NHS was constrained by the need to optimise an existing operating system or adopt a model where only one organisation receives maximum profit.

Co-author and Medical Director of Aridhia, Dr Cathy Kelly, explains: “Early indications are that the UK is leading the charge globally in embracing open business models. If we are to truly have transformational impact on healthcare delivery the new AHSN structure will play a central role in accelerating this work.

“Increasingly clinicians will become responsible not only for the delivery of care, but for patient safety, improved clinical outcomes and patient experience – informatics is key to providing supporting for this.

It becomes evident that to create wealth an AHSN should consider focusing on building an open business model that addresses the long tail market of the healthcare system. Early adopters in this new marketplace are building and investing in an information platform that allow collaboration to take place both at the biomedical informatics level and relationship level.

“What the NHS needs to do to make this a reality is develop effective clinical informatics leadership and trust in the opportunities afforded by safe data sharing.”

Aridhia and EMC are part of a new breed of commercial and clinical partnership for the NHS and are already involved in the development of systems that will support the management of chronic disease. Their work will enable the personalised treatment of tens of millions of people living with chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Chris Roche, Chief Technology Officer for EMC EMEA says: “New clinical and patient experiences will be enabled by new data and application fabrics that interact and serve the patient, researcher or clinician in the context of who they are, where they are and what they are doing in the moment. The ability to rapidly collect and analyse massive amounts of clinical, patient, imaging and genomic data and deliver real-time disease management services will enhance service delivery, stratify patient risk and improve clinical outcomes. D oing this in an open source model will facilitate choice and collaboration as the key design principles that underpin the new consumer grade biomedical information platform of future health services.”

The paper, ‘Open Business Models in a long tail market and why executing on a “consumer grade” biomedical informatics platform strategy is key to wealth creation for AHSNs’, will be presented by EMC’s Chris Roche on Thursday 12 December at the European Connected Health Alliance Manchester mHealth Ecosystem meeting. The presentation will be followed by a panel session which will include Dr Andy Judson, Director of Data Science at Aridhia.

The paper introduces business modelling and biomedical informatics concepts that the authors believe the leadership and management of AHSNs will need to embrace if they are to deliver on the wealth creation agenda.

For more information about Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs): http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/05/23/acc-health-sci-ntwrk/


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