Posts Tagged ‘LESL’

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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Cobra Simulation Projects The Future On The Gadget Show

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Cobra Simulation, the innovative Scottish company behind a new technology that could revolutionise training simulation for airline pilots and the military, is to feature on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show tonight, Monday 25 November.

Based in Livingston at the Alba Innovation Centre, a Scottish Enterprise funded project, Cobra Simulation was founded in 2012 by Alexander Bradley in order to develop, manufacture and market a ground-breaking new ‘2D/3D wraparound’ display solution.

Flight simulation markets alone were worth approx $3.2 Billion in 2012, and estimated to grow to $9.6 billion by 2018. Having previously been involved in a business specialising in flight simulation, Cobra’s founders identified a gap in the market and developed the Cobra Curved Display, the world’s first panadome spherical projection screen to use a single projector. The product uses the latest in first surface mirror technology and image warping software to provide an enhanced, immersive viewing experience.

Cobra’s managing director, Alexander Bradley says: “The difference in experience between traditional simulators and our screens is similar to that which you would feel if you compared a standard movie theatre with an IMAX cinema. Our screens make you feel like you are part of the action and with the ultra hd projectors when they become mainstream next year, it is as close as you can get to real life. I’m delighted that we have had the chance to showcase our technology on a programme with the reputation and following of The Gadget Show.”

A highly portable, easy-to-assemble and cost effective solution, the product has a wide range of potential applications in addition to flight and automotive simulation including home entertainment (gaming and 3D movie viewing), business (remote video conferencing and training), as well as military and educational uses. As such, the Cobra Curved Display has a huge potential global market.

Before approaching Alba Innovation Centre, lack of business premises and limited start-up funds meant that Mr Bradley was hosting demonstrations in the front room of his home.

As a result of the support provided by the team at Alba Innovation Centre, Cobra Simulation has raised more than £75K in private investment and secured grant funding from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International worth a total of £7,500

“I can honestly say that we couldn’t have achieved what we have so far without the help and support of the Alba Innovation Centre,” adds Mr Bradley. “The Centre and its advisors have been like extra members of the Cobra team. The level and range of support supplied has been absolutely invaluable to the company’s growth.”

Peter Andrew, Head of incubation and innovation support at Innovation Centres Scotland, which manages Alba Innovation Centre on behalf of Scottish Enterprise, says: “Technology innovation is hugely important for Scotland’s future and Cobra Simulation is a fantastic example of an ambitious Scottish start up with the potential for massive growth on the world stage.”

The company has also expanded into a new production facility in Bathgate, where the curved display units are assembled from component parts, sourced and supplied from sub-contractors all over the world. The company formally went into production in early 2013.

Cobra Simulation has also now established and is continuing to develop a global network of resellers and has recently completed orders for display units from the US, the UK, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Portugal and New Zealand.

Crowdfunding Experts Ask Why Scotland Is Slow On The Uptake

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Is crowdfunding the answer for Scottish technology companies requiring significant start-up capital? This is the question that will be addressed by experts at an Alba Innovation Centre and Edinburgh Science Triangle joint event this Tuesday (26 November).

Crowdfunding Impact in Technology is a half day seminar exploring whether early stage companies, particularly those with their roots in technology development, can take advantage of the relatively new phenomenon of asking the public to support early-stage technology ventures.

Although Brewdog, a well-known Scottish company, is widely regarded as having been at the forefront of pioneering the concept of equity-based crowdfunding in previous years, Scotland continues to lag behind the curve.
Nesta estimates the UK crowdfunding market was worth £200 million in 2012, rising to £300 million in 2013. However, a Glasgow Chamber of Commerce report found that less than £1 million was raised in Scotland in 2012, and describes this as ‘well short of the sums potentially available’.
Peter Andrew, Head of incubation and innovation support at Innovation Centres Scotland, which manages Alba Innovation Centre on behalf of Scottish Enterprise, says: “There is capacity for Scottish tech companies to take advantage of crowdfunding so this event will give people the chance to find out more about what it means and whether or not it is something that could help them to grow their business.”

Speakers include Kevin Miller, CEO of RunRev, developers of the LiveCode app creation platform, and Felipe Bustos Sierra from Debasers Filums, an award winning film production company from Edinburgh, both of whom have succeeded in raising funding via crowdfunding. Stewart Whyte, partner in McClure Naismith, and Jude Cook, co-founder and managing director of Sharein, the UK’s first tech-focussed equity crowdfunding platform, will also be on hand to provide advice.

Ics Warns Of Funding Gap As YCF Publishes Little Black Book Of Investors

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS) will issue a stark warning at the annual Young Company Finance (YCF) Conference in Stirling on Thursday 12 September.

Speaking at the conference, Peter Andrew, Head of Innovation Support at Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS) will argue: “Investors need to take a risk on startups if Scotland is to sustain its reputation for innovation and grow another Woolfson or Craneware.

“Young companies are finding it harder and harder to find vital early stage funding. And without seed funding startups just will not get past go, the high growth pipeline will dry up and Scotland could lose its reputation for innovation.”

The warning comes as YCF publishes its guide to finance, in effect a ‘little black book’ of investors, Scotland’s first comprehensive funding directory. Aimed at Scotland’s technology startups with high growth potential, YCF names all the angel groups and VC firms known to have invested in Scottish companies, or to be looking at doing so.

The free guide also lists the companies they invested in and what level of engagement there was, giving startups the inside track and a clear picture of which companies have secured investment and at what stage in their development.

Jonathan Harris of YCF explains: “The investment landscape has changed and startups need practical help and market intelligence to access investment channels. Raising seed funding has never been easy but it has never been so difficult as it is today because funders are focused on supporting existing investments.

“Companies need to understand what sort of funding is out there and plan their investment journey carefully. YCF has been reporting on the startup scene for 15 years and that gives us unique intelligence for innovator and investor.

“That is why we are making our guide available for free to anyone looking for funding in Scotland today.”

The guide also illustrates the range of funding options available and describes some of their criteria and restrictions. It includes insight and advice from experts active in the field. Articles cover subjects such as the questions startups should ask before fund raising, ways to research new sources of finance and what sort of funding is appropriate for specific types of company at different stages of their journey.

The guide has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of ICS and advertising by a number of other organisations. The aim is to provide a practical platform for companies to consider their own circumstances and ultimate ambitions, understand how the market currently operates, then work out a strategy for meeting their own funding needs and start engaging with investors.

Harris continues: “It is critical that we work with organisations like ICS who have the experience and track record to be able to guide young companies and provide the support and direction they need in the early stages.”

Innovation Centres Scotland provides incubation services and support for early stage growing businesses in Scoltand from Hillington Park Innovation Centre on the west coast and Alba Innovation Centre in the east.

The guide will be free to use online and also published annually in hard copy. The funding landscape changes quickly and the website will be kept up to date as new sources of investment come on stream.

Martyn Wallace of Telefonica O2 tests Cobra Simulation curved screen technology at Alba Innovation Centre Open Doors today.

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

A Scottish Enterprise initiative and part of Edinburgh Science Triangle, AIC is the only UKBI Accredited Business Incubator In Scotland and works with some of Scotland’s leading innovative technology companies including: Cyberhawk, Abo Wind, A2E, Dysis Medical and SenseMarine. Alba has been home to around 60 startup and growing early stage companies since opening six years ago.

The Alba Innovation Centre is a purpose-built technology business incubation centre in Livingston with 21 of Scotland’s most exciting hi-tech companies in the software, electronics, energy, digital media and medical technology sectors currently located there.

Over the last 18 months aggregate turnover of the companies based in Alba has increased by almost 90% to £7.8m and numbers employed have risen by 31 to 120. The availability of a wide range of facilities and business support services including – faster routes to market, latest technology expertise, industry partnerships and specialist training – is a major factor in Alba’s tenants having a higher than average survival rate of 85%.

Since the introduction of a virtual incubation model in June 2011, the number of early stage companies supported by Alba innovation advisors has reached 32, only a third of which have Alba as their business base.
The Innovation Hub allows early stage technology businesses to get off the ground at an entry level license fee of £200 per month. This means The Alba Innovation Centre is now the hub of a wider network of like minded technology entrepreneurs with virtual Alba Incubation Service clients located through the central belt, into Fife and Aberdeen.
To showcase all the exciting innovative technology and jobs being developed in the Alba Innovation Centre and Alba Incubation Service, this year sees the launch of Alba Open Doors, a one day event focusing on inspiring technology and new partnerships. Alba Open Doors is open to anyone involved in the technology sector from large OEM’s, software and technology businesses, to intermediaries, partners, stakeholders and other SMEs.

Over 20 companies including Cobra Simulation, Sense Marine and A2E are exhibiting today. Keynoting in the morning are Martyn Wallace of Telefonica O2; global business speaker Jane Bromley; and Tom Crawford of Sense Marine who will explore current trends and forecast future developments for the technology sector.

Demonstrations in the afternoon by Alba clients, including Cobra Simulation, Oran Audio and Sense Marine, show visitors first hand how some of the groundbreaking innovations and new technologies being developed at Alba work in practice.

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of LESL says: “The aim of Open Doors is to inspire entrepreneurs to think differently about their business and allow them to innovate. We see the extraordinary work these companies do every day. This is your opportunity to find out about the latest developments in technology, to make new connections and to be inspired!”

David Smith, Director of Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, says: “This is a great opportunity for companies to make connections, explore opportunities and collaborate to help realise their ambitious growth plans.

“We know that companies that continually innovate tend to grow twice as fast as those that don’t, so it’s vital that Scottish companies adopt the mindset of innovation to ensure that they stay ahead of the competition as markets, technologies and trends shift. Scottish Enterprise is committed to building a culture of innovation across the economy which puts the successful exploitation of new ideas at the very heart of business growth.”

Originally created by Scottish Enterprise and West Lothian Council, Alba Innovation is operated by Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL), a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on the provision of business support services and office accommodation (real or virtual) for Scottish SMEs.

E-Commerce In Decline In The Face Of The Unstoppable Rise Of Social Business

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

At Alba Innovation Centre (AIC) today a key trend to emerge is the move away from e-commerce and towards social business with website hits down by 12% and an increase in B2B social media of 60% over the last 12 months. (Source: Telefonica 02)

Martyn Wallace of Telefonica O2 said “It’s not just about how the technology looks but about how it works and how you take it to market. Social business and having a business that is ‘socially’ focused is critical to survival in today’s economy.”

A Scottish Enterprise initiative and part of Edinburgh Science Triangle, AIC is the only UKBI Accredited Business Incubator In Scotland and works with some of Scotland’s leading innovative technology companies including: Cyberhawk, Abo Wind, A2E, Dysis Medical and SenseMarine. Alba has been home to around 60 startup and growing early stage companies since opening six years ago.

The Alba Innovation Centre is a purpose-built technology business incubation centre in Livingston with 21 of Scotland’s most exciting hi-tech companies in the software, electronics, energy, digital media and medical technology sectors currently located there.

Over the last 18 months aggregate turnover of the companies based in Alba has increased by almost 90% to £7.8m and numbers employed have risen by 31 to 120. The availability of a wide range of facilities and business support services including – faster routes to market, latest technology expertise, industry partnerships and specialist training – is a major factor in Alba’s tenants having a higher than average survival rate of 85%.

Since the introduction of a virtual incubation model in June 2011, the number of early stage companies supported by Alba innovation advisors has reached 32, only a third of which have Alba as their business base.
The Innovation Hub allows early stage technology businesses to get off the ground at an entry level license fee of £200 per month. This means The Alba Innovation Centre is now the hub of a wider network of like minded technology entrepreneurs with virtual Alba Incubation Service clients located through the central belt, into Fife and Aberdeen.
To showcase all the exciting innovative technology and jobs being developed in the Alba Innovation Centre and Alba Incubation Service, this year sees the launch of Alba Open Doors, a one day event focusing on inspiring technology and new partnerships. Alba Open Doors is open to anyone involved in the technology sector from large OEM’s, software and technology businesses, to intermediaries, partners, stakeholders and other SMEs.

Over 20 companies including Cobra Simulation, Sense Marine and A2E are exhibiting today. Keynoting in the morning are Martyn Wallace of Telefonica O2; global business speaker Jane Bromley; and Tom Crawford of Sense Marine who will explore current trends and forecast future developments for the technology sector.

Demonstrations in the afternoon by Alba clients, including Cobra Simulation, Oran Audio and Sense Marine, show visitors first hand how some of the groundbreaking innovations and new technologies being developed at Alba work in practice.

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of LESL says: “The aim of Open Doors is to inspire entrepreneurs to think differently about their business and allow them to innovate. We see the extraordinary work these companies do every day. This is your opportunity to find out about the latest developments in technology, to make new connections and to be inspired!”

David Smith, Director of Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, says: “This is a great opportunity for companies to make connections, explore opportunities and collaborate to help realise their ambitious growth plans.

“We know that companies that continually innovate tend to grow twice as fast as those that don’t, so it’s vital that Scottish companies adopt the mindset of innovation to ensure that they stay ahead of the competition as markets, technologies and trends shift. Scottish Enterprise is committed to building a culture of innovation across the economy which puts the successful exploitation of new ideas at the very heart of business growth.”

Originally created by Scottish Enterprise and West Lothian Council, Alba Innovation is operated by Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL), a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on the provision of business support services and office accommodation (real or virtual) for Scottish SMEs.

Find out more information and register at Alba Innovation Centre.

Access All Areas at Alba Innovation

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Alba Innovation Centre and the Alba Incubation Service will open its doors for the first time to Scotland’s technology and business community on Thursday 30 May.

Working with some of Scotland’s leading innovative technology companies including: Cyberhawk, Abo Wind, A2E, Dysis Medical and SenseMarine, Alba has been home to around 60 startup and growing early stage companies since opening six years ago.

The Alba Innovation Centre is a purpose-built technology business incubation centre in Livingston with 21 of Scotland’s most exciting hi-tech companies in the software, energy, digital media and medical device sectors currently located there.

Over the last 18 months aggregate turnover of the companies based in Alba has increased by almost 90% to £7.8m and numbers employed have risen by 31 to 120. The availability of a wide range of facilities and business support services is a major factor in Alba’s tenants having a higher than average survival rate of 85%.

Since the introduction of a virtual incubation model in June 2011, the number of early stage companies supported by Alba innovation advisors has reached 32, only a third of which have Alba as their business base.
The Innovation Hub allows early stage technology businesses to get off the ground at an entry level license fee of £200 per month. This means The Alba Innovation Centre is now the hub of a wider network of like minded technology entrepreneurs with virtual Alba Incubation Service clients located through the central belt, into Fife and Aberdeen.
To showcase all the exciting innovative technology and jobs being developed in the Alba Innovation Centre and Alba Incubation Service, this year sees the launch of Alba Open Doors, a one day event focusing on inspiring technology and new partnerships. Alba Open Doors is open to anyone involved in the technology sector from large OEM’s, software and technology businesses, to intermediaries, partners, stakeholders and other SMEs.

Over 20 companies including Cobra Simulation, Sense Marine and A2E will be exhibiting on the day. Keynoting in the morning are Martyn Wallace of Telefonica O2; global business speaker Jane Bromley; and Tom Crawford of Sense Marine who will explore current trends and forecast future developments for the technology sector.

Demonstrations in the afternoon by Alba clients, including Cyberhawk, Cobra Simulation, Dysis Medical and Sense Marine, will show visitors first hand how some of the groundbreaking innovations and new technologies being developed at Alba work in practice.

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of LESL says: “The aim of Open Doors is to inspire entrepreneurs to think differently about their business and allow them to innovate. We see the extraordinary work these companies do every day. This is your opportunity to find out about the latest developments in technology, to make new connections and to be inspired!”

David Smith, Director of Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is a great opportunity for companies to make connections, explore opportunities and collaborate to help realise their ambitious growth plans.

“We know that companies that continually innovate tend to grow twice as fast as those that don’t, so it’s vital that Scottish companies adopt the mindset of innovation to ensure that they stay ahead of the competition as markets, technologies and trends shift. Scottish Enterprise is committed to building a culture of innovation across the economy which puts the successful exploitation of new ideas at the very heart of business growth.”

Originally created by Scottish Enterprise and West Lothian Council, Alba Innovation is operated by Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL), a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on the provision of business support services and office accommodation (real or virtual) for Scottish SMEs.

LESL Launches Start Up Challenge To Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Marking 25 years of supporting business growth in Scotland, LESL is launching the Enterprise Challenge 2013, a competition to find Scotland’s next big start up.

The competition is aimed at entrepreneurs with a business plan already at an advanced stage and ready to build a viable business quickly and effectively. Open to any start up or young business that has the capacity for rapid growth, the focus is not necessarily on a new or innovative technology but on the best business model and prospects for success.
Ronnie Smith, CEO of LESL, explains: “The future of the Scottish economy relies on a new generation of start up businesses that can develop and grow, creating new products, services and jobs. Our goal for The Enterprise Challenge is to encourage new business ventures, get them market ready, resourced, funded and ready to go!”
The challenge will be officially launched by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, on 1 May 2013 at the Alba Innovation Centre in Livingston, Scottish Enterprise’s incubator for early stage technology companies.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing said:

“Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Scotland is a key priority for the Scottish Government and we are supportive of steps, such as those being taken by LESL, to encourage new business growth. I am delighted that LESL have chosen to mark their 25th Anniversary by launching this exciting Enterprise Challenge. This competition will provide an exciting opportunity for start up companies to have their ideas supported and encouraged and will hopefully generate positive returns for Scotland’s economy in years to come.”
Marian Gardiner, Group Operations Director for LESL, added: “Over the past 25 years at LESL we have helped countless start ups and supported some great businesses to grow. As a result we’ve built up a wealth of experience and resources. We now want to celebrate our track record for growing successful businesses by doing what we do best and help to turn good business plans into profitable businesses.”
The judging panel will comprise a team of high profile and successful entrepreneurs with a strong history of achievement, who will provide practical advice and screening, select the best entries and help the winner on the road to success.
The prize will include a minimum six month rent-free period in one of the three business incubators managed by LESL; including Alba Innovation Centre, Hillington Park and the Atrium Incubation and Innovation Centre. This will be supplemented by a full business support package with expert mentoring and specialist business advice, introductions to potential sales routes, free business software and hardware, and free legal, financial and HR advice.
There will also be special access and fast track pathways to potential loan and investment funds for the winning entries.
For details of how to enter The Enterprise Challenge visit http://www.lesl.org/tec/. The deadline for entries is 30 May and winners will be announced on 28 June.


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