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DIGIT Movers & Shakers: June 2017

Brian Baglow


DIGIT Movers & Shakers June 2017

Movers and Shakers is a new addition to the DIGIT lineup. Covering new staff, company expansion, rebranding, relocation and new facilities across Scotland’s rapidly evolving technology sector.

This month we have new staff at ZoneFox, a new chairman for Amiqus, Axis Animation rebrands, Shed 25 is ‘topped out’ in Dundee, a new management team for QikServe and a new London office for Farrpoint.



Zonefox Neill Cooper Ian Thornton-TrumpZoneFox has hired three new senior staff:

  • Neill Cooper, formerly of Vormetric becomes the Chief Commercial Officer
  • Ian Thornton-Trump, formerly of Solar Winds becomes Head of Security
  • Miles Gould, formerly of Red Hat, becomes Head of A.I.

Cooper is charged with doubling ZoneFox’s customer base and revenues in the next 12 months. Thornton-Trump will lend his expertise as a Certified Network Defence Architect and Ethical Hacker, gained over two decades in the field, to the sales team and clients. Gould, who has a PhD in Mathematics from Glasgow University, will lead the building of extensive AI capabilities into the company’s AI product, which was launched last year. He will be instrumental in ensuring that ZoneFox remain at the forefront of artificial intelligence.

ZoneFox founder and CEO Dr. Jamie Graves said: “The announcement of these three important positions is both a statement of intent and testament to what we’ve achieved over the last few years. ZoneFox is a rapidly maturing organisation so it’s incredibly important to hire experts in their respective fields to support myself and the rest of the team. Neil, Ian and Miles will allow us to reach the next stage in our progression while continuing to develop and refine our solutions.”

Amiqus Resolution

Amiqus Sir Sandy Crombie & Callum MurrayAmiqus has appointed Sir Sandy Crombie, the former Chief Executive of Standard Life and Creative Scotland, as Chairman. This is Sir Sandy’s first appointment to a digital technology start-up in Scotland. Amiqus CEO and founder, Callum Murray, said: “We’re honoured to welcome Sir Sandy to our board. Sir Sandy’s experience, networks and thorough understanding of the business and professional services landscape will be invaluable for the company as we enter our next phase of growth. Myself and the team are delighted to have his know-how, drive and guidance for the journey ahead.”

Sir Sandy said: “I’ve known Callum for a number of years and have been impressed by Amiqus’ rapid move from an early stage concept to a revenue-generating business. I’m pleased to be on board to help build value for one of the most promising tech startups in Scotland.”


New QikService Management TeamQikServe, the multi-channel order and payment company, has appointed several key management team members as the company prepares for significant international expansion.

  • Stuart Bell, formerly of Atom Bank & BSkyB joins as Chief Technology Officer
  • Samuel Peachey, formerly of Craneware joins as Chief Financial Officer
  • Sif Rai, formerly of Touch Bionics and Blackford Analysis joins as Chief Marketing Officer

In addition, QikServe is is moving to new office space at Randolph House in Edinburgh, after securing a £2.7 million funding round in January 2017.

Daniel Rodgers, co-founder and CEO, QikServe, said: “We are at a very exciting point in QikServe’s history and I’m delighted to welcome the latest members of our management team, each of whom brings exceptional skills and experience to support the next phase of our growth. As with many co-founders, Ronnie Forbes and I have taken on a number of responsibilities across the company, but it’s now time to bring in dedicated expertise and knowledge in key areas to accelerate our expansion.”


Justene Ewing WaracleMobile and IoT specialist Waracle has appointed Justene Ewing to lead and develop its digital health and care division. Formerly chief executive of the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), a Scottish Government Innovation Centre that supports sector growth through public and third sector collaboration, Justene has joined with a mandate to help tackle some of the significant challenges in the health and care sector.

Justene commented: “The challenges being presented to the global health and care sector in terms of finance and access to services are a significant concern for everyone. A focus on digital health and care will improve communication and empower people to become more involved in their own care, potentially in their own home environment, which should in turn lead to improved professional and patient outcomes. Waracle’s social ethos and commitment to responsible business principles is exceptional and I look forward to working with them.”

Chris Martin, CEO at Waracle, said: “Justene brings an extensive level of experience in business, technology, and the healthcare sector and she is a key appointment for Waracle and Exception. Justene will help us to deliver much needed support to the healthcare sector, helping to save organisations money while improving the quality of life for so many people.”

Digital Health & Care Institute

The University of Strathclyde-hosted Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) has appointed a new Chairman and Chief Executive. John Jeans has assumed the role of Chairman while Professor George Crooks will take over as Chief Executive.

Mr Jeans said: “On behalf of the whole board, I am very pleased to welcome George to his new executive role at DHI. As well as his outstanding experience at a senior level in Scottish health and social care, he is also already well acquainted with DHI, having previously served as its Chairman. Our combined experience in public and private spheres will allow us to guide DHI as it focuses on working with stakeholders to deliver the new core objectives set out by the Scottish Government. I would also like to thank David Clark for steering the organisation as interim Chief Executive during the last year of transition.”

Professor Crooks said: “Digital health and care is more important than ever in helping Scotland’s people to live longer, healthier lives and in creating new jobs for the economy. Having demonstrated the potential of such technologies in its first three years, DHI will now focus on identifying health and care problems where digital innovation can provide the greatest impact. It is an exciting time for all of us in the field and I’m looking forward to working closely with John and the rest of the DHI team.


Axis Animation

Axis Animation Art BookAxis Group has announced the launch of Axis Studios. The rebranding brings together the company’s three branches – Axis Animation, Flaunt Productions and axisVFX

The brands will function more collaboratively, enabling Axis Studios to tackle a greater range of large-scale projects in all three of the group’s UK locations, across every sector of the creative industries.

In addition all three studios – Axis Animation and Flaunt Productions in Glasgow as well as axisVFX in Bristol have increased their studio size to house a combined creative crew of 230 people, while Axis London plans to relocate to a new larger studio space in late summer 2017.

Richard Scott, the CEO of Axis Studios, said: “Axis Studios bolsters our ability to be involved in the most creatively challenging areas of the entertainment industry. Whatever the demands of the project, Axis Studios can look across three companies and locations to select the optimum creative approach, production workflow and culture. We’re not beholden to one set template. Collaboration is at the core of Axis Studios, ensuring every project is tailored to its requirements.”

To celebrate the creation of Axis Studios, the group will release a new art book detailing the work created behind the scenes at all three Axis Studios locations, from sci-fi to fantasy, from traditional to digital animation.


Dr Andrew Muir, co-founder and director, FarrpointFarrpoint celebrates its 10th anniversary with expansion to London. Edinburgh-based IT and infrastructure consultancy company FarrPoint has opened a new office in London to support its rapid expansion. The firm has seen its turnover increase by 28% in the last year and has expanded its team to 12 employees, a growth of over a third in the past twelve months.

Dr Andrew Muir, co-founder and Director of FarrPoint said: “We are delighted to be opening an office in London, this will be our new base south of the border as we continue to grow and work on new projects in the area. We have had a great start to the year, winning business and taking on staff. In the coming months we will be expanding our range of services and looking to further increase our client base, which would allow us to create more jobs.

“For the last decade we have worked in the public and private sectors across the UK from our Edinburgh base and we felt it was now time for FarrPoint to have a physical presence in London to better service our clients in the area. We have already delivered exciting and interesting projects with many local authorities and private companies in the south and we are looking to continue to build on this. There is strong demand for our independent advice on technology investment and deployment and our clients are delighted with the benefits our support provides”.


Shed 25 ‘Topping Out’ And The Introduction of Water’s Edge

Shed 25 Topping Out Water's Edge DundeeShed 25 is a new development in Dundee’s City Quay from tech entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns. The facility will offer cutting-edge business facilities, including office space for up to 50 people and co-working desks, meeting rooms and more importantly, ultra-fast broadband.

In addition, the development will also include a restaurant and cafe, claimed to be the largest in Dundee, overlooking the forthcoming City Quay marina.

At a topping out ceremony on Friday 23rd June, packed with YouTube stars, the duo revealed that the facility would be called Water’s Edge.

Chris van der Kuyl said, “When we bought Shed 25 it was literally a hole in the ground with half a roof. But thanks to our great friends and partners at Nicoll Russell Studios we’ve come up with this amazing concept.

“We created Water’s Edge to attract businesses with a real energy and appetite for innovation. By putting them all together in one space, we think exciting things will start to happen and success will be contagious. It’s going to be a fantastic space.”



Richard Higgs, Former CEO of brightsolidRichard Higgs the CEO of Dundee-based data centre and cloud company brightsolid has resigned, leaving the company at the end of this quarter.

Richard said; “Having completed a 7 year cycle as I did for my own company, I think it is the right time to move on. We have just completed a strategic review, the future is bright, fuelled by further innovations already in production, and solid growth is embedded in the business model. Our customers and partners have – and continue to provide – great inputs into the brightsolid model on the understanding that anything we do must be utterly reliable and aid agility in answering the real questions of their organisations we serve. So it is a great time to step back.

“It has been a privilege to work with such a fine and committed team for whom technical innovation and personal service are both a mission and second nature. To our shareholder, DC Thomson a huge thanks for backing and investing in the decision to build a world class data centre in Aberdeen as the Oil price crashed to $36 and for having the desire to make a difference in our society – a subject dear to everyone at brightsolid.”

Ellis Watson, Chairman of brightsolid, said; “Richard is a bundle of passion and energy and everyone here wishes him well with his continued success.”

Movers and shakers

Brian Baglow


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