Accountancy and business advisory firm Johnston Carmichael has announced the launch of a new Tech Advisory Board to help Scottish businesses access advice on growth and scaling.
The group, which includes seven external advisers and includes some of Scotland’s most senior figures in the sector, incorporates entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors to advise on “all aspects of the growth journey”.
It will provide Johnston Carmichael’s existing in-house team with guidance and support on strategy and delivery, and will directly connect group members with clients and contacts of the firm.
Johnston Carmichael says that a key ambition of the panel is “encouraging homegrown businesses to expand internationally”.
Members of the group include:
- Grant Smith, board member at The Data Lab.
- Polly Purvis OBE, former director at Intelligent Growth Solutions and former CEO of ScotlandIS.
- Giles Hamilton, CEO of Inverness-based life sciences business ODx.
- Alisdair Gunn, CFO at tech and digital start-up advisory firm Framewire.
- Les Gaw, a non-executive director and early-stage adviser and CEO of Contigens.
- Brendan Waters, corporate finance advisor to tech businesses including Fan Duel.
- Hazel McIntyre, CFO at Current Health and Lomond Capital.
Commenting on the news, advisory board member Polly Purvis said: “Johnston Carmichael’s Tech Advisory Board is a really exciting development for growing businesses in Scotland’s burgeoning technology sector.
“The past year has demonstrated that many of the traditional barriers to international expansion are now greatly reduced, with an increasing range of reliable technology tools enabling long-distance business to be conducted remotely and enabling teams to work effectively from locations around the globe.
“We look forward to working with companies that have ambitious plans for internationalisation. With more and more Scottish firms looking to dip their toes in global waters, it’s a really exciting time for the Scottish tech ecosystem.
“We’ll be using our experience to advise businesses on the funding and investment opportunities open to them and the challenges they may face along the way as they seek to start-up and scale-up, and we look forward to working with Johnston Carmichael’s team to do this.”
The external members will also be joined by Shaun Millican, Partner and Head of Technology and Life Sciences at Johnston Carmichael, and Andrew Holloway, Corporate Tax Director and the Head of the firm’s Entrepreneurial Taxes Team.
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Millican commented: “We’re extremely proud to introduce our first Tech Advisory Board, whose deep knowledge and experience will significantly enhance our in-house expertise and help growing business access the specialist advice they need.
“From working at home to remote schooling, technology has become a very significant part of all of our lives over the past year and its importance to recovering and growing our economy can’t be overstated.
“We want to ensure businesses operating in the sector, regardless of their size, have access to the support required to help them grow and contribute to the country’s future success.”
Scotland’s digital economy, which includes software, IT, digital communications, electronics, sensors and phototonics, is worth £7.5bn to Scottish GDP annually.
Across the country, the tech sector employs 100,000 and according to research conducted by ScotlandIS, one-third of firms expect to grow following the pandemic, particularly in cloud services, digital connectivity, remote working technology, and digital health solutions.