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DIGIT Movers and Shakers: February 2021

Ross Kelly

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Movers and Shakers

In this edition of Movers and Shakers, sponsored by Quest Software, we explore the latest recruitment and awards news from Scotland’s technology sector.

Recruitment

Barrier Networks

Jordan Schroeder is set to join Barriers Networks in April as Managing CISO following four years at HEFISTIS.

In his new position, Schroeder will be heading up the government, risk and compliance unit of the firm and will expand his work with the public and private sectors across the UK.

In a statement on Twitter, Schroeder said: “It has always been my mission to provide inspiration and insight to the information security industry.

“And you can expect the same inspiration and insights into risk, complexity management, and human factors as ever, but now drawing on the resources of Barrier and its partners.

“I’d like to thank Ian M. and Iain Slater for supporting me in broadening my mission by inviting me to the Barrier team. I couldn’t be more excited to start this next chapter in my career.”


Topolytics

Waste-tech firm Topolytics has announced four new key hires, bringing its team up to 12 as it continues its ambitious growth plans on the back of a successful 2019/20.

Michael Lloyd joins the Edinburgh-based company as Chief Product Officer.

Lloyd is a business leader with extensive senior management and board experience and boasts a proven track record structuring and managing teams to optimise product development, delivery, and customer success.

He was an early hire into Craneware, the leading AIM-listed healthcare software provider, latterly heading up the Product Management Office. He has subsequently taken senior roles with Scottish tech startups such a Qikserve and SnapDragon-IP.

Chris Greening, the new Head of Engineering, has more than 26 years of experience in the tech industry with over 20 of those in senior leadership positions.

Greening brings a wealth of experience, having worked in mobile telecoms, retail banking, fintech, e-commerce and mobile app development. Latterly he has taken CTO roles at Scottish tech startups such as CareSourcer, MRM and Stampede.

Michael Antczak has been appointed as senior front-end software engineer, after contracting with Topolytics and having studied and worked at the University of Edinburgh. Antczak is also a leading light in the Scottish REACT community.

Kenneth Porter joins Topolytics as a data scientist.  He is an Environmental Science PhD and worked in environmental regulation before joining TVSquared, the leading TV analytics business, where he worked on a range of data science projects.

All four new hires are crucial in driving the company forward, with plans in place to expand the team further throughout 2021.

Dr Michael Groves, CEO at Topolytics said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to attract four strong and experienced professionals into Team Topo.

“They will play a vital role in moving the company forward as we take WasteMap® and associated analytics into new markets globally. Like other industries, waste and resources management is trying to maximise the opportunities created by new technologies and different market expectations.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of this global shift towards industry 4.0 and a circular economy.  We constantly learn and develop WasteMap® to ensure that we remain as a market leader in helping forward-thinking businesses make waste visible, verifiable and valuable.”


Creative Edinburgh

Social enterprise Creative Edinburgh has announced the appointment of three new directors to its board.

The new board members bring together a wide range of skills, experience and expertise, as well as extensive connections with other areas of the creative world.

They will work with Creative Edinburgh’s management team and steering group, to help the organisation to continue innovating and find new ways to support its community, which has been profoundly impacted by the ongoing pandemic and a year of disruption.

The new directors include Jeanie Scott, Brian Baglow and Michaela Turner.

Scott is a cultural consultant and the founder of Culture Radar. She has worked within the creative and cultural industries for over 20 years, supporting cultural leaders, creative organisations, research and policy agencies achieve their ambitions through strategic support, research and analysis, coaching and mentoring.

Turner is the business development manager of the Creative Informatics cluster. She has a demonstrated history of working at the interface of academia and industry, creating and developing relationships in a wide range of sectors, including the arts, education, technology and engineering.

Brian Baglow, founder of the Scottish Games Network, boasts more than 25 years’ experience in helping creative businesses grow and thrive, with a focus on creative digital transformation and applied gaming principles.

Commenting on the appointments, Jim Hollington, chair of Creative Edinburgh, said: “Over the last year, the creative community across Edinburgh has been dealing with a very challenging, volatile period.

“The pandemic has impacted every sector, creator and practitioner. The team at Creative Edinburgh has worked incredibly hard to adapt to the changing conditions and ensure that we could provide support to all of our members.”

Hollington added: “As a city with such a strong cultural focus and active creative community, we want to ensure that Creative Edinburgh can continue to lead from the front as a pioneer, an innovator and a champion of the city’s creators, artists and practitioners.

“Our new board members bring years of experience across a very broad range of sectors and skills, which will complement the strengths of the management team and our steering group, to help the organisation deliver an ever stronger and more successful 2021.”

Jessica Armstrong, the chair of the Creative Edinburgh steering group, added: “We are very excited to welcome these new members to the Board.

“They bring a depth of skills, knowledge and experience from a range of sectors as well as a passion to make a real and positive impact in the creative industries in Edinburgh and beyond.”


The February edition of DIGIT’s Movers and Shakers column is sponsored by Quest.

Dunedin IT

Technology and connectivity provider Dunedin IT appointed Rory McEwan as Director in February amid a period of exciting growth.

2020 saw a 300% increase in demand for Dunedin IT’s voice and data connectivity solutions as businesses demanded more flexibility and resilience in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional successes over the past year include achieving Microsoft Gold Certification and being named City Champion by CityFibre.

McEwan has over 25 years of experience in the telecoms industry, including founding Orca Telecoms, which was later acquired by Arrow.

Prior to joining Dunedin IT on a permanent basis, Rory worked with the company as a consultant, supporting its evolution from being solely a technology provider to a connectivity partner.

Commenting on his appointment, McEwan said: “As we become even more reliant on digital technologies, connectivity is key to a successful business plan, particularly for businesses with remote teams.

“Dunedin IT may have started as a technology provider but has now made the move into network services to become a fully-fledged connectivity partner. With technology a key enabler to recovery for the business community, I look forward to helping organisations across all sectors better understand how it can play a central role in increasing business resilience.”

David Inglis, Founding Director of Dunedin IT, added: “Rory has joined us at a pivotal time for our company and the wider industry in general.

“Our revenues and product offerings have increased, and in response we have seen a 50% growth in staff numbers over the past three years. We have been keen to add a director to help lead us in a new direction and we are confident Rory will support us on that journey.

“From an industry perspective, the role of technology in ensuring business resilience and continuity has never been clearer. With remote working no longer a trend, but accepted practice within business, we have seen significant interest from clients in providing connectivity as a managed service.

“Rory’s expertise in telecoms will support this interest as well as help Dunedin IT to continue to grow. We expect to continue this growth in the coming year and look forward to expanding our team further.”


iomart

iomart has announced the appointment of a Group Marketing Director to lead the managed cloud service provider’s brand acceleration strategy.

Sharon Mars Leach joins from professional services firm EY, where she was responsible for brand, marketing and communications strategy in Scotland. Her new role will see her take responsibility for marketing strategy across the iomart Group as the AIM-listed PLC continues to strengthen its brand within the growing market for cloud computing services.

Sharon Mars Leach said: “I’m joining iomart at an exciting time in its development, when there is a huge rise in cloud adoption. There’s enormous potential to widen awareness of the value we can bring to organisations as they re-shape their digital future. iomart is an industry leader and Scottish and UK success story whose progress I have followed over many years. I’m looking forward to bringing fresh insight and ideas into the business in order to accelerate our growth.”

Mars Leach is the first new addition to iomart’s management team since Reece Donovan took over as CEO in October 2020, reinforcing iomart’s desire to strengthen its management team to deliver on its growth strategy.

Reece Donovan said: “We are delighted to welcome Sharon to the iomart management team. She has a wealth of strategic experience gained from advising global companies and I look forward to working with her as we continue to drive our business forward.”

Mars Leach spent nine years with BIG Partnership, one of the UK’s largest independent marcomms agencies, working with clients such as Deloitte, Transport for London, Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK and Scottish governments and the Commonwealth Games.

She led the agency’s expansion into the northwest of England and joined the board as a director before leaving to set up as a freelance consultant, advising tech startups and FTSE 100 businesses. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Chartered Institute of Marketing.


North

IoT service and solutions provider, North, has appointed industry figure Paul Comerford as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The appointment comes as the company embarks on a new growth strategy and will see Comerford join North’s executive leadership team, reporting directly to CEO Glen Williams, who joined the business at the start of this year.

Comerford brings more than 35 years’ experience and joins from IT and Unified Communications’ services provider, Allvotec where he held the role of COO. Previously, he was responsible for driving operational vision and strategy and prior to this, he held senior management positions at Unisys, BT and Damovo.

As part of his new role, Comerford will play an integral part of the senior leadership team to implement North’s vision and values. With a remit to embed operational and service excellence, he will integrate service delivery, operations, project delivery, and HSEQ to create greater synergies and streamline processes.

Commenting on his appointment, Comerford said: “The market opportunity for North is vast. The business already benefits from a strong reputation, an experienced team and a clear plan to tap into existing and new markets such as IoT and 5G. It’s a great time to be joining the business and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to transform North into an unrivalled end-to-end managed service provider.”

Glen Williams, CEO for North, added: “Paul’s appointment to our team evidences our commitment to building a robust, forward-looking senior leadership team that can help drive and execute our strategy.

“Paul is a commercial and operationally focussed executive leader, with decades of experience delivering change for ICT organisations. This expertise, coupled with his collaborative and flexible management style will add real value to our business.”


Scottish Business Resilience Centre

Entrepreneur and angel investor Paul Atkinson has been named as the new Chair of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC).

Atkinson joins the SBRC as it seeks to further highlight and support Scottish businesses through tumultuous times.

As part of this mission, the organisation has introduced new initiatives to help promote cybersecurity. These include non-technical training programmes, and an updated version of its ‘Exercise in a Box’ programme, which provides workshops around certain cyberattacks.

2020 has been a bumper year for cyberattacks. In addition to high-profile hacks, the rise of remote working and cloud-based services has increased the risk of cybersecurity issues.

With considerable experience in working with technology and services companies, Atkinson will work closely with the SBRC’s board and CEO Jude McCorry to further reinforce the value of the organisation to Scottish businesses.

Commenting on Atkinson’s appointment, McCorry said: “Over the last 12 months, the SBRC has launched many training programmes and initiatives to not only increase knowledge about cyber resilience but to support overall business resilience in Scotland as we all battle the effects of the pandemic.

“Throughout this, Paul has been heavily involved with the SBRC, particularly in steering the hugely successful Scottish Business Cares initiative. He not only brings significant experience as a Chair but as one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs, he has a passion for technology which will support the SBRC as it further evolves.”

Speaking about his new role, Atkinson, who is a founding partner of Par Equity and non-executive Chairman of Taranata Group, said: “Jude and the wider team have transformed the SBRC over the last year and its success is testament to the incredible effort which has been put in.

“In parallel, we have also seen more organisations fall victim to cyberattacks, highlighting the fact that no business can afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to IT Security.

“Given the many issues the business community continues to face; it is more important than ever that they are equipped to approach the ongoing challenge of cyber resilience.”


Awards

LiberEat

LiberEat, a platform which offers bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options and recipes to users with allergies and dietary requirements, was selected as a winner of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 3.0 competition.

The Rising Stars competition is a national early-stage tech scaleup competition aimed at showcasing some of the country’s most exciting companies. On average winners of the Rising Stars competition go on to raise £352k and grow their workforce by 70%.

Ten companies across the country were selected as part of this year’s competition, with winners seeing off more than 330 applications. Alongside LiberEat, winners include Liverpool-based startup, SupplyWell and Northern Irish firm Elemental.

Commenting on the announcement, LiberEat Managing Director Barry Leaper said: “We’re really excited to be named as a winner of Tech Nation Rising Stars, especially given the impressive group of finalists.

“The team at LiberEat have achieved a huge amount in the last year despite the difficult environment and it’s great to have this opportunity from Tech Nation to raise awareness of our story, just as we have begun growing the business rapidly and have several exciting announcements coming.”

Want to find out more? Check out the original story here.


Topolytics

An exciting month for Topolytics as the company scooped up the Innovation Award at the MRW National Recycling Awards.

The MRW National Recycling Awards bring together recycling and waste management professionals to recognise and celebrate best practice and innovation in recycling and waste management.

The firm was praised for its efforts in modernising global waste management by enabling producers to understand how much waste they generate by type, what happens to their waste and its associated carbon impact.

Topolytics’ Wastemap software, a waste data analytics platform which uses machine learning to make the world’s waste more visible and verifiable, has just been given an Innovation Award at the MRW National Recycling Awards 2021.

Commenting on the award win, Topolytics CEO Michael Groves said: “We are delighted to be recognised with a prestigious National Recycling Award. There are huge technological advancements being made in waste management, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this, helping forward-thinking businesses map out their future strategies on waste and materials.”

Corin Williams, MRW editor, said: “The standard of entries this year was very impressive indeed and the winners had to see off a lot of stiff competition. I am once again amazed at the strength and depth in the sector.

“This has a challenging year for us all and the commitment from the thousands of employees represented at the NRAs has been inspirational. They are keeping the country going and are lighting the way to a more resource-efficient future.”


Scottish Cyber Community Awards

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has revealed the winners of its first Cyber Community Awards.

Hosted virtually by comedian Fred MacAuley, the awards recognise and celebrate the contribution of individuals and organisations which help keep Scotland’s online community safe.

From mentors to educators, the inaugural awards have marked a moment to recognise how small changes can make a huge difference to the safety of people online – particularly amid an era when so much discussion around cybersecurity focuses on the negative impact.

Five awards were given to individuals and organisations from a range of industries and sectors, spanning education and the public, private and third sectors.

On the night, Allan Goodwill of Abertay University scooped up the SBRC Student Community Champion award while Annabel Turner of CyberSafe Scotland secured the SBRC Cyber Community Hero award.

Perth and Kinross Council’s Education and Children’s Services was also recognised in the Outstanding Cyber Community Event category for its Getting it Right…Keeping Your Child Safe programme.

In addition to the main categories at the Cyber Community Awards, Gordon McDonald of Police Scotland was recognised with a Special Recognition Award. Judges said Constable Macdonald has shown “incredible initiative when it comes to keeping people safe online in his constabulary”.

In the past year, Macdonald has engaged extensively with primary school parents and led online webinars aimed at improving online safety.

The SBRC ‘Shine the Light’ Awards were also granted to Alison Stone, SCVO, Beverly Bowles, Police Scotland, Jana Vidis, IFB, Michael McCullagh, Police Scotland and Robbie Ross of Converged Communication Solutions.

Want to read more? Check out the original article here.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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