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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Largest Showcase of Innovative Scottish Companies to Date at Venturefest Scotland 2016

25/08/2016 - This year’s Venturefest Scotland innovation summit will host one of the largest collections of innovative companies of any Venturefest event across the UK.

Comprising 33 of Scotland’s most innovative companies, the showcase will help inspire other businesses to put innovation at the heart of their activities.

Event attendees can chat to these businesses for advice on how to implement innovative practices and network with them to create new connections and business opportunities.

Each company selected to participate in the innovation showcase, which this year is supported by Marks & Clerk, will demonstrate innovation in action through the development of new products and services for new markets, new processes and business models and new methods of incorporating workplace innovation.

Companies confirmed to participate in the innovation showcase come from all over Scotland, represent a variety of industry sectors and are at different stages of business growth. What they all have in common is a desire to grow their business using innovation. A sample of the 33 businesses participating includes:
  • CarGo Seat, inventor of the booster seat that converts to a roller travel suitcase that was seen on BBC3’s Be Your Own Boss programme
  • Edinburgh Molecular Imaging’s revolutionary medical diagnostic imaging products
  • Ecom’s workforce learning and development information using innovative technologies
  • Global Trail, creator of location-based trail apps for book lovers, film enthusiasts and visitors to attractions and tourism destinations
  • Scoop’s automatic monitoring of social media to give instant alerts to breaking news stories as they happen, and before they hit mainstream media
  • SwarmOnline, a four-year-old web and mobile app development company providing solutions to multiple industries including the Energy, Oil & Gas, Property, Health & Wellness, Finance and Public Sector

Jim Watson, Director of Innovation and Enterprise Services at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “As Scotland’s innovation agency, we believe raising Scotland’s levels of business innovation is vital to our long term economic growth. To achieve this, we’re encouraging more companies to act on new ideas and innovations for commercial success.

“Venturefest Scotland is the ideal place for businesses to make all the connections they need to scale up and develop their competitiveness. Whether it’s finding a collaborative partner, exploring a new export market or honing pitching skills, you can access it all under one roof.”

Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said: “New ideas are a spark that helps stimulates growth in our economy, which is why we’re fully committed to supporting an increase in business innovation and entrepreneurs.

“This is a central part of our economic strategy, which we are driving forward to protect and create jobs and prosperity.

“I am sure Venturefest will be a really important way to bring together cutting edge companies and expertise in innovation to make sure that even more great Scottish ideas are turned into success stories.”

Susie Logan, Head of Business Marketing at Standard Life – sponsor of Venturefest Scotland 2016, said: “At Standard Life we’re committed to supporting our SME clients and we collaborate with many innovative smaller businesses too. Like Venturefest, we recognise the importance of SMEs to our business and to helping our wider community to thrive. I’m delighted we’re supporting Venturefest for a second year and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the innovative businesses who will showcase there.”

This year’s Venturefest Scotland has the theme of Innovation and Design as enablers of business growth to reflect 2016 being Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

Inspiring industry leaders will be talking on this theme as part of Venturefest Scotland, with keynote speakers already confirmed including Keith Brown MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work; Chris van der Kuyl, Founder, Owner and Chairman of 4J Studios; Kevin Baughan, Chief Development Officer at Innovate UK; and Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise.

Charlie Rohan, who is Senior Director of User Centred Design at NCR, joins the list of confirmed speakers and will be talking about his experience of designing, developing and implementing new technology solutions that benefit the widest possible range of users.

Trained as an industrial designer, Charlie was one of the small team of designers responsible for industrial design and human factors for the first range of NCR Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) which were sold globally. Charlie has held several positions within NCR and participated in the US ATM Task Force that developed recommendations for the disabled user access requirements for ATMs and has been involved in the formation of and participation on standards committees for accessible self-service in UK, Canada and Australia.

Venturefest Scotland is a free one day event takes place on 1 September 2016 at the Glasgow Science Centre and brings together small and medium sized ambitious Scottish companies, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to connect and explore ways of growing and innovating.

The event was held for the first time last year and was a major success, attracting around 700 business owners, influencers, investors, entrepreneurs and academics from Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas.

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