Scotland has a long history of producing game-changing innovations and the kind of inventive genius needed to make the next big thing happen; these are the next set of entrepreneurs to watch in 2017 and beyond.
Ed Molyneux, chief executive at FreeAgent
As it joins the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim), FreeAgent will be bringing its accounting software-as-a-service to a much wider audience. Being quoted on Aim will thrust founder and chief executive Ed Molyneux into the spotlight as he tells more small businesses about the benefits of his software.
Magnus and Fiona Houston, founders of Fishbox
Husband-and-wife team Magnus and Fiona Houston run Fishbox, the seafood subscription service that delivers fish to customers from boat to plate in just 48 hours. Its sister company, fish wholesaler Coast & Glen, supplies restaurants and hotels, including Gordon Ramsay and the Wright brothers, and will continue to make a “splash” in London.
Calum Paterson, managing partner at Scottish Equity Partners
Venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners recently raised £260 million to invest in technology companies. Managing partner Calum Paterson’s fifth fund was oversubscribed – no surprise given his track record investing in companies like flight comparison website Skyscanner, clothing firm Matchesfashion and online car finance specialist Zuto.
Alan Mahon, co-founder of Brewgooder
Alan Mahon, co-founder of craft beer brand Brewgooder, donates 100 per cent of the profits from his beers to fund clean water projects around the world. His new Game Changer and Well Digger tipples are going on sale at Brewdog’s bars across London – including Camden, Shoreditch and Soho – and beyond.
Luke Johnson, chief executive and managing director at Cognitive Geology
Cognitive Geology, which makes geological modelling software, is already a member of the London Stock Exchange’s Elite programme, with managing director Luke Johnson eyeing the possibility of joining the Alternative Investment Market as early as 2018. The firm also presented to investors at this autumn’s Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) event in London.
Esther Stringer, managing director at Border Crossing
From its base in Leith, managing director Esther Stringer is spreading the appropriately-named Border Crossing Media further afield. She’s preparing to open an office in London, where she already has clients including insurance brokers Lockton Companies, adding to the likes of NHS24, the Scottish Government and Lothian Buses.
James Varga, CEO at The ID Co
James Varga founded The ID Co to help solve the challenge of trust in the internet. Another of the firms pitching to investors at EIE16 in London, its products DirectID and miiCard help consumers share identity and financial data securely and conveniently online.
Steve Tigar, chief executive at Money Dashboard
After securing £2.7m of investment from Calculus Capital and joining the London Stock Exchange's Elite programme, Edinburgh-based Money Dashboard has continued to develop its personal finance assistance app. The opening banking standards being introduced by the Competition and Markets Authority will help boss Steve Tigar to grow his firm even more.
David Ferguson, chief executive at Nucleus
It's ten years since David Ferguson launched Nucleus, the "wrap" software platform that allows financial advisors to see all of their clients' investments in the same place. He recently hired Rachel Vahey to boost Nucleus' pensions and tax expertise as financial advisors gear up for Brexit.
Chris Martin, chief executive at Waracle
Chris Martin's Dundee-based mobile app developer, Waracle, already has boots on the ground in London and counts Imperial College as one of its customers. Following Waracle's takeover by Edinburgh-based Exception this year, expect the two companies to work together to grow their client list.
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