Jen Scott, North East Digital Development Manager, ScotlandIS
It’s hard to believe it’s less than six months since the doors opened at ONE Tech Hub. Since opening in June we’ve seen a huge surge in events and activity across the ecosystem. In my role as digital development manager it’s been great to be working in this inspirational space and see first-hand a growing and vibrant digital community emerge.
A key priority for the ScotlandIS & ONE Digital & Entrepreneurship partnership is to support engagement across the North East digital community, facilitating and supporting company development, customer engagement and connection with the wider Scottish industry and academia.
The last few weeks have been particularly busy for the tech industry in the North East with a wide range of events and activity.
We were delighted to host the first regional meeting of the ScotlandIS Cyber on 29 October, which was a great opportunity for companies with a cyber interest to hear from Ciara Mitchell, ScotlandIS’ new Head of ScotlandIS Cyber, about plans for the cluster and how members can get involved. We also heard from RGU about their upcoming cyber conference and had an opportunity to network. Aberdeen has a vibrant and expanding cyber community and it was great to have representation from SMEs, start-ups, Energy companies, academia and Police Scotland. Any cyber companies interested in being part of the community might be interested in the next cyber meet-up on 30th January in the ONE Tech Hub.
A number of industry events have taken place recently, including an amazing launch party for Barclays Eagle Lab, ‘Aberdeen does Fintech’ hosted by the University of Aberdeen, the launch of Digital Future Capital, the first actively managed specialist cryptocurrency hedge fund in the UK, a Data Lab Exec Ed session on Driving Value from Data, and the ONE CodeBase meetup, where we heard from inspirational business founders about their experience of building and scaling their digital tech companies. I met lots of members of the local tech community at these events, which are a great way to find out about the incredible tech being developed in the region and to discuss how we can work together to help showcase the expertise in the NE.
Creating an environment for start-ups and established companies to grow is another key focus area for us and I’ve been delighted to be part of the Stage Gate Review panel for the ONE Digital Accelerator, a programme run in partnership with Elevator. This month I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the seven participating companies better and to hear about their progress in developing their market research and digital product. The accelerator supports start-up, early stage and growth companies who are looking to develop digital solutions for commercial or industry deployment and includes smart home technology solutions (ScotlandIS member TL Technologies), a blockchain based AI powered software platform for the food and drink industry and an online recruitment platform focusing on flexible/freelance/consulting roles.
We will be looking to develop further business growth and skills development programmes in 2020 and are engaging across the community to identify and understand requirements to create collaborative and relevant programmes. Look out for further updates in the new year.
Coming up we are excited to have the second of our Digital Ecosystem Forums at the ONE Tech Hub – look out for details coming soon! Our speaker will be Sand Monitoring Services, who have worked with several ecosystem partners in recent years. Why not come along and find out more about their journey, as well as meeting the members of the ecosystem support network – ScotlandIS, Opportunity North East, Scottish Enterprise, CENSIS, Data Lab, OGTC, OGIC, Interface, Skills Development Scotland.
Look out for announcements of lots more North East ScotlandIS events in the coming weeks – a regional data cluster event in January, a ScotlandIS meetup event in Aberdeenshire, a series of marketing meetups and a North East Software Engineering Leaders Forum. If you’d like to find out more about any of these events or would like to meet for a coffee to introduce your company and be part of the community, please get in touch with me by email.