People: The business diary

Carina and Victor Contini plan to leave their spectral guest a few nibbles once their latest cafe is up and running. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Carina and Victor Contini plan to leave their spectral guest a few nibbles once their latest cafe is up and running. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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Keen to put her simmering row with Westminster education secretary Michael Gove behind her, Theresa May sought sanctuary in a data centre run by Glasgow-based web hosting specialist, Iomart.

The Home Secretary was at the site, in her Maidenhead constituency, to officially open a multi-million pound extension and said: “It was fascinating seeing what we know as ‘the cloud’ for the first time.”

May will no doubt be hoping that the clouds hanging over her and Gove will start to clear after he apologised to Prime Minister David Cameron for the very public disagreement between the two on the best way to deal with extremism.

The extension to Iomart’s data centre, one of eight across the UK, took 12 months to complete. Chief executive Angus MacSween, who recently described the campaign for Scottish independence as a “very silly idea”, said: “Our data centres are the motorways of the future and this facility enables us to provide flexible and bespoke services to our customers and puts us at the heart of the next generation of software-defined data centre technology.”

It’s a piece of cake...

Things are looking up for the resident ghost at Cannonball House, the base of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which is being converted into a three-storey cafe by husband-and-wife team Victor and Carina Contini.

After the spectral apparition of a small girl sent a workman at the 16th century former schoolhouse fleeing to colleagues, Carina has decided to keep the phantom on side and will be leaving a piece of cake and cup of tea out for her at nights once the eatery is up and running.

She says she’s never believed in ghosts, but if there is one she would rather it be happy.

Hammer does it gently

A MINUTE was all it took Dr Steven Hammer to tickle judges at the latest Converse Challenge event with his finger-mounted probe for diagnosing prostate cancer.

Thirty hopefuls from the student and academic communities tried the “elevator pitch”, taking 60 seconds to distil their business ideas in front of a distinguished roll call of academic figures and investors at the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s George Street base last week.

The winner was Hammer’s eFinger, which allows “a non-invasive, non-subjective numerical diagnosis of prostate disease”.

The research associate at Heriot-Watt University will now submit a business plan as he attempts to reach the final of the £60,000 Converse Challenge.

Magnusson at the helm

Broadcaster Sally Magnusson is down as the host for the Social Enterprise Exchange leadership dinner later this month in Glasgow.

The event – a partnership between Social Enterprise Scotland and the SCDI – aims to spur “meaningful engagement between social enterprises and the public and private sectors”. It will take place on Tuesday 24 June at the Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow.

Joining Magnusson will be Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney, who is due to deliver the opening address.

Guests will also hear from Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite and one of the country’s top young social entrepreneurs. His chain of four high street sandwich shops donates its profits to social causes and employs a quarter of its workforce from the homeless community.

Barry and Marc look high

Barry Park, managing director of Aberdeen-based energy services and engine parts firm OEM Diesel Products, is planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year alongside his business support executive, Marc Currie.

They will be tackling Africa’s highest peak in February to raise £10,000 to help youngster Rebecca Gibson, who suffers from a rare heart condition called Ebstein’s Anomaly. The duo initially planned to complete a trek across the Jordan desert, but felt they wanted to set themselves a harder challenge.