People: The business diary

Allison Harrison, account manager at Innis & Gunn and owner of Hot Yoga Edinburgh
Allison Harrison, account manager at Innis & Gunn and owner of Hot Yoga Edinburgh
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An Innis & Gunn employee has been showing an entrepreneurial streak of her own by running a new wave of yoga classes.

Allison Harrison, an account manager with the Edinburgh-based brewer, took over the “hot yoga” business from a Finnish couple who introduced the version of hatha yoga in the Scots capital four years ago. Hot yoga, which is taught in a room heated to between 34 and 38 degrees centigrade, increases the workout for the body and allowing muscles to stretch more easily.

Harrison says getting the temperature right was a challenge when she introduced a regular class in Innis & Gunn’s Randolph Crescent HQ, but not as much of a challenge as getting chief executive and founder, Dougal Sharp, along to the weekly class.

Life’s a pitch

Entrepreneurial Scotland chairman Chris van der Kuyl kicks off Informatics Ventures’ next series of iV Tuesday entrepreneurial talks tomorrow evening at the Informatics Forum in Edinburgh.

Previous speakers have included Sir Bill Gammell and Arm Holdings founder, Sir Robin Saxby, while this season’s keynote speakers feature Skyscanner co-founder, Gareth Williams.

In a big week for the Informatics Ventures team, Wednesday sees a jointly organised event with Buckingham Palace take place at Dynamic Earth and Holyrood Palace. Titled Pitch@Palace Edinburgh, some of Scotland’s most promising entrepreneurs will be pitching in front of a panel of business leaders, HRH the Duke of York and Sir Tom Hunter for a place on a UK-wide accelerator programme taking place at St James’ Palace in London in November.

Start-up secrets

Sticking with entrepreneurship… the leaders of some of Scotland’s most successful start-ups are going to reveal the secrets of their success at a business event in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Opportunity Knocks, co-hosted by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Entrepreneurial Spark, Harper Macleod, Johnston Carmichael, Angels Den, Haines Watts and Alba Innovation Centre, is aimed at people involved in or interested in supporting Scotland’s start-up, early stage and high growth business sectors.

Taking place at the RBS HQ at Gogarburn, the showcase will see the owners of Scottish food delivery firm Flavourly and black taxi app Gett join other successful entrepreneurs who will pass on their advice and offer insight into what they have learned in turning their concept into a reality.

Jim Duffy, “chief executive optimist” at Entrepreneurial Spark and compere for the day-long event, says: “The UK start-up scene is booming and it’s exciting to see all the businesses growing in Entrepreneurial Spark but funding is one of the biggest barriers to growth for the entrepreneurs we support.

“Opportunity Knocks will let businesses and the individuals interested in supporting them connect and learn how to work together.”

McDonald’s new big draw

They’ve been the staple of children’s dining entertainment for decades, but the humble crayon and colouring sheet are coming up against their toughest challenge yet.

McDonald’s, which has been driving demand for bright sticks of wax since launching Happy Meals in 1979, is toying with the idea of introducing interactive table tops as part of its drive to create the fast food restaurant of the future.

Though not yet a confirmed addition to the programme, McDonald’s UK chief executive Paul Pomroy says they are being tested as a way of allowing families to play games before and during a meal.

Crayons will by no means be banished, but even so, suppliers such as Keeko (“Keeping Children Quiet & Happy!”) might just be feeling a bit off-colour.