Trio win Scots heat of KPMG start-up contest
Cyan Forensics and Intelligent Growth Solutions of Edinburgh, and Glasgow’s Clinspec Diagnostics were selected for demonstrating unique product innovation, market potential, and a passion for international expansion.
The trio – along with eight other shortlisted companies – were invited to KPMG’s Edinburgh offices to pitch to judges including Chris Gauld, partner at digital due diligence firm D3; Matt Little, founder and chief executive of Blue Ocean Insight; Ishbel MacPherson from Scotland Women in Technology; Tony Robison, partner at Scottish Equity Partners in Technology; and James Kergon and Amy Burnett from KPMG.
The three businesses will now prepare to pitch alongside 13 others in front of an audience of investors and specialists in London next month at KPMG’s Best British Tech Pioneer competition. If successful, they will travel to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where they’ll be able to demonstrate their product and make one final pitch to an international audience.
Cyan Forensics won over the judges with its unique digital tools that enable law enforcement, cloud companies and social media platforms to find and block harmful content generated by cyber criminals, paedophiles and terrorists.
Its chief executive Ian Stevenson said its technology “runs extraordinarily quickly, so we can help the police find evidence in minutes, whereas currently techniques can take many hours”.
He added: “It’s really exciting for us at the moment. The more opportunity we get to stand in front of people and tell them about our story, the more support we get – and that’s a great part of our journey.”
Vertical farming specialist Intelligent Growth Solutions’ offering could help solve challenges created by population growth and climate change.
Boss David Farquhar said: “IGS has developed the world’s first vertical farm in a box, which is designed to solve some of the world’s food problems. We have various patents now and we have invented things that no one else has thought of… Ultimately, that natural Scottish spirit of inquisition and invention has really helped us.”
ClinSpec Diagnostics was chosen as a ‘wild card’. The company has developed what is claimed to be the world’s first cost-effective blood test for brain cancer, with a mission to be a global leader in blood analysis, using artificial intelligence for early detection of cancers and other diseases.
KPMG’s private enterprise manager Amy Burnett, said Scotland’s scale-up community is “thriving”, with the competition focused on finding talent and giving it the chance to immediately access a global audience.
She said: “We’re incredibly proud to send three amazing entrepreneurial leaders from Scotland to sell our innovation to a national, and hopefully global, audience.”