Talented digital Scots plump for global success

Creative Scots working in the country’s booming digital sector met last week at the 360D summit in Glasgow to debate the industry’s future, before agreeing to build on Scotland’s strong international presence.

Boasting impressive credentials in the digital creative sector, Scotland employs nearly 70,000 people in the industry, turning over £5.5 billion each year and contributing £3.1 billion to the economy.

350 visitors attended the Glasgow event hearing from leading Scottish lights in the tech, mobile, media and gaming industries including FanDuel’s Nigel Eccles debated how the sector should go ‘glocal’ by further extending its international footprint.

During his fireside chat, Eccles cited the importance of being both brave and creative when looking to achieve success at home and abroad with a new business.

Currently employing 400 people between the UK and US, Scottish founded FanDuel is the market leader in daily fantasy sports in North America. The firm will open its first Glasgow office this week.

Nigel Eccles, CEO & co-founder, FanDuel said: “I’m very proud of what FanDuel has achieved so far and the rate at which we have grown, especially within the last 12 months, is testament to the Scottish digital sector and the talented individuals who work within it.”

Six Scottish companies took part in the inaugural ‘Soapbox’ event, with each taking pitching their business concept and vision for the next 3.6 years to judges in 3.6 minutes.

Edinburgh based shopping app developer Mallzee was crowned champion at the inaugural Soapbox event – showcasing the company’s rapid rise to prominence as it continues to seek international dominance with its retail mobile app.

Cally Russell CEO of Mallzee commented on Scotland’s future role in the digital sector: “There is a wealth of talent and creativity in Scotland but I have found the key to success lies in ‘going global’. Digital doesn’t respect borders and in the same vein, if Scotland wants to continue prospering on the global stage, we must consistently look for the next big opportunity, wherever it may be.”

Leading creatives Jon Bradford CEO of Techstars and Steve Perry CEO of Visa Europe Collab also spoke about what is spearheading the industry’s growth and the evolving relationship between big corporations and emerging start-ups.

David Smith, Director of Technology, Engineering and Creative Industries at Scottish Enterprise said: “Our approach to the creative industries continues to place a major emphasis on encouraging and supporting innovation at the intersection of the creative and high–tech economies. Since 2013 Interactive Scotland has assisted 417 companies, connecting them to business advice, new business opportunities in sectors such as Financial Services, Tourism, Digital Health and Food and Drink.

"Taken together, Interactive Scotland’s activities have delivered more than £4 million in additional attributable revenue to clients. Scotland is quite rightly proud to have such a hot bed of creative talent on its door step, and we look forward to continuing our nurturing and sharing of these talents with the world.”

The event also housed an interactive tech pop-up zone where attendees could experience at first-hand some of the latest and daring developments by Scottish businesses and universities.

Alistair Brown, Chief Technology and Platforms Officer at STV said: “Events like 360D are vital to the digital sector in Scotland, not only to share best practice but also so we can develop our community. At STV we’re always looking at how we can best meet the needs our customers and advertisers across all our platforms and 360D creates a forum where we can discuss up-to-the-minute views on how we do this.”

The summit, organised by Interactive Scotland, a Scottish Enterprise funded service supporting and advising companies across Scotland’s digital and creative industries, also invited audiences to engage with digital visionaries during the ‘Future Worlds’ session, discussing future trends.

Since 2008, there has been a 33 per cent increase in Scottish digital enterprises, with 1920 more companies registering in Scotland.

In 2014 alone 530 digital outfits registered, taking the total tally up to 5,725 as of January 2015.

Notes to editors

Issued on behalf of Scottish Enterprise by Weber Shandwick, PR Consultants. For more information, contact: Rory Brown, Rachel Moreland or Paula McNulty at Weber Shandwick on + 44 (0)131 556 6649 or rory.brown@webershandwick.com / rmoreland@webershandwick.com / pmcnulty@webershandwick.com

Additional information on Scottish Enterprise and the 360D summit is available at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/ and http://www.360d.org.uk/

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Interactive Scotland
Scottish Enterprise’s Interactive Scotland project was set up to support growth of the digital media sector in Scotland, through providing a diverse range of business support services. With core activities delivered by PA Consulting, the project is now in its 6th Year of delivery, and aims to support Scotland to become a global leader in the design, development and adoption of digital media products and services.
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