Less than a decade ago, the patch of land in
The island is also home to a new generation of tech innovators. At the
A few years ago,
Founded 2009 Headcount seven
What is it? Software for independent retailers.
How did it come about? Running a
How does it work? The company was an early developer of cloud ePOS (
How are they doing? "We've licensed the technology to Just Eat and teamed up with PayPal on their in-store payment technology, PayPal Here."
Founded 2008 Headcount three
What is it? A biotech company attempting to make drug delivery "smarter".
How did it come about? When her TV producer husband was moved to
How does it work? "We don't believe you need another drug to cure diseases like cancer, diabetes or skin disorders. Available drugs are good enough - the problem is that they're not smart enough." SiSaf's delivery system allows drugs to target affected areas very precisely.
Founded 2011 Headcount six
What is it? A games company developing mobile apps and a digital comic platform.
How did it come about? Four years ago, Maguire, an animator and visual effects expert who worked on
How are they doing? Last year, they released their first app,
Launched 2013 Headcount five
What is it? A robot that brews beer.
How does it work? The brewer connects to the machine via the Brewbot mobile app, chooses or creates a recipe, starts the machine and adds the ingredients when prompted. "It's the perfect controlled environment for making beer, but we didn't want it to be completely automatic," says McClelland, head of product-design company Cargo. "If you make changes, Brewbot will remember."
How are they doing? "We travelled to
Founded 2011 Headcount six
What is it? JAR provides products for the application performance testing market.
What does that mean? "Basically, these products make sure software and applications work when they're deployed to the customer," says Hunter.
How are they doing? "We're 100% export," says Nicolls. "The market is picking up speed in
WOMEN WHO CODE
Founded 2013 Members 91
What is it? New branch of the women coders meet-up group.
How did it come about? A conversation with the founder of Women Who Code, an organisation with roots in
How is it doing? "I founded it 30 days ago and we've just had our first packed-out event," Atcheson said late last year.
What is it? Two-week summer courses in app development for university students.
How did it come about? "
Founded 2013 Headcount five
What is it? A video tagging platform with a focus on fashion.
How did it come about? A year ago, Scott heard a friend complaining that he'd seen a jacket he liked on TV and had spent hours trying to find it on Google. The search was fruitless but it gave Scott the inspiration to start Taggled.
How does it work? "Video bloggers or brands coming to our platform can tag the content through drag-and-drop," says Morris. "Then, whether on a blog or social network, they can access the info by clicking on the tag. If the viewer clicks through to a retail site and buys the product, we get a commission and share the profit with the blogger."
Founded 2011 Headcount nine
What is it? A tournament platform that lets gamers compete for real-world prizes.
How does it work? "We connect brands to gamers through their favourite games," says Taylor. The platform allows gamers to compete for brand-sponsored prizes. What's unique, says Taylor, is "we can take scores from any game and put them on the same leaderboard."
How are they doing? They have raised pounds 850,000 over three funding rounds.
Founded 2013 Headcount two
What is it? A low-cost solar water-heating system.
How does it work? "In essence, it's a black tank on the side of your house," says Smith, a reader in solar-thermal energy at the
How did it come about? "I developed the concept through my research. We patented the technology and spun out the company (SolaForm) around the product. It only came into existence last July, so it's very early days."
Founded 2012 Headcount three
What is it? A company developing porous nano-materials for applications in clean energy and other areas.
How does it work? Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline materials composed of metal ions and organic molecules known as linkers. They act as molecular sponges and, due to their extremely high surface area, are very good at storing gases such as methane and hydrogen.
Where are they? "We've been in a research phase for last year," says James. "Now we're moving into a commercial phase." Applications include carbon capture and natural gas storage.
Founded 2012 Headcount 22
What is it? Screen-sharing software for computers and mobile devices.
How did it come about? Co-founders
How does it work? The software lets the user share their computer screen with any number of devices, including mobiles and tablets. It allows teachers to share lessons or any content from their computers and students can take screen captures or make notes on the app."
Founded 2008 Headcount nine core staff and 76 on contract.
What is it? Animation studio making innovative children's TV programmes.
How did it come about? After a career producing commercials, Williams returned to his roots in design and animation. His company's first show was Sesame Tree for the
How are they doing? One of the
Founded 2008 Headcount Current membership is 2,154, covering 322 businesses across the province.
What is it? An organisation to support and promote digital industries.
How did it come about? A biologist by training, Johnston started a series of tech companies in
How does it work? The organisation, led by a steering group of local figures, provides guidance to startups on funding, investment, export and business.
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