Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Sponsored Post: Innovation in Scotland

When I heard that Virgin Media Business was looking to support game-changing digital innovations I was interested. When I was offered the chance to write about the Three New Things project, a search for ideas and projects that deserve more public attention and an award event later on in March with key influencers and commentators I was happy to write about it. There’s a prize of up to £25,000 in free business telecoms available.

My mind immediately turned to work and home. I spend as much of my time as possible looking for innovation in media. Media, as I define it, is the art-and-science of connecting with people. Innovation is popular; brands want it. The catch is that true innovation is hard, it is complex and it is loaded with risk. That’s not popular.

I’ve learnt to respect those companies who find time for true innovation, especially those who take risks and manage risk correctly. It's especially important for start-ups or those with funding targets to make. At least with £25,000 of phone bills sorted companies would have one more step towards handling risk.

In particular, innovation at home came to mind. There’s loads of innovation going on in Scotland. The impact of the TechCube in Edinburgh is noticeable. The TechCube holds companies like Stipso who have a “living data” system complete with infographic and engagement services, Make it Social that facilitates booking as a group but paying as an individual and Peekabu that lets you control your media through motion.

There’s plenty outside the TechCube or Glasgow's DEG too. There’s IQ chocolate, a superfood with headquarters in Stirling and a presence in Edinburgh, which manages to organically offer up less than 199 calories per bar. There’s the soon-to-launch Caledonista digital publishing venture that hopes to bring more digital to Scottish style. There’s innovation from established players too; look at Popcorn Horror and their experimentation with apps and ways to support independent horror or Distrify which lets movie creators crowd fund and market their movies at the same time.

It isn't just about single companies either. I'm a great fan of the Scottish Games Network. There are lots of unsung (or under sung) heroes in Scottish gaming. It's an industry that needs to fight for recognition while leading the way in innovation. The Game in Scotland 2014 event held in Dundee recently was packed with brains and new ideas.

Which examples of Scottish innovation (and Three New Things is open to all of the UK) would you like to see step forward and enter?

This post is sponsored by Virgin Media Business. The contents, angle, ideas, typoes and grammatical howlers are all mine.

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