Founders of Folarity, AboveBoard and Walks

and Waterfalls have joined the Geovation Scotland accelerator

Meet the founders

‘showcase’ pitch event hosted in six months’ time. “By that stage, we will have worked with the companies, who are at the concept or early stage of development at the moment, to establish their value proposition and help with the setting of goals, pitch training, and seeing what skills gaps they have: that can include finance, legal support, marketing, people management and much more.” By then, RoS also aims to have its second cohort launched, in order to fill more of its incubator space and nurture the community. Te prize on offer is not just the

£15,000 the companies will each receive by way of grant funding, coupled with business mentorship and access to potential investors; companies like Refill, a London programme alumnus, are testimo- ny to a real demand for geospatial innovation, particularly in the field of sustainability. Te app, which

allows organisations to ‘put their taps on the map’ - literally provid- ing a guide to where you can refill your water bottle - has already connected users to 20,000 busi- nesses who are helping cut down on single use plastic pollution. “Tey’ve just been picked up by Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which is going to be hugely high profile for them,” adds Dougan, who will be supported at the incubator by Jess Sibley, Geovation Scotland’s Community Manager, and at board level by Kenny Crawford, Business Development Director, who has helped shape some of the organisa- tion’s key market goals. Dougan said: “Tere’s no reason why the programme here in Scotland can’t go on to similar levels of success.” Crawford adds: “We’ve been

through a huge internal digital transformation process at RoS so opening up our data is just the next stage of that journey.” l

SARAH MORRISON has been working with her partner Jamie Henderson on building a platform that puts the community feel back into shared living. AboveBoard is designed to solve some of the long-standing issues around factoring (property management) that blight apartment blocks in Scotland and beyond. Morrison, who has been working in the financial services industry, says: “The actual product came from Jamie, but it’s something we are both really interested in. It seemed an obvious gap; it can be really frustrating when you live in a communal space but nothing gets done in terms of resolving building management problems. We’d like to restore some of the balance there, between owner and occupier, and also address issues around social isolation. The programme and the co-working space here is the perfect opportunity to hopefully go on and do that.”

MARTIN WARNE is a bit of a tech start-up veteran, having been based in London with the likes of Do Nation, a sustainability platform that rewards corporate good behaviours. A computer scientist, he augmented his tech skills with a post-grad in environmental forestry, and thus Folarity was born. “It’s a platform designed to help forestry managers replace some of the paper- based processes that they have been accustomed to, and also to help them plan

their work much better. I’m really interested in AI [artificial intelligence] and machine learning, as well, and how that can be applied to forestry. There is scope to be able to get much better at analytics around disease mitigation, for example; Ash dieback has been a huge problem and we can use the technology at a massive scale to be able to determine with far greater accuracy the health of forestry stocks.”

OSCAR VAN HEEK is a photographer and filmmaker who came upon the idea of Walks and Waterfalls after coming across a beautiful cascade in East Lothian ‘by accident’. He said there are around 800 waterfalls across Scotland, but because many appear on maps as ‘streams’ with no clear definition as to what constitutes one, it’s almost impossible for people to know where they are, save for the top 20 waterfalls which are listed on tourism websites. “We really want to help people to discover Scotland in a new way,” said Van Heek. “There’s been a real surge in popularity for wild swimming, and walking and hiking in general, so there’s definitely a big market across the UK, which will be our focus, on ‘bagging nature’. The plan is to get the platform launched by spring and we’re speaking with a couple of potential sponsors, which would help us create a big public marketing campaign.”

AUTUMN 2019 | 21

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