Upcoming Events From Our Friends at Asia Scot

On the 2nd of October Dr. Shashi Tharoor will be coming to Edinburgh to talk about his book ‘Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India’. There are four tickets left so I would encourage you to sign up as soon as possible. You are able to register for this breakfast event by clicking here.

Our next event in Glasgow is with Jörg Wuttke at the Strathclyde Business School on the 4th of October. Jörg will be talking about China’s politics ahead of the party congress in October and anticipated changes, China’s economy (including the vast regional discrepancies), and major challenges (including constraints on the flow of capital out of China). You are able to register by clicking here.

Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys, will be presenting India’s $42 Billion-Dollar Business to Members & Partners of the Asia Scotland Institute on the 11th of October. There are only 25 tickets left so make sure you register as soon as possible. Murthy was listed among the ‘12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time’, by the Fortune magazine in 2012. Find more information and the option to register here.

On the 25th of October Sir Danny Alexander will be talking about the Asian infrastructure opportunity. Sir Danny Alexander currently is the Vice-President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the UK’s most senior representative at the Beijing Head Office. We are deligthed to host this breakfast event with our partners at ACCA Global. To register please click here.

News! PreWired Summer Hack

News from our chums at PreWired…

The PreWired Summer Hack will take place daily August 7th–11th 2017, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Details of the schedule are shown below. The event will take place at Codebase Events Space, 38 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9SJ

We still have a limited number of places, so if you want to be involved, click on the link below and sign up now!

What is involved? You will be working in a small team, working together on a small project.

Will there be prizes? Yes. At the end of the week, each team will give a demo of their project, and prizes will be awarded in various categories.
Do you need to bring a laptop? Not necessarily — we can provide one.
What about food? We will provide snacks but you will need to bring your own lunch.


Thanks to Ewan Klein at The University of Edinburgh for drawing our attention to this event.

Submissions Open for CivTech® 2.0!

CivTech® 2.0 submission deadline is Thursday 1st June 09:00am

The CivTech® 2.0 challenge application portal is now open on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS)! You can access the application page in a few ways.

1) Click on a challenge image below and it will take you straight to the application page on PCS.

2) Go to the ‘how to apply section’ on our wiki and select the challenge for which you are applying.

3) Go to Public Contracts Scotland –> Browse notices –>  Advanced search (below further search options) and search ‘CivTech Challenge’.

Q&A Sessions

We will be live streaming Q&A sessions with the CivTech® 2.0 Challenge Sponsors via our YouTube channel. Details for these sessions are below. If you have any questions regarding the Challenges send them to CivTech@gov.scot.

Opportunity For Women Entrepreneurs

The 2500 tech innovators shaping the future are meeting on June 1st & 2nd, in Vienna.

A two-day event fueled with business meetings, inspiring innovations, founder stories, industry insights, successful collaboration cases and an amazing tech show.

Pioneers.io are looking for 100 outstanding Women Entrepreneurs to join them in Vienna for free. More information here

“We cannot build a better tomorrow with the current lack of diversity in tech. Diverse teams have greater empathy for customers and ultimately build better products.”

Brianne Kimmel, Zendesk

“Your background or who you are shouldn’t hold you back in any way. Make your mission bigger than any barriers, find your allies, and succeed by proving you were always what the future meant: female.”

Anielle Guedes, Urban3d

“They say actions speak louder than words. So it feels amazing to see the strong action that Pioneers is taking to support women in tech. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a number of incredible female founders and technologists and I know how much these amazing women have to offer the wider tech community.”

Ayelet Noff, Blonde2.0

3 Month Placements for Women in STEM

Women returners

The Women Returner’s programme provides an internship for women in STEM careers

















Equate Scotland has recently launched the next stage of our women returner’s project. The project is an opportunity for women with STEM qualification who have been out of the sector for more than two years, to have a supported return. We work with employers to provide paid 3 month (or longer) placements for women, whilst providing women with CPD and career clinics to get them ready to get back into the sector.

Women Returners registration form

Just for the Record, suspended @girlgeeks Twitter account

Hey there, this is Morna Simpson aka @girlgeeks on Twitter.

There seems to be a lot of confusion, especially on Hacker News, about the suspension of my Twitter account. I am a bit cut off at the moment so only catching up with this myself.

So, for the record…

I first knew that my account had been suspended around 2am GMT this morning as a friend sent me a text to let me know.

As far as I am aware I did not receive any advance warning from Twitter, but on signing into my account and clicking on the Suspended Account link, I was sent an email with the following information:

“We understand that you’re contesting an account suspension. Please be sure to read this entire email; you will need to take further action in order to reopen your ticket for your account to be reviewed.


If your account was suspended for aggressive following behavior, you should have received an email notification to the address associated with your Twitter account. Please reply to this message and confirm ALL of the following:




• You’ve removed all prohibited following automation from your account, and will stop any manual aggressive following behavior.




• You’ve reviewed our Best Practices page: http://support.twitter.com/articles/68916




• You understand our policies and will not engage in any prohibited following behaviour.”

You will also see from my account that I seem to have lost both my 7000 Followers & 7000 peeps I was following.

Having read through the support pages etc etc I am baffled as to why my account has been suspended. I have responded to Twitter and I am awaiting the outcome…

But it is lovely to know that there is so much support from people online who know me or know of me.

It is true that I have on rare occasions been “harassed” verbally (online & off) because of my area of (voluntary, unfunded) work with Girl Geek Scotland. Our aim is to help with gender balance issues across the tech & digital sector.

I try not to take these verbal accusations personally – when you are online you must remember that you may be speaking to someone who is young or vulnerable. If there is a malicious verbal attack online I can choose to ignore by clicking on the block button. However, I’ve found that on most occasions any misunderstandings and preconceptions can be ironed out with a little discussion.

So although I am happy to join in a healthy debate, I make an effort to disassociate myself from others who call themselves “Feminist” but may or may not actually hold any helpful feminist beliefs or take what I consider appropriate and helpful action in this area. This may be why I rarely – if ever get targeted personally.

Girl Geek Scotland is voluntary unpaid work. We had a fallow period for around two years, while I was getting surgery, and we are only just getting up and running again. That is why our blog was recently thrown up with the new domain. Our previous blog was out of date and had been subject to attacks. However, these looked more like brute force attacks than any deliberate targeting.

So the lack of content on this site belies our history of events and workshops, of which I am quite proud. We mainly run events that aim to inspire and encourage networking in the cross-section between digital, business and creativity. We have attracted very high profile people in the past… again I am very proud of this. You may know of Anne Winblad, Heidi Roizen, Karen White and Wendy Lea… If not they are worth looking up as they are fantastic speakers and our panel chair Dr. Suzanne Doyle Morris made them shine

I suspect the suspension was an error on Twitters part. However, there is the possibility of someone making false and malicious accusations against me. I only think this is a possibility because of my previous experience with Twitter which you can read about here > Who Owns Your Twitter User Name

I hope to be able to add back news to this blog when I get the time.

Looking for a Job in the USA? You’re Hired!

I’ve just discovered an interesting new site called Hired. It is very simple. It connects talent in the technology sector with employers in the USA.

At the moment it seems very small, but already has UX and UI Designers, Product Managers, Project Managers, Software Engineers, and Data Scientists. It also claims you will get between 5 and 15 offers in one week from some of the 700+ employers who have already signed up.

While Scotland provides a rich startup ecology it has very few multi-facing software products that have developed scale without US investment. There are a few very exciting products in Scotland that could be described as up and coming… and that nets a few jobs for skilled workers in this field.

Some of my friends have managed to net a US job remotely. However, that is rare and they developed innovative and provoking self-publicising schemes which on one occasion made the front page of Hacker News. It’s true that there is no shortage of Technology roles, and because the sector is so fast moving employers are finding these roles hard to fill… but what happens when you have an idea for an innovative software product and you want to develop a start up business? This will be very hard.

Scottish Enterprise has criteria for High Growth that expects around £400K in 3 years. This pushes some early startups, looking for support, to grasp at unrealistic goals for Exit. Most software startups, and particularly multi-facing products simply take longer to go through the early startup and development phase. Multi-facing products also generally take a large investment to develop their early market foothold.

Heidi Roizen recently told an audience of Girl Geeks, that when she invests in this kind of product, she expects to develop a relationship with her young business over a period of 10 years. So the mindset for investment in this type of product is quite different in the USA. The “£3-5 (million) in 3-5 (years)” mentality of the Scottish investment scene is killing young software companies.

Finding the right investor with the right experience and enough financial clout while fitting within the Scottish Enterprise eligibility guidelines is almost impossible. Scotland simply has not got the track record of supporting this kind of product beyond early start up phase.

I don’t doubt that we will see a number of young Scottish companies hopping over the Atlantic for investment in the near future. In the meantime, I’m quite excited to see how this new multi-facing software product develops and if it can offer some Scottish talent, new work opportunities, that are just too hard to get in Scotland.


Be in the Driving Seat of Your Own Career

Thursday 5th December  

5:30pm for a 6pm start

JP Morgan

200 St Vincent Street

G2 5SG

JP Morgan sponsors “Be in the Driving Seat of Your Own Career” an event aimed at females working in the technology industry across Scotland. 

How fulfilled are you in your life and career? What would you attempt to do, if you knew you could not fail?
It’s time to tackle the internal barriers that might be holding you back from a richer, more satisfying life and career – whether that’s in your current job or a new one.

Hear from our inspirational key note speakers:

Maggie Scullion, Business & Technology Consultant – Oil & Gas Sector

Maggie has held positions at CIO level across large-scale organisations in both the oil & gas and construction sectors for many years. Maggie will deliver an insightful talk on her own career journey and explore how a technology career can mean many things to many people. How now, working as an independent consultant allows her to combine business and technology roles. In addition Maggie will share some of the methods she uses to remain in the driving seat of her own career.

Kirsty Baker, CEO & Founder, The Firefly Group

Kirsty is an empowering leader , a thought-provoking catalyst for change and a unique creator of strategic partnerships. By founding Firefly in 2011, Kirsty has a proven track-record of enabling others to achieve the clarity, insight, and momentum they need to take a clear step toward individual and organisational change. Kirsty will support you in identifying where you get to in your own way and in taking steps to move forward in the direction you choose. Could it be that 2014 is the start of the next phase of your career?


Q & A Panel Discussion

Following the above sessions, we will host a Q&A panel discussion which will also include Polly Purvis, Chief Executive of ScotlandIS. The trade body for the information and communications technologies (ICT) industry, Scotland IS represents around 200 software, telecoms, IT and creative technologies businesses throughout Scotland’ to read ‘The trade body for the digital technologies industry, ScotlandIS represents over 270 software, telecoms, IT and digital agencies throughout Scotland.


The event will conclude with some time for networking with drinks and canapés. 

Spaces are limited, please be sure to register your attendance as soon as possible by emailing ashley.hutton@jpmorgan.com

Entrepreneurial Spark Launch NEST

Entrepreneurial Spark Nest is the next stage in the start-up renaissance in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire.

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The Nest – a one year growth programme for businesses trading between 6 months and 5 years old, continuing our commitment to SMEs as they grow and develop.

The new Nest spaces provide 12 months free business support, office space, IT, networking for ventures in the growth stage of their entrepreneurial journey, taking place in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire.

Applications are open now for an intake at the beginning of February 

Entrepreneurial Spark (ESpark) would like to announce the opening of the Nest’s in Glasgow,

Edinburgh and Ayrshire, which will allow ESpark to provide the collaborative, environment Scotland’s entrepreneurs need to flourish. The Nests are aimed at startup businesses, which have already been trading for a minimum of six months, have achieved tangible results either in terms of turnover or investment, and employ at least one member of staff.


This opportunity is open to all businesses whether they have been through the ESpark Hatchery or not.



  • Have had investment or about to secure investment
  • About to generate revenue or generating revenue
  • Scottish EDGE winner (if appropriate)
  • Glasgow/Edinburgh/Ayrshire Business Gateway high growth potential
  • Existing Glasgow/Edinburgh/Ayrshire Business Gateway pipeline clients
  • Given up job, working on business full time
  • Up to 6 members in the team [on entry]
  • 6 months to 5 years trading
  • Up to £2million turnover


Opportunities Include

  • Daily Enablement from in house team
  • Monthly business health check with enabler strategy etc.
  • Milestones – monthly economic impact, income, forecast, team
  • Executive Education – provided by in organisation capability, team, investment, sales, etc.
  • Pool of mentors to support
  • One day bootcamp 5th February
  • Workshops and clinics from ambassadors
  • Option to attend ESpark
  • Monthly celebrate success
  • Hatchery Hits the Street

Apply now to join Scotland’s entrepreneurial hubs in Ayrshire, Glasgow or Edinburgh.

For more information call 0141 418 9120.  Interviews will be during December/January with a beginning of February start.



Female Tech Entrepreneurs, Scotland

Do you remember that photoshoot on the roof of TechCube that everyone made such a fuss about? It was intended to represent Technology Entrepreneurs in Scotland… but something missing… all the women.

Girl Geek Scotland, Hot Tin Roof and ScotlandIS got together to organise an alternative shoot, this time only featuring the women. As our lovely photograph image shows there are quite a few female leaders in this sector. Who knows where they were that day. I suspect that they were all at high profile meetings in  London, New York and San Francisco.

Many people dispute that women are treated at all differently at work. While overt sexism is extremely rare in this sector in Scotland, there is evidence to suggest that *everyone* (both men and women) are guilty of unconscious bias.

There have been several studies that examine this phenomenon, and one of the most compelling, though 10 years old (and a study carried out in the USA), still rings true. It is called the Howard/Heidi study.


The Heidi Howard Study

Two professors wrote up a case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Roizen, describing how she became a successful venture capitalist by relying on her outgoing personality and huge personal and professional network. The professors had a group of students read Roizen’s story with her real name attached and another group read the story with the name changed to “Howard.” Then the students rated Howard and Heidi on their accomplishments and on how appealing they seemed as colleagues.

While the students rated them equally in terms of success, they thought Howard was likeable while Heidi seemed selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.” Sandberg’s conclusion: when a man is successful, he is well liked. When a woman does well, people like her less.


Female Tech Entrepreneurs, Scotland

For those of you who would like to know more about the technology scene in Scotland, and how women fit in, here are some facts brought courtesy of our friends  at Hot Tin Roof.

  • In Scotland around one fifth of the tech work force are women[SL1] .  Many find themselves the only women at meetings or in a team.  This can be culturally isolating and women can feel overwhelmed by a predominantly male culture.
  • There is a skills shortage in Scotland at the moment and the industry will only thrive on talent male or female.
  • It is statistically proven that companies do better with women in them.  If tech in Scotland is to flourish it must attract and retain women.
  • Women who leave the industry don’t come back.  One of the reasons for this is that tech moves so quickly that their knowledge become out of date very quickly.
  • It is not the ability of women to do the work but a pipeline problem.  Women self identify as being creative – not ‘mathematical’.  They don’t naturally gravitate towards the IT sector.
  • Actually software design is not an intrinsically mathematical process but more of a creative process.  It is all about recognizing patterns.
  •  We must make the environment supportive and encourage women to first of all come into the sector and then to stay.  Computing must be taught in a more engaging way at schools to both boys and girls.
  • The tech sector requires a range of skills and disciplines and must attract women from all backgrounds – creative, psychology, language and marketing.
  • The tech sector is not intrinsically sexist any more than journalism, the law or business.  In Scotland the industry is inclusive and supportive of women.
  • The industry is taking steps to address the issue with initiatives like Scottish Women in Technology established by IBM, Dell, HP and Cisco which supports women coming through the ranks, encouraging them to apply for senior roles and supporting return to work after maternity leave.
  • Groups like Girl Geeks – which has male and female members – have grown up to share experience and provide a support network – creating the networks that men naturally have.
  • Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sanberg’s, book Lean In was published earlier this year looked at businesses and how businesses with women at senior levels perform better.  Heidi Roizen who is taking part in the picture on Thursday is mentioned in Lean In – she took part in a Stanford University [SL2] experiment 10 years ago looking at unconscious gender bias when her achievements were reviewed as Howard and as Heidi.


 [SL1] Stats are – around 14% of CS and software engineering students are female

about 16% of our e-placement Scotland students are female

18% of the IT professionals workforce is female – ie are software engineers, IT specialists etc


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