Scotland’s thriving high tech scene, is growing and bringing amazing and innovative contributions to the world in general.
This year, thirty-five ambitious Scottish technology companies are heading for one of the world’s largest technology trade shows, Mobile World Congress, to grab a bigger slice of the ($3 trillion) global mobile technology market after a record year in raising equity finance.
Combining the world’s largest mobile industry exhibition with a conference featuring some of the biggest names in global technology, Mobile World Congress is visited by mobile operators, vendors, and content owners from across the world.
The trade delegation’s mission to Barcelona on 22-25 February 2016, comes after a record year of fundraising where the sector successfully raised more than £85m in risk capital in 2014 and reinforced its position as a hotspot for technology innovation and start-ups.
2014/15 marked the year in which Scotland produced its first two ‘unicorns’ – technology companies with valuations in excess of $1 billion and the country’s capital, Edinburgh, took pole position in the UK for the most technology start ups outside of London with a record number of 44 university start ups and spin outs in the year.
Joining the delegation at Mobile World Congress, is one of Edinburgh’s most successful technology companies and acclaimed unicorns, Skyscanner, which has recently closed its latest successful round of funding and secured an additional £128 million from five new investors.
Skyscanner and PureLiFI: Two Successful Scottish Companies
Skyscanner is a global search engine that enables people to find comparisons for flights, hotels and car hire. The service is free to users and directs you to the airline, hotel, car hire provider or travel agency to complete the booking process. The company was founded in 2001 by Gareth Williams. It is now considered to be the world’s travel search engine. In the following video, Gareth Williams tell us more about the amazing success of Skyscanner in a rather intelligent and out of the box way, that demystifies silicon valley’s myths of ways to achieve success.
In addition, award-winning university spin out company, PureLiFi, which specialises LiFi, the use of light based communications to transmit data, will join the delegation to launch its latest product the LiFi-X.
LiFi is the use of the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information at very high speeds. This is in contrast to established forms of wireless communication such as Wi-Fi which use traditional radio frequency (RF) signals to transmit data. LiFi is increasingly viewed as a transformative technology that can change the way the mobile internet is used as part of future 5G cellular networks while being an enabler of the emerging Internet of Things. LiFi-X is a system with a USB powered dongle for high speed networked wireless communications using off-the-shelf LED lights, and it supports user mobility.
Harald Haas of PureLiFi, and a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, coined the term “Li-Fi” at his TED Global Talk where he introduced the idea of “Wireless data from every light”. The way lifi works is explained in the following video :
Harald Haas commented:“It’s exciting that so many of the tech giants are now engaging directly with LiFi through the technologies we have invented and developed at PureLiFi. The miniaturisation and integration of high performance LiFi in a dongle is a ground-breaking move towards a LiFi connected world. I am excited that we have exceeded our technical roadmap, and with LiFi-X we can develop large-scale pilots in 5G, the Internet-of-Things and Industry 4.0.”
Neil Francis, director of international operations at Scottish Development International (SDI), who will be hosting a Scottish pavilion at the event to showcase some of the brightest and best digital technology companies in Scotland, said: “Scotland’s innovative technology sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is benefitting from, not only a very active risk capital market, but a unique set of science and innovation assets clustered around its capital, Edinburgh.”
“It is now widely recognised as one of the UK’s most successful technology start-up communities and thanks to the strength of the region’s higher education sector and business environment for start-ups, continues to produce, nurture fast growing digital companies with true global potential.
”We’ve been working close with the sector in Scotland to help support with across a wide range of areas including access to finance, commercialisation and internationalisation.”
Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland to help the economy grow. It also helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas and promotes Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland.