Unbeknown to a lot of our employees, the current location of Deloitte Edinburgh has always served as a creative space. In times gone by, not only did a large theatre used to stand on the site but also one of Scotland’s first ever cinemas, renowned for ‘entertainment of unparalleled brilliance and refinement’. On the 24th April, Deloitte was once again able to showcase Saltire Court as a hub of innovative ideas and ground-breaking solutions.
Disrupt the Enterprise 2018 welcomed six of Scotland’s most pioneering start-ups onto the stage, to deliver pitches in front of 100+ people, including some of Deloitte’s biggest clients. The event represents a fundamentally unique opportunity to connect with a group of inspiring individuals, from across the nation’s cities and sectors, all of whom have untapped potential to make a real impact in the world of Scottish business. Designed to disrupt conventional thinking and provide a springboard for future collaboration, it has been an honour to coordinate Disrupt the Enterprise this year, with the support of a fantastic team from across all Deloitte service-lines. Delivering an event on such a scale demands a strong team effort and, looking back on the night now, being part of this effort was undoubtedly the highlight.
Over the last few years, it has been well documented that the Scottish start-up scene, especially in Edinburgh, is thriving. It is estimated that two tech start-ups are founded in the city every day. I have no doubt that some of these companies will go on to change the face of the city in ways that perhaps seem inconceivable at this point in time. At Disrupt the Enterprise 2018, we were lucky to hear from six incredible teams with a range of inspiring products and services.
Taking these out of the equation, however, the sheer ambition and personality of these companies will always ensure that they are attractive to big firms such as Deloitte. Whilst their products and services will have potentially huge impact on our clients and ways of working in the long-term, their drive and energy serves as an instant reminder as to why we all come into work in the morning – to deliver moments that matter and to push our collective ability to the limit.
On the night, we saw two prizes awarded. The audience on the night voted for their ‘most disruptive’ start-up, which went to Topolytics – an industrial and commercial waste analytics company, with the ability to bring much needed change to this sector, along with better environmental outcomes. We were delighted to welcome Topolytics back to Deloitte for one of our Founders Labs recently. The second award, ‘Kick Start a Start-Up’, was awarded by our expert panel of judges, featuring the brilliant Roz Cuschieri and Polly Purvis OBE, to Amiqus ID, who offer anti-money laundering and compliance checks for regulated professions.
All the pitches on the night were of a fantastic standard, however as the prize for ‘Kick Start a Start-Up’, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Amiqus on a six month secondment. Their founder, Callum Murray, showed not only an incredible enthusiasm and knowledge of his business and its people, but also a clear sense of direction that he wants to take them in, going forward. I look forward to being part of this and taking some key learnings back to Deloitte in 2019.