Two innovative Scottish start-ups recognised at KPMG’s Best British Tech Pioneer competition

Dr. Matthew Baker, is Founder Director and Chief Technical Officer at ClinSpec Dx

TWO innovative Scottish technology companies have received special recognition for their innovation, market potential and passion for growth, beating competition from across the UK.

Edinburgh-based Intelligent Growth Solutions and ClinSpec Dx, which operates from Glasgow, received the commendations at KPMG’s annual Best British Tech Pioneer competition. The event saw entrepreneurs from across the UK pitching their unique business models to a panel of experts at London’s City Hall.

A total of six businesses were shortlisted with judges describing the current UK tech-scene as ‘consistently producing hidden gems who are doing great things’.

The overall winner on the night was VividQ, based in London and Cambridge, which is developing deep tech software company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography.

All finalists will now receive mentoring support and access to KPMG’s global network of tech ambassadors and investors to help them develop their products and business models.

Intelligent Growth Solutions is already making waves internationally with its ground-breaking technology that could solve some of the challenges created by population growth and climate change.

CEO, David Farquhar, commented:

“IGS has developed the world’s first vertical farm in a box, which is designed to solve some of the world’s food problems. As we approach a global population of 8 billion and we begin to lose around half of our arable land we’re just going to have to find different ways to feed ourselves. All the high-profile people in our space are making their own customised, one-off vertical farms so that they can grow themselves. We’re the first people to productise it and basically stick it in a box so we can get it packaged, flat-packed and sent anywhere in the world. We then support local farmers to let them grow, so we’re the next step in a natural progression. We have various patents now and we have invented things that no-one else has thought of. We’ve really simplified it. Ultimately, that natural Scottish spirit of inquisition and invention has really helped us.”

Fellow finalist, Dr. Matthew Baker, is Founder Director and Chief Technical Officer at ClinSpec Dx. The business has developed the world’s first cost-effective blood test for brain cancer, with a mission to be a global leader in blood analysis, using artificial intelligence for early detection of cancers and other diseases.

Baker said:

“It’s been a year of “firsts” for ClinSpec Dx, with our liquid biopsy for brain cancer successfully completing its first clinical study, first grant of our core patents in the USA and Europe and first sales of our hardware for non-clinical applications. We are now raising funds to expand our team, scale-up our technology and to develop the multi-cancer capability of the ClinSpec Dx platform over the next 18 months. Our simple “Drop, Dry, Detect” method analyses minute volumes of human serum (a component of your blood) and our Artificial Intelligence powered algorithms detect the signs of cancer in minutes. Ultimately every day counts for patients, clinicians and healthcare services and we are committed to improving the early detection of disease for the benefit of all.”

Amy Burnett, KPMG’s Private Enterprise Manager, added:

“This is now the sixth year of the Best British Tech Pioneer competition and the quality of the entrants just gets better every time. There’s a real cross-section of backgrounds and ideas reflecting the diversity of the UK’s tech scale-up ecosystem. What matters most is that each of the finalists has already secured funding to help them with their growth ambitions, and it’ll be incredibly exciting to see them take their products to that next level. Scotland’s role in the development of the UK’s tech sector is something that the country can really be proud of. What started as small hubs of entrepreneurialism in the major cities has blossomed into a vibrant and increasingly lucrative part of the Scottish economy. At KPMG we’re delighted to work with emerging giants in the field and help realise their true potential.”

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