Meet the Experts

Looking for free business advice? Our Meet the Expert programme gives registered delegates the chance to pre-book 1-2-1 appointments with experts across a wide range of disciplines including tax, IP, design, marketing, training, digital, finance and more.

Participating companies are detailed below together with their session titles and session summaries. Meanwhile expert names and biographies can be accessed here.

How to Book

All registered delegates have been sent a Meet the Expert email prompt with a live link enabling you to log into the appointment booking system. Simply click on the link to view participating experts, available meeting slots and to request a meeting.

Not received your email prompt or have a question?  Contact info@venturefestscotland.co.uk 

Uncover the R&D Tax Relief Hiding in your Business

R&D tax relief is the Government’s way of rewarding companies that are developing new, or improving existing products, processes, services, devices and materials.

Delivered by Chartered Tax Adviser, Nigel Holmes, this session will uncover the areas in your business where you may be performing R&D without even knowing it. Nigel will look at every aspect of your business and try to identify all qualifying activity.

You would be surprised what qualifies for R&D tax relief.

With an average client benefit of over £39,000 why not uncover the hidden value in your business today?

Experience, Attitude or Aptitude? How to Hire for Growth

How do you identify the right talent to help your business grow? Should you hire based on experience, attitude or aptitude? How do you make your company stand out in a growing digital economy?

Taking on a person with a growth mindset has many benefits. It provides the opportunity to shape a bundle of raw talent into someone that is passionate about your business as you are and can work in the ways you know achieve results.

Book an appointment now with Graeme Jarvie, CodeClan’s Employer Engagement Manager, to find out how to source the right talent through CodeClan’s digital skills academy.

Start-Up Legal Basics – Corporate and Intellectual Property 

Come and speak to our expert lawyers, Kimberley Goh and Ross Nicol, about the basics that every entrepreneur needs to consider when starting their business.

Kimberley Goh, a Corporate Associate can help you:

  • Choose an appropriate business structure
  • Get shareholder agreements in place
  • Position yourself for growth
  • Understand your reporting requirements

Ross Nicol, a Partner in the IP and Technology Team can help you:

  • Recognise the Intellectual Property in your business
  • Make sure that your business processes (internal and external) secure ownership of Intellectual Property
  • Understand how to approach contracts relating to Intellectual Property (making sure you have ownership of or access to IP)
  • Maximise the value from your Intellectual Property including the best route to commercialisation
  • Ensure that you’re compliant with new, stricter data protection legislation that comes into force in 2018 – the GDPR

Prototyping – How to Make your Idea come to Life 

Gizmo are product design, rendering and animation experts who help businesses of all sizes to improve and upgrade their marketing, brand, presentation and product design with top quality, photorealistic CGI animations and renders.

Key specialties include helping businesses to:

  • Visualise and demonstrate concepts prior to production (e.g. when meeting with investors)
  • Explain complex technologies
  • Tailor your sales pitch to your customer (their branding on your product)
  • Create exciting sales materials (web content and brochure images)

Need help demonstrating your idea? Book an appointment today with Gizmo Director, Jordan Maguire.

How to Make the Most of your Business’s IP

Most successful businesses understand the importance of protecting their intellectual property. Intellectual property protects brand names, new inventions, new designs and creative work.

Intellectual Property will account for a large part of the value of most businesses. The IPO will explain the four main areas of intellectual property (trade marks, patents, designs and copyright) and give you actions to take to move forward.

Book an appointment now with IP expert, Gary Townley, for advice on:

  • How to make the most of your business’s IP
  • Copyright ownership – in a recent survey, 74% of businesses were unsure who owned the IP rights to their website, logo, artwork and photos

Extracting Value from your Data

Many businesses forget that data is a precious, often untapped, commodity.

If you want to predict future growth, detect fraud, or optimise your marketing campaign, then use your data. Delivered by data science expert, Dr Colin Gillespie of Jumping Rivers, the goal of this session is to provide practical advice on how to make the most of this valuable asset.

Jumping Rivers provide both training and consultancy in data analytics and work with small start-ups, world-class universities and large multinational companies. All tools are free and open-source with no expensive licenses.

If you have data sitting doing nothing, book an appointment now!

Intellectual Property – Marks & Clerk can Help your Ideas Take Off

The IP you own is a valuable asset.

We know that your funds might be limited and other things are higher on your agenda but why risk someone stealing your ideas and benefiting from your hard work?

Companies and investors alike know that intellectual property can be the key to competitive advantage.

We can help you get the right advice on identifying, protecting and exploiting your intellectual assets so book an appointment now with our patent expert, Mairi Rudkin and/or trade mark expert, Meena Murrin.

Looking to Raise Finance and/or to Access Grant Funding?

Your business may need fresh capital to take it to the next stage. But are you ready to welcome new investors or to raise the required funding?

What funders look for and what you need to do to get your business fit for purpose to successfully raise finance will be amongst the key takeaways from this  session delivered by Euan Ferries, Corporate Advisory Expert at Martin & Aitken.

Euan will also cover the various funding options available to start-up and growing businesses (e.g. debt, equity, grants) and the journeys that are involved in each route, including the potential tax impacts, so that you are going in with your eyes open.

Your Complete Business Solution 

Building strong foundations and satisfying your business and financial needs are key to success.

We provide the full range of business and professional services for SMEs, start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. We get to know your business needs, understand your aspirations and work with you every step of the way.

In your 1-2-1 session,  we will look at the big picture, assisting you with solutions in areas such as:

  • Tailored tax advice, R&D tax credits and patent box planning …“A helping hand from HMRC and vital cash for your business”
  • Structuring your business and strategic guidance … “Get it right from the start”
  • Available methods of financing and funding … “Funding success”
  • Ensuring corporate and tax compliance … “Peace of mind”
  • Business software that works for you … “Technology at the forefront”

Book your appointment today, our team look forward to meeting and working with you.

How to Protect your Brand – Trade Marks, Designs and Logos 

Want to know how best to protect your brand? Anne Bashir, an IP expert at Murgitroyd, will be available to answer your questions.

The session will allow one-to-one Intellectual Property advice specific to your business and specific challenges. It is the perfect opportunity to check if your IP strategy meets your current needs and to get ahead of your competition by checking if it is futureproof.

Anne will share her experience looking after start-ups, SMEs and companies with larger portfolios and will also be able to put you in touch with the right expert should you need guidance on patents.

Access Expert Support on the Grant Funding Landscape for R&D/Innovation

Grants are a unique form of finance – no equity given up, no repayments to make or interest charged – they can be used for R&D of innovative technologies across all industries/sectors.

This session delivered by PNO Director, James Craven, will offer an exploratory discussion about which grants your organisation could be eligible for.  James will also explain how PNO’s expertise could support you in identifying the right grants for your projects; writing and reviewing applications in order to give the best chance of success in a very competitive environment; negotiating a grant agreement with the grantor body, and post-award reporting services to ensure the maximum draw down of grants awarded.

Connecting Marketing to Sales: Is your Website Working Hard Enough?

Today, 50-70% of a typical business to business buying process is carried out online before the customer speaks to an individual supplier so your online presence has never been so important.

In this session you will get recommendations and advice based on the latest best practice as to how your website can be contributing more to your bottom line by attracting more visitors and generating more leads.

Delivered by John Hornell, Founder and Managing Director of Quantify, a specialist inbound marketing agency, you will get advice on how to build a data-driven marketing and sales infrastructure bespoke to your business that can be replicated and scaled to your growth objectives.

Supporting Innovators

Innovation isn’t only about developing new or better products and services. It’s also about investing in marketing, skills, and the workplace environment.  Talk to us about the different ways Scottish Enterprise can support your innovation journey.

Financial Readiness 

This is an opportunity to meet Financial Readiness specialist, Yvonne McLaren-Robertson, from the Scottish Investment Bank  – the main investment arm of Scotland’s economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise.

In this session, Yvonne will help you to identify the most appropriate sources of finance for your business and help you to secure a funding package from a range of sources including bank funding, other debt providers, equity and grants.

Areas covered will include:

  • Establishing your growth funding requirements
  • Identifying appropriate forms of funding for your business
  • Developing your investment proposition

How to Protect your Brand from Counterfeits

Counterfeits account for 2.5% of all global imports.

SnapDragon Monitoring uses registered intellectual property to tackle sales of counterfeit goods on e-commerce portals – preventing their sale and thereby protecting vulnerable and unsuspecting customers, and brands.

In this session, Mary Kernohan, will give an overview of what brands can do to help themselves, and of what to be aware in the ever changing international marketplace.

How the Circular Economy can Unlock your Potential for Sustainable Business Growth

Zero Waste Scotland is helping to create a more circular economy in Scotland.  This approach, aimed at keeping resources in use, offers exciting opportunities for competitive advantage and business growth.

Businesses across Scotland are already making this shift, many with our help. Some are designing products that can be repaired and remanufactured, leading to additional business opportunities. And some are leasing or hiring their services to retain ownership of the valuable products and components.

From specialist technical support through to grant funding, book an appointment with Sector Manager, Lynn Wilson, to find out how Zero Waste Scotland can support your SME business.