A group of north-east technology-based businesses have launched new products, secured international contracts and accelerated their growth ambitions following their involvement in a programme designed to boost the region’s digital economy.
Eight companies made up the first cohort of Opportunity North East’s (One) Digital & Entrepreneurship business growth programme.
It was launched earlier this year to enable business owners and leaders to look at new markets, product development and how to build teams to deliver growth ambitions.
New digital app attracting global interest
One of the success stories was the launch of new software product, HomeCareApp, by Aberdeen-based Pinnacle which aims to improve operational efficiency in the construction industry.
It helps homebuilders digitally snag, tag, and track issues across developments to speed up property handover and deliver a digital-first customer support experience that outperforms less efficient, traditional ways of working.
It was launched in May with Banchory-based Bancon Homes, which was an early adopter of the product and it is already attracting interest from potential customers in the US.
Kenny Steele, Pinnacle managing director, said: “The concept for the product came a couple of years ago in discussions with a national homebuilder about bottlenecks in their operations.
“The rate of digital acceleration due to Covid was the key enabler to push
HomeCareApp forward and One’s business growth programme came at the right time to give us the focus and support to see it through to launch.
“The programme was valuable in validating our approach and our product. A key learning was the need to create a distinction between the overall leadership of the company and day-to-day operations to drive our team forward in the short-term while continuing to support our long-term ambition.
“We launched HomeCareApp in May with Bancon Homes who were keen early adopters.
“As a forward-thinking partner, they saw its benefits and were eager to roll it out across their operations.”
Potential to grow is huge
Lynsey Steele, HomeCareApp operations director, said: “With $1 in every $10 being spent on construction globally, the potential to scale and grow HomeCareApp is huge, and we are already seeing interest from prospective customers in the US.”
The digital tech sector has been identified to be one of the fastest growing in Scotland. Trade body ScotlandIS has predicted it will expand 1.5 times faster than the overall economy.
Allan Clow, Bancon Homes managing director, said; “We’re always looking for ways to drive innovation through our business and improve operational efficiency.
“Since partnering with HomeCareApp we’ve not only been able to transform the way we ensure every detail in our homes is finished to the highest standard, but we’ve also streamlined the way we communicate with customers.
“With HomeCareApp we are able to keep our customers up-to-date in real time throughout the entire handover and maintenance process as well as deliver a very responsive customer support experience.”
Achievements across the board
Other businesses seeing success include STC Insiso which has introduced new software products for different sectors, Solab IT which has secured significant, multi-year contract wins and Core 29 , which increased its team to support new and existing clients in the UK and overseas.
Jen Scott, Opportunity North East digital development manager, said: “It’s extremely
encouraging to see eight north east companies build on their experience, create new
products and have success in new markets as part of ONE’s Business Growth Programme.
“This marks fantastic progress for the initiative which provides leaders with tailored support to capitalise on the opportunities ahead and scale their business.”
Recruitment is now underway for the second cohort of businesses for the programme due to start before the end of this year.