Scottish Development International (SDI) helps international companies to identify skills, resources and opportunities to base themselves in Scotland as part of the Scottish Inward Investment Programme.
Based in Boston, the US SDI ambassadors have their finger on the pulse of the most exciting developments in respect of businesses seeking to succeed in Scotland. Earlier this month, as part of their regular trade missions, SDI and the Data Lab supported and organized limited spaces for key Scottish movers and shakers from the important sectors of Data & Analytics, FinTech, Life Science and teams for a week in New York. Participants were able to meet and spend time with US based businesses exploring international growth in Scotland. Of course, it’s not all one way – such missions are also intended to help Scottish businesses to explore the prospects of succeeding overseas – more on this later.
It’s not all trips to the Rockefeller Centre to check out this year’s tree
Some of the key highlights included the week’s opening event which was a fascinating meeting with Dataminr – perhaps one of the most disruptive data companies.
Michael Young, CEO of MBN Solutions stated “Peter Bailey, their Chief Strategy Officer described how they use powerful, proprietary algorithms, and instantly analyse all public tweets and other publicly available data to deliver the earliest alerts for breaking news and real-world events.” He went on to explain “truly innovative, Dataminr can break news within 30 seconds of events occurring”.
Other standout meetings included the IBM Watson lab visit, presentations from the New York Tech Alliance and the opportunity to network with Blockchain, FinTech and NY Tech advocates currently based and working in New York.
Of IBM Watson, Young stated “of particular interest was the real-life examples of where Watson is working in hospitals to help medical professionals with their diagnosis. Truly innovative and fascinating to see data at work in an area with such life and death impact”.
Nor was it about hanging out in Times Square!
Whilst plenty of opportunity was available for the participants to explore living, working and investing in New York, the purpose was very firmly to meet people and gain objective views as to the extent of opportunities to encourage US businesses to set up shop in Scotland and make the most of the exceptional Data, Blockchain and Fintech talent on offer.
So with this in mind, it was onwards and upwards to the Chief Data Officer Summit and then on to the Big Data & Analytics for Banking Summit. The CDO Summit involved meeting senior level data professionals to discuss how to develop a data-driven culture and where to find the talent (as a clue, MBN Solutions have perhaps the most robust global candidate pool of the very best and most talented data professionals!).
Of the Big Data & Analytics for Banking Summit, Young said “I was genuinely thrilled to be able to participate and I was able to gain exposure to the hottest topics, tools and strategies revolutionising data in banking today”.
The day’s subject matter became the topic of discussion as participants moved on to be hosted by Eric Hazard, managing Director of Cognito at their Annual New York Holiday Party. By all accounts a great event to round up the activities of the day and reflect of new business ideas and ventures to help meet the needs of the fast-growing sector.
How about one last look at the Statue of Liberty?
Well, perhaps not just yet, since the final day of the week was intended to remind us of the opportunity to set up in New York and the implications for a Scottish business to expand into the US with New York or more generally, the East Coast as a corporate home.
Young stated “It was a great bootcamp hosted by WSGR on what’s involved in setting up shop in the US. For us at MBN, we are able to serve clients in any country and/or time zone around the world from our offices in Glasgow and London but I have to admit, there is a certain appeal to spending time getting closer to our US clients and discovering their talent needs based around real face time.”
So with one last chance to network with other participants and representatives of leading Data, Blockchain and FinTech businesses in New York, it was clear that Michael was very firmly in a contemplative mood about the opportunities in the US. Watch this space in 2017 for more on how we can support US clients and more exciting news about our continued growth and plans for further expansion.
A word of thanks
It goes without saying Michael and the entire MBN team were particularly grateful of the opportunity to spend time in New York to explore greater opportunities for enhanced trade between Scotland and the USA. Special thanks are due to all who made it happen and the parties concerned are listed below where you can find out more about their work.
More on Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati: https://www.wsgr.com/
Learning Journey to New York December 2016 – http://www.thedatalab.com/news/2016/learning-journey-to-new-york-december-2016