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From one entrepreneur to another – some advice on setting up your business offshore

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 51 seconds

I was recently reminded that the most recent Tech Nation Report recognised Edinburgh as the best location in the UK to establish a tech company.

My business partner and I have been on a steep learning curve to reach the point of Brainnwave becoming an established tech company, based in Edinburgh. What advice could we offer to others considering taking the leap and setting up here?

Where you found your business matters.

From access to talent to government support, the tax regime and connectivity, a wide range of factors can really influence the progress of your business.

We launched Brainnwave from Jersey originally – our entire senior management team lived there at the time, so it seemed logical.

However, we grew quicker than we anticipated and we needed to build our team. The right skills were hard to come by: running a tech business in a market lacking tech skills proved hugely challenging. It was a shame and a frustration, as the government had been offering attractive loans in order to encourage more digital businesses to the island.

Transferring our business headquarters to Edinburgh has been convoluted and expensive, occupying time and attention that should have been spent focusing on growing our network and attracting new clients through our unique data mapping platform, Ossian.

We’re here now and reaping the benefits of being able to tap into a global market of opportunities and work with some top names in the Oil&Gas, Mining and Utilities sectors. Edinburgh really is a ‘superhub’ for tech companies and deserves its reputation. The universities here are excellent, and the Government accelerator system really supports growth. Brainnwave has an excellent team in place and we’re on the right track to achieving our ambitions.

Could we have foreseen our growth trajectory when we set up in Jersey? Probably not. Had we considered the long term benefits and risks of where we were headquartered? Probably not. If I could offer one piece of advice for those in a similar position, it would be to make sure you get a pre-approved plan from HMRC and a good tax advisor on your side before taking your first step to relocating.

And if you’re just starting out? Come to Edinburgh!

Posted on April 8th 2019 in Brainnwave

  • Brainnwave achieved more in 2 months with 4 analysts than a tier 1 consultancy achieved in 6 months with 6 people.

    Shawn Pace – Global Sourcing Director – Goodyear

  • Brainnwave are helping change the way we do business.

    The platform Brainnwave are developing is using data analytics to provide us with the insights that we cannot access today due to the complexity of the questions we need to answer. This will be a game changer for our global business.

    Stéphane le Corre – Strategy & Commercial Development Director – Aggreko

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  • Brainnwave are a great team to work with. They put a focus on working collaboratively with us and they make sure that they’ve always understood what we need.

    Their solution has already saved a lot of time through the automation of organising, updating and sharing some of our day to day data (such as fuel prices) across the organisation.

    Noreen Howat – Senior Strategy Manager – Aggreko

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  • I have been championing, for some time now, the need to bring digital innovation from other industries into the housing sector.

    We are excited to be working with Brainnwave to apply their data intelligence technology to the housing sector. Their innovative approach to data and analytics, developing deep insights about our customers, has never been done before and will help us provide the best possible customer experience.

    Doug Silverstone – Head of Data & Analytics – MTVH

  • We are delighted to be working with our Partner, Brainnwave, on their new product, Geo Spatial Web Services. Brainnwave’s new product provides efficient access to our geospatial data providing users with the ability to analyse the data and generate strategic insights to aid their business.

    Stefan Wells – Head of Partners – Ordnance Survey

  • I have always been a visual thinker and Brainnwave’s Ossian platform enables me to see things that were previously buried deep within reports; this helps me to react quickly to the business environment and make decisions with confidence.

    Brian Chalmers – Strategy and Development Director – Wood plc

  • Brainnwave has been instrumental in helping UNICEF understand how people move so we can coordinate relief assistance in a much better, more targeted way and can assist the population where the need is greatest.

    Natalia Adler – Data, Research and Policy Planning Specialist – UNICEF

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  • Brainnwave are a great example of how companies can deliver complex data science projects by leveraging their network, partnering with academia and by building the ecosystem of data experts.

    The Data Lab has been a partner with Brainnwave for several years and they have contributed greatly to the data driven innovation agenda for Scotland and have leveraged opportunities to build and grow their data talent and expand their capabilities significantly in both data science and artificial intelligence.

    Gillian Docherty – CEO – The Data Lab