As founding CEO of Infinite Data Storage (IDS), (www.infinitedatastrorage.com) Jim Leslie has firmly established IDS as a leading independent optical data storage design company. Since September 1999, he has overseen its development through two major VC funding rounds and the successful launch of several products including Samba™, the world’s smallest CD-R recorder. Jim is an electronics engineer by trade and has amassed a great deal of experience throughout his 22-year career working in the UK and North America for key data storage players including Burroughs Corporation, Rodime Europe Ltd. and Iomega Corporation. In 1992, as managing director Jim set up Myrica UK, a leading-edge design and development company specialising in magnetic disc drive storage products. By 1994, Myrica was successfully bought-out by Nomai, a French removable storage company and again in 1998 by Iomega Corporation, one of the world’s largest removable storage companies. Jim holds a BSC Hons in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Nottingham.
Iain Graham, Chairman & Chief Executive, Graham Technology (www.gtnet.com). Iain began his career as a technical apprentice with Rolls Royce, finishing his formal education with a Post Graduate Degree in Production and Management. Since his mid-twenties Iain has operated as a Managing Director enjoying a varied and very commercial career which benefited significantly from the intensive management training during his period with Lex Service Group. During his time at Lex, Iain took an active interest in systems design before starting his own company (know as Iain Graham Consultants) in 1986 to provide multi-user accounting, inventory and marketing systems to small Scottish businesses. The potential for the business would be ultimately limited by the size of the Scottish Market, so in 1991 the core management team set about to reinvent the business from a system installer to product developer building value and entry to world markets by developing unique intellectual property. The concepts behind the embryonic product were from a business point of view to take “knowledge” from those that had it so those without the “knowledge” could deploy it consistently to millions of customers, from an engineering point of view to build the first 3 tier architecture which would scale to millions of transactions per day and be deployable on any evolving platform. The transition was metamorphic requiring complete reinvention of the organisation, new and clear strategy and retaining of all staff. The product GT-X was created along with the delivery capability and is now employed by some of the largest Blue Chip companies in the world executing critical business processes to millions of consumers every day. GT-X systems manifest themselves in large call centres, but also provide the middleware component linking huge mainframe systems and deploying the resulting processes on the Web, Interactive TV and through agent screens from a centrally held process definition. Uniquely the systems are not a package and while providing exceptional backend integration and CTI capability they allow forward thinking companies to differentiate themselves through unique and ever improving process definitions. Graham Technology operates in the British Isles, Europe, United States and Asia Pacific.
The Evening Exchange is being Chaired by John Anderson, CEO, Entrepreneurial Exchange (www.entrepreneurial-exchange.co.uk). A well known specialist in entrepreneurship and new venture creation in Scotland, John brings considerable experience of emerging and high growth companies to his role as Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurial Exchange. A founder member of The Entrepreneurial Exchange, John was a shareholding director of a young venture backed technology company engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of laboratory equipment. He co-founded a company that provided pre-hospital emergency care and healthcare industry training and also a new media business. As an adviser in professional practice he worked with many of Scotland’s most exciting growth companies since returning to Scotland from Chicago in 1989.
An experienced non-executive director, he is a regular contributor to the media on issues facing emerging and high growth companies and was instrumental in setting up the Scottish Enterprise "Local Heroes" project, based in part on his own MBA thesis "Local Heroes - Scotland's Entrepreneurial Role Models". John is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde and sits on the board of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, formed to encourage the commercialisation of research from Scotland’s universities. He sits on the PSYBT Growth Fund panel and is a member of the Glasgow University Research and Enterprise Advisory Board. He is a director of Stirling University Innovation Park and also sits on the advisory board of Embreonix at the University of Abertay, Dundee.