Mike Rutterford, Managing Director, Rutterford Ltd is one of Scotland’s entrepreneurs and business angels. He has been involved in a series of multi-million pound deals combined with a dossier of investments in UK start-up companies. His mission is to create a culture of entrepreneurial success in Scotland. His busy working life is spent between his dual roles as co-founder of Archangel Informal Investments and as a private investor, board member and advisor to a number of Scotland’s most promising technology companies. Archangel began in 1992, as a private informal investment house, co-founded with Barry Sealey. Over the last nine years, the syndicate has invested in approximately 50 start-up companies. In 2001, Archangels will have a list of 30 live investments in the field of technology, medical science, retail and manufacturing. Archangels many investments include Data Discoveries, Waterside Television, Optos, Oregon Timber, Alpha Solway, Infinite Data Storage to name but a few. His angel investments today are dominated by various key projects. Currently he a board member of Opto-Electronics firm Optos, a position he takes alongside Sealey as non-executive Chairman. Rutterford and Sealey were the first investors in Optos and who later brought in Sir Gerald Elliott, Ann Gloag and Brian Souter to name but three supporters. Rutterford was involved in the strategy group, which re-chartered the course of Data Discoveries, which lead to its success today. His investments have resulted in a flurry of multi-million pound successes over recent years. In 1994, he formed Parking 2000 with a number of investors after purchasing three acres of land in the centre of Edinburgh for £1.4m, and following this, Rutterford created and marketed the Waverley Car Park and also set the foundations for a master plan for a mixed development of 500,000 sq ft, which is to become the largest ever single development site in Edinburgh’s Old Town to date. The development was sold in 1999 for over £10m to Cuckfield, a development company taking the plan in to reality. Rutterford also was non-executive Chairman of Solcom Systems. An Archangel Investment in 1992, this leading edge network management system business created world beating software and hardware. This was sold in 1999 for over $20m to ION Systems, a US NASDAQ listed company. In 1998, Rutterford was also non-executive Chairman of Objective Software Technology Limited, creators of a C++ software tool. This highly specialised technology business was sold to Wind River Inc, again a NASDAQ company in January 1998 for $6m. Privately, he co-invests in a number of property deals. The most sizable investments include 60,000sq ft of offices in Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, and he is also a syndicate and board member in New Ingliston Limited which owns 240 acres south of Edinburgh Airport and a £70m property portfolio through Edinburgh House Estates Limited in England. Like any Business Angel, the investment lifestyle was challenged by risk. Rutterford describes Archangels investments as “bleeding edge” money; the area of highest risk, but also of highest reward. He is a calculated risk taker, always eager to make quick yet considered decisions. This is a way of working shared by Archangels as a light-footed organisation prepared to take a leap of faith on people and businesses that appeal. The chances of great successes is 1 in 10, however Rutterford will continue to take the rough with the smooth well into the next millennium in an effort to create viable, creative and innovative businesses that make money.
Duncan Macleod is Managing Director and co-founder of Learning IT (www.learningit.com) which since its formation in 1997, has grown to be Scotland’s leading IT Training Business employing over 50 staff. The business grew initially on the strength of offering training which is not otherwise available in Scotland, and their main business is still in specialised training for IT professionals. (They are a Cisco Learning Partner, a Microsoft CTEC, a Checkpoint Firewall 1 Centre and a Macromedia Training Centre). But in addition to this they run training for end-users, career-changers, and young people doing Modern Apprenticeships. They also do e-learning development work which is increasingly important and they have a resourcing arm which they brand as People IT. Learning IT have recently expanded from their base in Stirling City Centre to splendid premises in the Grade 1 listed Ca’d’Oro building in central Glasgow. Duncan set up Learning IT in 1997 along with Allan Hunter and they have grown the business steadily since then. They won the prestigious Business am Business Gazelle Award this year for fast growth companies with a percentage growth rate of over 2000% over a 4 year period. Prior to setting up Learning IT, Duncan’s career was in HR management and he worked in various senior HR roles in ScottishPower and Santa Fe Drilling in the offshore industry in Aberdeen and overseas. An economist by training, Duncan holds an MBA and is a Fellow of the CIPD.
The evening will be Chaired by Alison Loudon, Chairman, Data Discoveries (www.datadiscoveries.com). A qualified accountant with extensive experience developed in the dynamic and challenging environment of growing an international hi-tech. software company from start up through to listing on NASDAQ stock exchange. As a high profile company director Alison’s well-balanced interpersonal and organisational skills ensures positive non-executive debate and support, assists executive teams deliver successful businesses. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton, Alison helped found Aldus Europe Limited in 1986. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Aldus grew to a £67 million turnover across seven European subsidiaries. In 1995, as a public listed company on NASDAQ, Aldus Corporation Inc. completed a successful merger with Adobe Systems Inc creating the third largest software company in the world. Alison has held over twelve board appointments in various market sectors. Currently she is Chairman of Data Discoveries Ltd. and Visual Thinking Ltd, Non-Executive Director of IntroNet Applications Ltd, Caledonian Contracts Ltd and the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre Ltd, as well as acting as an advisor to Bright Grey. In addition Alison is on the board of Entrepreneurial Exchange, has served on a number of community and government review bodies such as Edinburgh Leisure, Science Institute for Enterprise and various Enterprise and Lifelong Learning sub-committees. She is a regular business presenter as well as judge for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. With a public company appointment Alison would be consolidating on her listed company routes, able to deliver the additional value of international multi-functional expertise, coupled with extensive board experience.