Our next EIE success story was born out of the computing department of Edinburgh’s Napier University.




It’s that time of year again – 50 young data driven entrepreneurial teams are refining their pitches and preparing to take to the stage in Edinburgh in front of an investor audience at this year’s EIE.

EIE is Scotland’s Premier Tech Investor Showcase and highlights the most innovative data driven companies seeking funding. Since its launch in 2008, almost 500 companies have completed the investor readiness programme hosted by Informatics Ventures and gone on to raise in excess of £750MILLION in seed and follow on funding.

Leading TalentSpark, I’m always fascinated by successful founding teams – and the people who are the driving forces in the business, particularly in those early stages. In the run up to #EIE20, I wanted to revisit some of the previous #EIE participants.

Our next EIE success story was born out of the computing department of Edinburgh’s Napier University.

In 2008, founder Jamie Graves was studying for a doctoral degree in digital forensics. Working with Professor Bill Buchanan, Jamie set out to examine the data being used to accuse people of wrongdoing on internal networks at companies and concluded that the available information wasn’t of sufficient quality to validate claims.

With the goal to develop technology to provide world class security systems able to combat the issue of insider threats, the post-graduate project morphed into a commercially viable improved system for digital forensic investigations.

After applying for Scottish Enterprise ‘proof of concept’ to commercialise the research, Jamie applied to pitch at EIE in 2009- formally spinning out the company then called ‘Inquisitive Systems with the guardINQ product.

In 2010, the company attracted investment from Archangels, Tri-Cap Capital and Scottish Investment Bank and returned to EIE to pitch again in 2011 and 2012 and demonstrating continued progress.

From a University spin out, the now renamed ‘Zonefox’ company grew to a staff of over 50 people, designing and building additional software to detect and reduce data theft, leakage and misuse attracting over £4.1M in investment and a vast client base.

In 2018, attracted by the ability to leverage machine learning to detect irregular activity, Zonefox was acquired by US based Fortinet for an undisclosed sum. Jamie remains based in Edinburgh, working with Fortinet as Vice President of Product Management – Security Analytics.

Jane Kennedy is Associate Director at TalentSpark– a group of specialist start-up consultants who work collaboratively to deliver essential talent, employer branding content, and business services to pre-investment, high growth start-ups and scaleups in Scotland. She is currently seconded to Informatics Ventures to help deliver EIE.