Can you tell us about yourself and your creative background?
I began my career in cardiovascular disease and diabetic pregnancy before turning geek and building my own software businesses in Educational Software and Medical Animation. I have become involved in investment into startup companies and my aim is to help fund new businesses that bring together the arts and technical.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Working with incredible startups such as Fanduel and Plan For Cloud is incredibly exciting. The speed of invention within these young firms is breathtaking.
When did you start Turing Festival?
I started the Turing Festival in 2011 as a deliberate attempt to build a European SXSW, linking tech and the arts.
Can you tell us about the Turing Festival and what you have planned for this year?
Named in honour of the father of modern computing, Alan Turing, the festival is a global celebration of technology in the heart of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. The theme this year, in collaboration with the EIF is Art and Digital and my plan is to showcase the new ways in which artists, performers and creative professionals can make more money and reach more people so that day jobs become a thing of the past. For example, Digital Distribution allows a more rapid and targeted way to engage with the public from live shows to streamed performances. It turns out that the Games industry has solved many of the issues surrounding this and so I'm bringing the likes of Valve, creators of the most important games distribution network Steam to talk. I also have sessions on Future Music, Startup Entrepreneurship, Future of Money, User Interface Design, Digital Marketing and I even have a keynote from Sci Fi author Neal Stephenson.
What makes Edinburgh a good place for the festival to be based?
The cream of global creative talent comes to Edinburgh in August. The opportunity to interact with so many incredible people and to showcase the new digital world is greater than anywhere else on the planet. In addition, Edinburgh during the festival is a classic big data problem. Over time, I would like to work with all of the festivals to build new digital solutions to help artists find their audience.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting up a creative business or project?
Lean and Agile business development strategies are not just for web companies. Your business plans are wrong, they are just business guesses. Your great ideas will change dramatically as soon as you interact with your clients / customers / audience so do that early. Develop a route to monetise fast, even if you wish for later investment.