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Getting to know you: Andrew Duncan, Founder & MD, SwarmOnline

SwarmOnline builds world-class apps for companies all over the world who are looking to use cutting edge technology to drive business improvement. We work in partnership with Sencha & AWS and are not only able to utilize this technology at an expert level for our clients but we also offer training and consultancy to other digital companies looking to expand their knowledge in these areas. Working with the latest technologies and leading innovation within the tech industry, SwarmOnline collaborates with its clients to turn ideas into realities. Since SwarmOnline was created in 2011, it has grown at a record speed with a growing team and now 2 offices located in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

 Where did your passion for digital come from?

My passion for digital started at a young age. When I was just 16 I provided satellite broadband to around 20 homes in rural Scotland- back home in Drymen. This was first time anyone had ever installed a wife mesh network covering an entire village anywhere in the UK. If your granny lived in Drymen, she’d have been trading stocks and shares faster than all her friends. .. Honestly, that what some of the OAP’s used it for! After graduation from Glasgow University with a degree in Business Management and completing courses in Computing Science, I published two text books on ExtJS still used by developers all over the world. At my core there’s someone who’s got an entrepreneurial spark with a sprinkling of blue sky thinking, but I also continue to fuel my passion for all things digital. I’m constantly on the lookout for the latest innovations and opportunities in the digital industry.

What’s you role and what does a typical day involve?

As Founder& MD of SwarmOnline my days are generally rather busy! I spend a lot of time travelling to various tech conferences all over the world and speaking at events. I oversee the projects that we’re working on with clients, seek out new opportunities for the business and the team and I manage the culture within the company (which often means making sure the office bars are replenished with plenty of beer)!

Any new products, services, events coming up for your business?

We’ve had an exciting year so far and the excitement is forecast to continue! SwarmOnline has grown and has developed from a one-man consultancy when I started up, over 6 years ago, to now being a group of digital companies that I have created- called ‘November 21’. As part of the group, ‘CU Soar’ has been disrupting the fintech market as a mobile app for credit unions. It is a subscription- based product whch allows credit unions to avoid up front development costs normally associated with similar apps. In the last few months we have signed our first 4 credit unions up to the app. Another initiative we have een developinh is Vaistak- still pre-revenue-launched to make Al available to all. It is a platform to build Al on top of moile and web applications which will allow companies to get their apps to thousands of users around the world and faster access to markets. Stay tuned!

Where do you see yourself/your company in five years?

Over the last couple of years, I have developed swarm to the point where we have two fantastic offices in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The next five years will certainly see us expanding across the UK and globally. We will continue to grow our blue-chip client list ad I have many more ideas for new digital products that we’ll be sure to be spinning up soon!

What do you consider to be the biggest benefit of your ScotlandIS membership?

The biggest benefit for me is definitely the ability to network with other members. It allows me to keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry, I can then bring this back to Swarm and help the team develop their skills. I have passion and enthusiasm for driving forward the Scottish tech industry and by striving to put SwarmOnline on a global stage I hope to help Scotland become a major player in the digital world as well!

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