May 26, 2022
Chris van der Coel

In a decade, TVSquared has become a global leader in measuring and attributing media beyond the germs of an idea. Its 150 employees, more than half of whom are based in Edinburgh, are now a major part of a multinational group with ambitions.

Reaching the stage and level of success of TVSquared is rare and deserves recognition. A key figure in the story so far has been Chief Executive Column Smitten, a world-class technology entrepreneur who has repeatedly demonstrated his ability and willingness to take risks.

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Telling and retelling the stories of business leaders like Columns – saluting their successes and respecting their failures – is essential to fostering an environment where creative business thrives.

Much has already been done to make Scotland a place where businesses like TVSquared can thrive. TVSquared was one of the first recipients of the Scottish Edge Award, which allowed us to focus on the United States as a breakout market. But we must do much more to ensure national strategies for education and economic development, so that both the human potential pipeline and the opportunities for these individuals and teams to thrive are secure.

There is plenty of capital in the world to invest in great ideas. In fact, one of the advantages of last week’s agreement is that the money has been returned to serial investors and will undoubtedly be redeployed to other promising businesses in Scotland.

This requires the completion of domestic skills through the best minds from abroad. We will only attract the latter if we prepare the former in large quantities and encourage them to create conditions for them to live here in which they can pursue brilliant ideas and innovate business. To increase

TVSquared is proud to have an outstanding team of engineers, designers and product experts who were a big part of Innovid’s appeal. These people will benefit from working with their new colleagues in the United States and beyond.

They will spark each other and invent new ways of working. Knowledge will be acquired, shared, and applied over and over again. As part of the journey, some of them may, over time, use their experience to come up with new ideas in a different place or in another field. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.

Scotland has a combination of technical skills, practicality and creativity that are incredibly difficult to replicate. Waking up here every day excites me. There is nowhere in the world that marries technical and creative endeavors as we do.

Unless we see the growth of this talent as something for which our society has a collective responsibility – and a self-interest – Scotland will not repeat the success of TVSquared as regularly as We must

Our investment in skills must begin at birth and reflect the ongoing efforts in our schools, colleges and world-class universities, as well as less formal – but less creative – extracurricular creative and team building opportunities.

Chris Van der Coyle CBE, Principal, Chroma Ventures

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