AS a police officer working in emergency and counter-terrorism planning, Ian McLeod Kerr gained a decade of experience in resilience and crisis management.

But in noticing that many big events and venues needed tailored advice on these issues, he also spotted a gap in the market.

“I loved being a police officer but I’d always had a desire to run my own business,” says the 37-year-old company MD. “When I saw the opportunity I did my homework, took a big gulp and started ID Resilience.”

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The business quickly took off and before long the entrepreneur had a stable of clients that included the Rugby World Cup, the Ryder Cup, Celtic FC and one of Europe’s biggest music festivals, Roskilde.

Mr Kerr McLeod saw another opportunity, however, when he spotted the need for a digital platform where venues and events could log, store and share live information, and the idea for an incident management app was born.

It took two and a half years to develop and create the right solution, but following a successful launch, the Raven app is already helping venues such as the SEC in Glasgow respond to incidents with greater efficiency.

The Bearsden-based businessman admits developing the tech side of the product was a challenge, but he is confident Raven has a bright future.

“It was a real learning process,” he adds. “Finding the right people to work with is essential and we had a varied experience with developers, at one end of scale and the other, from not getting the concept to taking it too far. But I kept going back to the core message – it had to be simple to use and accessible for our clients.

“Three developers down the line we are now working with a great team in Dundee. The app has huge potential and my ultimate aim is to be the global leader in event control.”

The potential was also noticed by Scottish Enterprise, which has invited the business to enter its high-growth start-up scheme.

“In the first year we want to focus on becoming market leader in the UK and Europe,” says Mr McLeod Kerr. “Then I think there is potential to take it to the wider international audience. Some of the Premier League clubs we are talking to have owners who also own baseball teams in the US – the issues and needs are the same.”

Running your own company is very different to being a small cog in a huge operation like the police, of course, but the former cop has taken to it like a duck to water.

“It’s really hard work, but the best thing is that everything is in your own hands,” he says. “Finding the right people is absolutely critical. I have a great team working with me that I can trust completely.

“The way things are going we’ll probably be looking to scale fairly rapidly – it’s a really exciting time for the business.”

At the same, time, however, the father-of-three is keen to highlight the importance of family time.

“I’ve got three boys aged eight, four and six months, so obviously life is extremely busy on all fronts,” he smiles. “But I spend as much time as I can with the family because that’s what helps me switch off. I am involved in coaching for my son’s football club and I love doing that because it forces you to take time out. Ultimately, I’m doing all this to give them a better life.”

And when it comes to offering guidance to budding entrepreneurs, Mr McLeod Kerr believes good advice is worth its weight in gold.

“It’s important to validate your idea with research and test the market before you make the move,” he says. “Finding good advisors is also vital. My dad has had his own business for many years and that wealth of experience has been so helpful.

“Get a detailed plan in place before you make the move so that you have a clear roadmap of where you want to take the business.

“But if you believe in your idea and are passionate enough, anything is possible.”