Name: Adam Brown.

Age: 39.

What is your business called?

Bellrock Technology.

Where is it based?


What does it produce, what services does it offer?

I co-founded the business with Professor Stephen McArthur, to help organisations use the data they produce every day to improve the decisions they take every day. Bellrock Technology is a software company, and our experts have over 100 years’ experience of creating data analytics solutions. But this taught us how costly, hard and slow it can be to deliver these to users in industry settings. So, we created Lumen, a cloud product that we think makes this cost-effective, easy and fast.

To whom does it sell?

We work with a wide range of companies, from blue chips to start-ups. All want to use data to improve their performance. This means different things to different companies. While some want to increase profit, others want to improve health and safety or customer satisfaction. We work across sectors, such as energy, healthcare, manufacturing and public sector.

What is its turnover?


How many employees?

Bellrock has 20 employees, having doubled the workforce over the last year.

Because we specialise in technology and data analytics, we have not been adversely affected by the pandemic – rather we have seen the speed-up of digital transformation, resulting in an uptake in demand for systems like Lumen. Throughout the past 12 months we have continued to win new business across both the public and private sector. As a result none of our staff were furloughed, and we actively recruited more employees thanks to the organic growth we were experiencing.

When was it formed?

Bellrock started trading in 2012. Stephen and I began work on the initial ideas, market research and technology in 2009. This was after Stephen spotted a gap in the market to make analytics more accessible to industry. Some told us that our ideas were unrealistic, so we named the company after the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Some also thought it impossible to build. But it is a great feat of Scottish Engineering that continues to give light over 200 years on. Our aim is to emulate that success.

Why did you take the plunge?

We could see that not enough companies were gaining value and building applications from their data. I believed that the proven product we had developed ourselves – Lumen – could provide the answer. We talked to a number of companies who recognised they had a problem, and that we had created a solution, and this gave us the confidence to get started.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I was in a research group that Stephen was leading at the University of Strathclyde developing Artificial Intelligence and data driven solutions for industry partners. It was during this period that we saw first-hand there was a gap in the market. It was always challenging to turn research prototypes into fully-fledged operational systems. We decided to form a company that would create a tangible product that could bring positive change to how people provide data solutions.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

We campaigned and won the confidence of customers and secured pilot projects with them. Then we won the Converge Challenge, a fantastic programme that brings together academic entrepreneurs from every university in Scotland and empowers them to take their future into their own hands. It helped us do just that, and we won a Scottish Enterprise Smart Scotland grant after that. Then we operated for a further three years increasing our knowledge and understanding of our customers, before taking on our first round of equity investment for commercialisation purposes and production in 2015.

What was your biggest break?

Securing a four-year contract to support EDF Energy’s Nuclear Monitoring programme at the end of 2018. In terms of credibility, this showed the world that our product was enterprise class and helped us lay the foundations to grow the company from there.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

I love working with our colleagues at Bellrock. They are a phenomenal team, excellent problem solvers and are always working hard to move the business forward. I also really enjoy engaging with the wide range of firms and people that we work with. I gain huge satisfaction from delivering solutions I think are of real value across a broad mix of sectors.

What do you least enjoy?

I must admit the lack of physical interaction that is a knock-on effect of Covid-19 has been demanding for us both personally. In the past our most creative moments have come from the ability to gather our team together in one place and take part in long brainstorming sessions.

We also miss engaging face to face with clients, that ability to physically be in the same place in order to work together to achieve our goals.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

To make sure you build a fantastic team, surround yourself with the best support possible, who you can also learn from, and protect important values and the culture of the business at all costs.

How do you relax?

Spending time with my family, and I love to cook and play music. When I get time, I enjoy hill walking and mountain biking.