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5 fascinating start-ups from Edinburgh’s tech sector

Citizens of the Scottish capital have been busy tackling security, accountancy and more.

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Edinburgh is fast catching tech investors and technologists’ eyes as one of the most interesting places to do business in the whole of Europe.

With excellent links to a leading university, beautiful scenery and quick connections to London, the capital is building on Scotland’s reputation as an centre of engineering to create interesting technology products.

Here are some of the most interesting.

1. Float

Started by Colin Hewitt while he ran the design agency If Looks Could Kill, Float makes cash flow software to augment traditional accountancy tools with greater forecasting potential.

The tool works by presenting you with a visual representation of how your budget is doing, allowing you to create reports for the board, and annotate sections to eliminate any questions as to what the numbers mean.

In doing this it makes use of the APIs in accountancy software Xero and FreeAgent, allowing it to be integrated with existing systems.

2. PureLiFi

We are used to technology become quicker with each passing year, but our current wireless infrastructure may one day limit our ability to improve how we connect to the Internet.

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This is because there is only so much radio frequency you can broadcast through a place before it begins to interfere with itself, a problem that exists but as of yet has largely been ignored because of plausible workarounds.

Because of this PureLiFi may well be a solution ahead of its time, using lights to carry out wireless communication. This allows not only more signal to be transmitted, but is less prone to hacking due to light’s inability to penetrate walls.

3. MiiCard

Identity is an enduring problem in cyberspace owing to the ease with which people can impersonate others online with little more than a name, address and date of birth.

As such MiiCard has created what its describes as a "digital passport". Leveraging the trust that banks have in their customers, the product allows others to verify you are who you say you are online, both for businesses and consumers.

James Varga, chief executive of the company, told CBR he was inspired to make the product when he saw a gap in the market while running his last start-up.

4. Sofant Technologies

Transmitting radio frequency is an often haphazard process hampered by oddly shaped buildings, the natural landscape and, most troublingly, people.

Sofant Technologies is a start-up that is looking to address this by creating a more accurate means of transmitting the signal from antennas: increasing efficiency, improving performance and ultimately lowering costs.

This works both at the mobile consumers’ end and the mobile operators’ end, through a combination of software and tiny antennas.

5. Zone Fox

Insider threat is a key problem for organisations, especially with intellectual property often ranking highly among a company’s assets and being stored in easily movable formats.

Zone Fox is a company set up to combat just such a problem by monitoring users, data and applications to detect signs of bad or misguided behaviour from the employees and alert the IT manager to what is happening.

While doing this it does not stop workers doing their jobs, which is often a complaint when it comes to security products.

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