Generation Rent Product Forge

  Edinburgh, Scotland

Have you ever had trouble finding a flat? Argued with your landlord? Lost a deposit? Conflict between renters, landlords and agents is one of the most pervasive problems facing the housing sector. Be part of the solution at Generation Rent Product Forge where technical and entrepreneurial minds will collaborate with the sector to develop new ideas that improve the renting experience.

The number of people renting in Scotland has doubled over the past ten years. New digital platforms are needed to improve quality of service and dispute resolution.

Generation Rent Product Forge is a hackathon with a twist for entrepreneurs, data scientists, software engineers, programmers, UX designers, developers and students to build new digital platforms to improve some of the most challenging problems faced by tenants, landlords and letting agents.

Use this opportunity to apply your skills, get a new startup off the ground, meet potential co-founders, and collaborate with like-minded individuals. You don’t need to arrive with an idea and you don’t need to be an expert. At our events, you can play a key role no matter your skillset or skill level - you just need to be passionate about making positive change.

At Generation Rent Product Forge, participants will have the opportunity to explore numerous datasets including Shelter Scotland’s web analytics and helpline volume data, Zoopla housing data, national EPC data, and housing data from the National Records of Scotland.

All participants receive mentoring, 10 free meals and 24 hour access to the venue, and all teams can access support to develop their concept beyond the event.

Concession tickets available for Students and Product Forge Members.

This event is part of the DataFest 18 Fringe Event Programme

Want to know what a Product Forge looks like? Check out the Public Health Product Forge highlights.

Partners and Data Providers


Linda Bendle
Ex Managing Director at The Key Place; Community Justice Scotland Board; Shelter Scotland Committee

Linda was the Managing Director of a letting agency, and has built up substantial experience in housing and property matters over 20 years working in the industry. Linda combines this in depth knowledge with first-hand experience of homeless issues. Linda is a Board member of Community Justice Scotland, addressing the prevention and reduction of offending throughout Scotland.

Victoria Smith
Operations Manager at SafeDeposits Scotland

Victoria has over 10 years experience in the property sector working with some of Scotland’s largest organisations. She has experience managing large property portfolios (up to £250m) and has extensive knowledge of the regulatory landscape. Working in the Private Rented Sector, Victoria has learned to navigate two very emotive subjects: people’s homes and their money.

Thomas Ashdown
Managing Director at Citylets

Thomas founded Citylets in late 1999 as one of the UK's earliest property portals. With over 14 years experience at the forefront of the sector, he maintains a keen interest in all things portal related and the ongoing evolution of the sector.

Adam Lang
Head of Communications & Policy at Shelter Scotland

As head of Communicatiosn & Policy, Adam is responsible for our policy campaigns, public affairs, marketing, media and digital work. He joined Shelter Scotland in June 2014 and brings a wealth of experience as a senior public affairs, policy and communications manager. Previously Adam worked as an Account Director for a leading communications consultancy, Weber Shandwick. He provided strategic insight and senior counsel in relation to the UK and public environments.


Dan Cookson
Housing Information Specialist

Dan is a specialist housing market research and data visualisation consultant. Widely recognised as an innovator in the analysis of the sales and rental markets in Scotland and the UK, he provides bespoke research and commentary for a wide range of clients including housing consultancies, property agents, developers and investors – and is passionate about using the latest web-based mapping and visualisation tools to share data and facilitate better understanding of our cities and communities.

Wojtek Kutyla
Service Design Lead/Senior Instructor at CodeClan

Currently teaching UX methods to future developers at CodeClan. In the past, Wojtek worked as a consultant and lead user experience designer at award-winning Scottish agencies. He’s been instrumental in planning and executing research methodologies on multiple large digital transformation projects for the Scottish Government, RBS, Standard Life, NHS Scotland and others. Wojtek’s main professional interests lie in the societal and cultural impact of digital design.

Marty Dunlop
User Experience Consultant at XP Consultants Ltd

Marty has worked his way through design agencies, dev firms, industrial manufacturing and corporate consultancy, and he has worked closely within both intimate and large scale project teams whilst delivering for various government and consumer brand clients. Since leaving the corporate world, Marty has been building a new innovation and experience based consultancy as well as a digital aggregation based product, Red Menu.

Martin McCourt
Data Analyst

Martin is a data analyst currently working in the energy market.

Ian M Robertson
Consultant in People and Organisational Development, Strategy and Policy

Ian was a member of the winning team at the Local Transport Product Forge in May 2017 & has since mentored the CDD, ETIC and Public Health Product Forges. He began his graduate career working at QMU, and later moved to the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education where he worked in strategic planning and grant giving. Ian trained in evaluation with Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in People & Organisational Development from Roffey Park Institute.

Conrad Rossouw
Digital Manager at Shelter Scotland

Conrad Rossouw is currently the Digital Manager for Shelter Scotland. Conrad manages a 5 person digital team, developing and implementing the charity's digital strategy and managing their social media channels. Conrad has over 10 years experienced in managing and ensuring the successful delivery of complex digital projects.

Tom Youll
Web Writer & Content Manager at Shelter Scotland

Tom has worked at Shelter Scotland for nearly 12 years, first as part of Rough Sleeper initiative where he worked across the hostels and drop-ins of Glasgow advising and advocating for people who were sleeping on the streets. Tom now works as a writer in the Digital team, where he makes sure that the content on Shelter Scotland Get advice pages is up-to-date and he has an active interest in the user journeys and usability of websites.

Leah Lockhart
Digital Democratic Engagement Officer at The Democratic Society

Leah helps improve public services through person centered research and design. She's currently working with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and is a core organiser of the OneTeamGov network in Scotland, a movement of reform through practical action.

Esther Roughsedge
Statistician at National Records of Scotland

Esther Roughsedge works at National Records of Scotland. After 13 years of working on housing and household statistics, she has now taken over a new role focussing on Statistical Promotion and Analysis.

Nathan Sheach
Content Developer at Shelter Scotland

Nate is a Content Developer for Shelter Scotland and a recent member of the Business Development team here in Edinburgh. Nate joins Shelter from an agency background with previous roles as a Product Designer and Information Architect in the field of Digital Learning and Competency Development.

Mike Smith
Tenant Team Manager at SafeDeposits Scotland

Mike manages the team of advisors who deal with tenants and is responsible for tenant engagement strategies, which involves attending at various events as a speaker. He regularly attends organisations such as Citizen's Advice and Universities to talk to their staff about tenancy deposits to ensure that they are able to advise service users effectively. Prior to this Mike spent 5 years working as a manager for the police in the control room in Aberdeen.

Jamie McHale
Founder at Telaco

Jamie is the founder of Edinburgh-based business consultancy Telaco, as well as a Saltire Fellow in Entrepreneurship. He is an an entrepreneurial leader with a focus on strategy, technology and communications.



This is a past event and registration has now closed.



38 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH3 9DZ