Product Forge 4


A room full of talented people spending 3 days and 3 nights side by side developing new business ideas, overcoming challenges and bonding - sound good?

Product Forge is back for its fourth edition to bring together student designers, developers, makers and marketers as well as graduates, freelancers and entrepreneurs for an unforgettable adventure between October 23rd and 26th in Edinburgh. This time we’re running on the theme of digital participation in the areas of social housing, libraries and personal finance and will be utilising three amazing venues - TechCube, Victoria Quay (Scottish Government) and Creative Exchange.

Participants form small cross-functional teams to work on a product prototype over a weekend. Everyone receives mentoring, meals and 24 hour access to the venue and the top ranking teams win support to help them develop their concept further.

Book your ticket now and use this opportunity to develop your career, gain new skills, network with industry professionals, meet potential employers or even kick-start your own company!

Questions? Email the team at [email protected]

Product Forge 4 is sponsored by the Scottish Government Digital Directorate, Shelter Scotland and ScotlandIS and is supported by Red Bull UK


Steve Perry
Founder and Co-creator, Visa Europe Collab

Steve is the co-founder and CEO of Visa Collab, who have supported 200 payment service startups in 9 months and developed 45 ideas on the Visa Network with outstanding media coverage. Steve has enjoyed 25 years at Visa, firstly as Head of Strategy, then Chief Financial Officer, over 15 years as Chief Commercial Officer, and more recently as Chief Digital Officer. He is a founding member and Director of Innovate Finance and shares its passion to promote the UK FinTech industry.

Alexander Holt
Head of Digital Communities, SG Digital Directorate

Alexander is currently Head of Digital Communities within the Digital Public Services and Business Transformation Division of the Digital Directorate. The focus here is building collaborative engagements with digital ecosystems within academia and start-up communities. His background is digital, having run his own agency in London delivering ‘super shiny’ apps and microsites for Google, PayPal, Sony Ericsson, McDonald’s, Adobe and other leading brands.

Paul Bradley
Regional Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer, Shelter Scotland

Paul graduated in Politics from Newcastle University before moving to London to take up the role of Policy Officer in the UK Government's International Trade Team. He coordinated policy development and communication channels for a range of trade negotiations between the EU and countries in Asia as part of the Commission on Housing and Wellbeing.


Angela Gardner
Public affairs consultant working with business & education

Angela set up public affairs consultancy AJ Enterprises in 1994 following 10 years in industry, specialising in working with business and education. In 2012 she launched 'Informed Scotland', a monthly learning & skills digest to keep busy professionals up to date with the key issues, policies, developments and changes in business, education, government and the wider community. The growing list of subscribers includes Scottish, UK-wide and local organisations and individuals keen to stay well-informed.

Katie Lyne
CivTech® Manager

Katie is currently one of the CivTech® Pilot Managers within the Digital Public Services and Business Transformation Division of the Digital Directorate. She’s been with the pilot from the start and still loving every second. Katie comes with a background in marketing, events and leadership and is enthusiastic about the power of digital transformation and the benefits it can bring to the public sector. As with most of the team she can’t wait to see what fruits the CivTech® pilot will yield!

Ben Jeffrey
Infrastructure Engineer, Boiler Room

Having attended all previous Product Forges last year and countless other hackathons, Ben emigrated to London to try his hand at working in the startup scene. He is currently one of Boiler Room's two engineers helping bring underground music online.

Darren Lester
Founder / CEO at SpecifiedBy

Architectural Technology graduate. Founded SpecifiedBy in 2013. Interested in business models, sales processes and marketing. Alumni of Ignite100 accelerator. Grown and manage a distributed team of 8. Raised >£500k investment.

Tadas Labudis
Product Manager at Yavi

Tadas works with an Edinburgh-based start-up Yavi which is on a mission to empower scheduled workers. Tadas is in charge of guiding product exploration and development efforts which in practical terms means speaking to loads of users, uncovering their needs and collaborating with developers, designers and other stakeholders to design viable solutions to those needs. Tadas is happy to advise you on how to do user research, how to quickly build and validate ideas and how to successfully pitch it the judges.

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.

Nicola Osborne
Digital Education Manager / Jisc MediaHub Manager, EDINA

I am Jisc MediaHub Manager / Digital Education Manager at EDINA, a Jisc-designated centre for digital expertise and online service delivery at the University of Edinburgh. From August 2012, until the completion of the work in Autumn 2014, I was a Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation in Scotland Inquiry Committee. We investigated the opportunities and challenges of increasing digital participation and supporting associated skills across Scotland.

Manuelle Debunne
Company Creation Executive at The University of Edinburgh, Medical Innovation Team

As 2013 Saltire Foundation Fellow, Manuelle has recently finished an executive and leadership training in Babson College, Boston. This programme helped her develop and comprehend entrepreneurial and leadership skills, which combine with a strong life science background to develop her interest in drug development and pharmaceutical field.


Allan Lloyds
Managing Director, Product Forge

I'm the founder and managing director of Product Forge - Product Forge run competitive hackathons with a product focus. We nurture talent within Scotland’s digital technologies sector though inclusive open weekends as well as corporate events. The format is simple - pitch an idea, form a team, build a prototype. Our experienced teams make it a unique and engaging experience.



This is a past event and registration has now closed.



1 Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1QE

Creative Exchange

29 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 7BS