CEO takes to the skies to demo innovative electronic signature technology

The Chief Executive of a Liverpool electronic signature innovator used his company’s software to sign a new employee contract from a helicopter flying over the city.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant took to the skies to meet new Customer Success Manager Jamie Wilson and sign his new contract of employment remotely.

Steven said: “I’ve always said that our software offers businesses the flexibility to work from any location, but this proves that Videosign can be used literally anywhere you can get an internet connection.

“As well as offering our users convenience and efficiency, we also provide security features that provide incontrovertible evidence that signatures on documents are genuine.”  

Videosign is an online meeting service for remotely witnessing signatures of legal documents.

Facial-recognition software is used to verify the identity of signatories before tamper-proof electronic signatures are made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

New recruit Jamie’s contract signing was witnessed in person by colleague Maria Murphy and the aerial meeting and signature was recorded via the Videosign platform.

Jamie said: “When I joined Videosign I never imagined I’d be talking to my new boss while he was in a helicopter, but it just goes to show how using the platform allows you to do business with colleagues and clients anywhere in the world – it eliminates the need to rely on face-to-face meetings even when signing contracts and documents.” 

The opportunity to hold the airborne meeting came about thanks to a friend of Steven’s who is training to be a commercial helicopter pilot.

Steven said: “My pilot friend was planning a flight to log as part of his training, and invited me to join him – using it as an opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities offered by Videosign was too good to miss.” 

Videosign, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, supports businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial advice and conveyancing.

The company recently released a new instant-access version of the platform, allowing small businesses to sign-up and start using Videosign immediately.

Videosign was the winner of the Innovation Award in the Liverpool Echo Business Awards 2022.

Chester insurance broker looks to the future after successful first year

A Cheshire-based insurance company is celebrating a successful first full year of trading.

Highlights since the launch of Vista North West have included building a portfolio of more than 50 clients and placing nearly £2m in insurance premiums, as well as supporting local and national good causes.

Managing Director Dan Stockley said: “It’s been a fantastic first year for us.

“We’ve acquired a number of clients of varying sizes and quickly established a presence in the local insurance market.

“As the new guys in town the priority for us remains building relationships with our clients and the wider community.”

The company works with clients predominantly based in the North West.

Dan said: “Offering a personal and local service to our clients is absolutely central to what we do.

“Claims and risk management support for our clients has been and continues to be a strong aspect of our offering. We have assisted a number of clients with challenging claims matters and developed risk management strategies to help businesses contain cost in what has become a challenging insurance market for some sectors – particularly important at the moment with so many other costs going up.

“We believe this is the true test of a broker and the area we add the most value to all of our clients’ businesses.” 

Vista North West is a regional subsidiary of Vista Insurance, and its core staff team is able to draw on the resources of its parent company to ensure the best service for its clients.

Dan said: “Our relationship with Vista helps us to give our clients a really flexible, responsive, top-class service without the price tag that would normally come with it.

“We’re perfect for local SMEs because we can offer them a combination of low cost and quality service that no one else can.” 

Vista Insurance Brokers Chief Executive Gavin Ruben said: “Vista North West has got off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing the business continue to flourish.

“They have a very strong proposition for clients in the North West, delivering a personal service and backing it up with cost effective solutions on every occasion.” 

Alongside establishing the business, there has been a focus on developing community links.

Dan said: “We’re proud to have sponsored Chester Nomads FC, which is one of the longest established clubs in the city.

“Along with my wife I also raised £500 for Autism Awareness by taking on the challenge of doing 16,666 steps every day for a week – no mean feat for someone spending a long time at a desk every day. Autism Awareness is a cause close to my heart, and one that Vista North West will be supporting in the coming year.”

Among Vista North West’s biggest deals in the last year has been working with a Manchester-based vehicle delivery business, and there have been other success stories in sectors as diverse as printing & packaging and furniture manufacture.

Dan said: “Our vision is to become one of the key players in the North West independent regional insurance broker market.

“We continue to develop our network of relationships with the region’s leading professional advisors, including accountants, solicitors and independent financial advisors, supporting their clients and creating solutions to reduce their insurance costs.

“Having launched mid-pandemic, it has been really pleasing to see the business world re-open fully over the last year or so. Meeting our clients in a face-to-face environment is something that we thrive on to build long-term relationships.

“We have ambitious growth plans and look forward to building on the success of this year.”

Grand opening for innovative Cambridgeshire STEM education nursery

A leading scientist was the guest of honour at the official opening of a new nursery in Cambridgeshire specialising in STEM education and learning for early years children.

Prof Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President for BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, cut the ribbon to officially open Shelford Day Nursery, Great Shelford.

The nursery offers a unique science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum in a specially-designed building offering interactive indoor and outdoor learning spaces.

Mene said: “It was a real pleasure to visit the nursery and see the children playing and learning in such a stimulating space.

“Giving children the opportunity to learn through practical play, to experiment and to be creative is wonderful, and I hope the nursery will inspire many children to discover a lifelong passion for STEM subjects and their wider education.” 

The nursery, in a former bank building in High Green, Great Shelford, will eventually cater for up to 59 children ranging from babies to toddlers and pre-school children. 

Interactive learning is a major focus, with children able to enjoy outdoor spaces featuring a range of activities and materials.

Children have the opportunity to experiment with interactive water features, discover properties of different materials in sand and gravel pits and even develop their first engineering skills in a ‘construction zone’. 

There is still a place for traditional childhood games, with activities like hopscotch used to develop maths skills.

And children can gain first-hand experience of the force of gravity on a slide plunging from the first floor of the nursery to the outdoor learning space on the ground floor.

Inside the nursery, children have access to the latest technology, including interactive touch tables and a sensory room featuring colourful lighting and interactive fibre-optic installations.

Nursery Manager Deborah Parfitt said: “The first group of children who have started at the nursery have been having so much fun exploring the space and learning through play.

“It was lovely to welcome guests into the nursery so they could see how well the children interact with the space.

“We’re very grateful to Sir Mene Pangalos for taking the time to visit us and find out more about the unique education we offer.”

The £800,000 project was supported by Growth Works, the strategic economic growth programme launched by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and Business Board to support businesses to accelerate and sustain their growth through consultancy and expertise, workforce skills development, and inward investment. 

For more information, visit shelforddaynursery.org

Enjoy traffic-free cycling in the heart of Lancaster

Cyclists of all ages are invited to ‘Ride Lancaster’  as part of the Bay Health Festivals organised by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.  

The event, supported by Rosebank PR & Communications, will see a section of Lancaster’s one-way system reduced to one lane on the morning of on Sunday July 10, allowing visitors traffic-free riding from the Lune cycletrack to Dalton Square.

In Dalton Square, visitors will be able to explore the Bay Health Festivals event, including a number of cycling-related stalls and activities.  

UHMBT Lead Chaplain Ian Dewar, the organiser of the festival, said: “Cycling is great way to travel and brings massive benefits in terms of physical and mental health.

“Our cycling village aims to bring people together united by the simple pleasure of riding a bike, and hopefully encourage non-cyclists to give it a go.”

“Many newcomers to cycling can feel intimidated by traffic on the roads, which is why we’ll be creating a temporary segregated cycle route as part of this event.

“Traffic will still be able to move through the centre of Lancaster, but cyclists will be given exclusive use one of the lanes of the one-way system for a few hours to encourage beginners and families to join us.”

The event in Dalton Square will run from 9.30am to noon on Sunday 10 July. The segregated cycle route will be in place in Water Street, Chapel Street, Rosemary Lane, Stonewell and Great John Street throughout the event.

Find out more at www.thebayhealthfestivals.org.uk

Pioneering digital signature platform Videosign announces sponsorship deal with South African golf pro Oliver Bekker

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant with Oliver Bekker

Digital security software specialist Videosign has become an official sponsor of international golfer Oliver Bekker.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant met with the South African player via the company’s unique meeting software to sign the sponsorship contract.  

Tallant said: “We’re proud to have become Oliver’s newest sponsor and look forward to seeing the Videosign name on the fairways.

“South Africa is a country that has really embraced Videosign, and I’m really happy to be able to say thank you by supporting one of the country’s top sportsmen.”

Videosign is an online meeting service that uses artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition software to compare an individual with their passport or driving licence photo to confirm their identity when they sign a contract or legal document online.

The platform offers users the facility to record video and other evidence like IP addresses and timestamps when remotely witnessing signatures of legal documents.

Facial-recognition software is used to verify the identity of signatories before tamper-proof electronic signatures are made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

Oliver Bekker is a seven-time winner on the South African Sunshine Tour, and was second in the 2021 South African Open.

He said: “Using Videosign to agree this new partnership was a great experience.

“There was no need for printing documents or waiting for the mail – I met Steven on Videosign, we had a conversation, and signed the contract there and then.

“This must be the easiest contract sponsorship contract I’ve ever signed.”

Videosign, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, supports businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial advice and conveyancing.

The company recently released a new instant-access version of the platform, allowing small businesses to sign-up and start using Videosign immediately.

Cyclists of all ages invited to summer time trial series

Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to join Lancaster’s summer time trial series.

Organised by Lancaster Cycling Club, the weekly events offer a choice of two-, six- and 10-mile courses on the traffic-free cycle race circuit at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

Riders race against the clock to set their best time for their chosen distance.

Father and daughter team Tim and Bex Norton share the role of Racing Secretary at the club and organise the weekly races.

Tim said: “We get riders of all abilities taking part, from serious racers to complete beginners.

“Our choice of three distances means that if you can ride a bike you can give it a try.

“The great thing about time trialling is that you’re racing against yourself – the challenge is to improve your own personal best as the season progresses.”

Lancaster Cycling Club, which was founded in 1924, aims to provide a welcoming environment for newcomers to the sport.

Bex said: “There’s a fantastic atmosphere at the events each week. We get whole families coming along to take part and a huge spread of ages from young children to people in their 70s.

“Everyone is really friendly and supportive, and the emphasis is on enjoying being on your bike and being part of a community of cycling enthusiasts.”

The events take place at Salt Ayre from 7pm every Thursday from Spring to Autumn. The club also organises hill-climb races during the summer.

Participants will need their own bike, a helmet and front and rear lights in order to take part.

Riders can pre-register or sign-up at the event.

Entry fees are £6 for members of Lancaster Cycling Club or Salt Ayre Cog set and £8 for non-members (£3 for under-16s). Membership of Lancaster Cycling Club costs £10 per year and is required after participating in three time trials.

For more information or to pre-register, visit facebook.com/groups/lancastercyclingclub or email racingsecretarylcc@gmail.com

Digital signature pioneer Videosign secures £1.15m investment 

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant

Pioneering electronic signature developer Videosign has secured new investment of £1.15m as it continues to develop its innovative online security platform.

The company, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, has developed a unique electronic signature platform that uses artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition and video technology to verify the identity of document signatories.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant said: “Videosign already offers unprecedented levels of security and confidence for anyone using electronic signatures.

“This new investment will help us to continue Videosign’s development and offer even higher levels of security to our clients.”

The investment has come from the Moonstone Group, which provides a portfolio of compliance, education and fintech solutions to the financial services market in South Africa.

Hjalmar Bekker, Chief Executive of Moonstone, said: “Use of Videosign is well established at Moonstone, and it is a platform we trust for a range of business applications, from remote contracting to exam invigilation.

“Use of electronic signatures is only going to increase, and we believe that Videosign will play a pivotal role in its growing acceptance among users, bringing document-signing into the 21st century.”

Videosign is an online meeting platform with the facility to record video and other evidence like IP addresses and timestamps to allow for e-commissioning and remote witnessing of signatures on legal documents ranging from affidavits to contracts.

The platform’s AI-powered facial recognition software compares an individual with their passport or driving licence photo to confirm their identity. It also has the ability to link to external identity databases for further checks.

Tamper-proof electronic signatures can then be made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

Videosign already enjoys popularity among financial advisors, thanks to the improved customer experience it offers and its integration with the widely-used Iress Xplan advice software.

Steven Tallant said: “This investment is an indication of how integral the Videosign platform has become to Moonstone’s operations.

“This is an exciting time for Videosign, and we have plans to continue improving our security features to offer even stronger levels of assurance and compliance to our customers and lead the way in this evolving way of doing business.”

Is the DIY approach to comms and marketing working for you?

Most people wouldn’t dream of rewiring their own house or installing their own boiler.

Why? Because these are tasks that require years of training and experience, and are fraught with legal requirements.

We all have a go at doing a few odd jobs around the house from time to time, but things tend to go wrong when DIYers don’t know their own limits and try to tackle a job beyond their skill level.

Most of the time there’s no harm done. The end result might not be up to professional standards, and it might have taken a bit longer – but it was probably cheaper and maybe even fairly enjoyable to do.

But if something goes wrong with your DIY you can easily find yourself unexpectedly dealing with a flood or a blowing a fuse.

Talk to any electrician or plumber and they’ll be able to tell you tales of the DIY bodge jobs they’ve been called into fix over the years. Sometimes, it’s just better to leave it to a professional.

The same, of course, is true of your communications and marketing. Many businesses and business owners try to take a DIY approach these essential functions.

And while they may be able to muddle through the basics, there are some tasks that need the attention of an experienced professional.

True, the DIY approach may be cheaper. But is it really the best use of your time? Are you really reaching the right audiences? Are you GDPR compliant? Would you know what to do if something went wrong?

Bringing in the experts to support your comms and marketing means you can stop trying to DIY it and instead make the right connections with your target audiences and avoid getting in hot water through ignorance of media and data protection law.

Why public relations is like a waterproof jacket for your business

Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a very keen cyclist.

When I set off on my ride the other day it was windy and rainy, but that didn’t matter because I was wearing my waterproof jacket.

It’s an essential bit of kit, because by protecting me from the wind and the rain it means I can just carry on doing what I want to do.

And because it’s bright red, it’s useful even in good weather because it makes sure I’m seen by other road users.

Public relations is like a waterproof jacket for your business.

On the good days, it’ll help to make sure you’re seen by telling your story, celebrating your successes and sharing your expertise.

And when things get a bit stormy working with a PR expert means that you can carry on doing what you do best, safe in the knowledge that any raindrops will bounce right off.

Check the forecast

Another thing you learn when you’re a cyclist is the importance of planning ahead.

Fail to check the weather forecast and you could find yourself 50 miles from home without your jacket when the raindrops start to fall.

And if you don’t invest in a jacket in the first place you’ll either have to endure some unpleasant days or be forced to cancel your plans.

Your approach to protecting your reputation is just the same.

Fail to look ahead and plan for the circumstances and you could find yourself exposed to the elements.

And not investing in PR support at all could mean that when bad weather hits you’ll have to abandon your plans to focus on sheltering from the storm.

  • Have you got the kit you need to make sure you’re seen and protect you when a metaphorical storm hits your business? Get in touch to find out how Rosebank Media can help you keep going, whatever the weather.

New businesses can win free networking for a year through grant scheme

Entrepreneurs launching new businesses in north Lancashire and south Cumbria this year have chance to secure a grant worth £894 for a year’s free membership of a worldwide networking organisation.

Business Networking International (BNI) has active groups all over the country, including the LA5 group, covering north Lancashire and south Cumbria.

Lancaster-based financial planner Peter Walmsley, a founder member of the LA5 group, said: “The pandemic has made 2020 incredibly tough for businesses, so BNI has introduced this grant scheme to help give a boost to a new start-up.

“We are seeing many people losing their jobs or finding their existing business is no longer viable, which is why we want to help people launching a new venture this year to get access to the support that BNI offers.

“We want to hear from anyone interested in applying for the grant so they can come along to one of our weekly online meetings and find out what we’re all about.”

BNI offers a structured approach to networking that encourages and trains members to work together to generate opportunities for each other’s businesses.

Local groups provide a valuable source of income for businesses as well as offering the chance to benefit from the collective knowledge, experience and support of other members.

Peter said: “Starting out in business can be daunting, but if you’re a member of BNI you don’t have to face the challenges alone. We’d love to help someone to get their business off the ground this year.”

Owners or employees of businesses launched in 2020 are eligible to apply. The business must be the applicant’s main work activity. One free membership is available for each BNI group, and grants will be awarded following an application process.Deadline for applications is December 8, 2020.

LA5 meets via Zoom from 9.30am to 11.30am every Tuesday.

To find out more and arrange a visit to the LA5 group, email BNILA5@outlook.com