Innovation Showcase: VEO

It's something that all entrepreneurs want to be: first. For VEO, they're the first spin out from the Newcastle University faculty of humanities and social sciences, with an insightful technological tool that helps capture and monitor performance.

Before they feature in Venturefest North East's Innovation Showcase, they tell us more about their business.

Describe your business in no more than 100 words
VEO is a video tagging system for improving practice and process in any setting.  Growing out of the education sector, we have developed a learning technology that combines the power of video and data to drive professional improvement.
The VEO app allows video to be time-stamped with performance tags, making it easier to jump to key moments on review. Our portal provides a platform for individuals and organisations to monitor, share and improve performance.

What prompted you to enter the innovation showcase?
We are very keen to publicise our innovation. The concept came from myself and co-founder Jon Haines collaborating to solve problems in our own educational practice. It has since developed through interactions across several industries, each highlighting the widespread application of our technology.  We’re looking to scale up our work with professionals in all sectors to generate value from video and data.

Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with
We’ve created an innovative app combining the value of video and data.  This enables easy, effective, monitoring and reflection on people, processes and a range of interactions. 

The associated secure online cloud service allows individuals and organisations to collate, analyse and share tagged videos at distance, identifying good practice and areas for improvement. This is a scalable, affordable solution helping diverse organisations demonstrate compliance and improve operational quality, ultimately impacting their bottom line.

How would you describe that innovation to your grandma?
I would get her to download our free VEO demo from the Appstore! When people see the app, they tend to get it straight away. 

Essentially it’s a tool to easily capture and tag key moments, return to them, share and discuss as needed or desired.

How do you encourage innovation in the workplace?
We’re in very close contact with our users and they really drive our innovation.  Across all sectors we’ve seen a great appetite for user-friendly technology to make positive changes in the way things are done.  VEO incorporates ideas from teaching, aviation and medical practice among others; while we maintain focus on product flexibility. 

Also, as a spinout company, we work hand in hand with University collaborators, thinking deeply about how accessible video tagging can change working practices for the better.  

What are the biggest challenges you face when trying to innovate in your business?
Getting time and resources to incorporate all ideas into the product as soon as we’d like, i.e. now!  A stepped approach has been necessary to ensure core product quality, and we’re now excited to see further improvements naturally follow.

And how is business going for you at the minute?
We launched this September and it’s going very well. Our secure portal, newly flexible app and support team are ready, so we’re ramping up from soft launch with key partners, to full publicity.

Our prototype app generated great traction in education, health and commercial sectors and we’ve had interest from across Europe, the US and China.  We’ve also a core of users in the North East, which we’re looking to scale up across the UK and beyond.

Where do you see your company in five years time?
Providing a platform for video and data that can drive performance improvement according to diverse user needs. We aim to make it easy to interact with video and data, on personal, professional, social and international levels.

What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
From our experiences to date, I’d suggest these three things are important:

  • Put yourself in challenging positions so you can approach difficult scenarios with creativity.
  • Seek out problems so that you can solve them.  
  • Collaborate and always think how you can do things differently.