CivTech Scotland Demo Day Reflections

Our Principal Planner, Veronica Barbaro, offers her reflections of our first Demo Day for CivTech Scotland, on February 8th.

Taking part in CivTech Scotland’s Demo Day, the culmination of a fast paced 15-week accelerator programme through which we developed our solution to Civtech Challenge 7.13: How can we use technology to better understand the issues facing our town centres, and be a catalyst for revitalisation?

Demo Day was our opportunity to promote our MVP, pitch for a particular ‘ask’, make more connections and crucially have an opportunity to share our work with high-profile Scottish Government officials.

The CivTech team put so much effort into ensuring the day would run as smoothly as possible, from hours of presentation skills training available to all presenters, slide deck reviews, dry runs and countless offers of help and advice. It is clear that Demo Day was as important to them as it was to us. And that’s understandable given that the organisation’s reputation heavily relies on the success of the programme which is supported by a broad range of partners and has just secured £10 million of Scottish Government funding to support the 2023 programme of challenges!

In terms of Demo Day itself, the in-person event was held at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms though many attended online. There were 13 companies presenting their solutions to the CivTech 7 challenges, all following the same format: 2 minute sponsor introduction, 6 minute pitch, and 3 minute Q&A. In between the presentations we heard from Ivan McKee MSP (Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise), Geoff Huggins (Director of Digital, Scottish Government) and Ms Clare Haughey MSP (Minister for Children and Young People, Scottish Government). There were also updates from past participants and a fireside chat which focused on the importance of digital and innovation for the public sector. If this wasn’t already obvious to those attending/ tuning into the event, the need for the public sector to truly engage with digital innovation to deliver the best services it can to its citizens was highlighted as absolutely critical.

When it came to Diagonal’s pitch, we were super excited to share the work we have been doing, working collaboratively with our sponsors South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Scottish Borders Council (SBC). Our pitch included a demo of our MVP which will ultimately lead to the development, over the coming months. of Skyline, a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) tool available UK-wide in the not-so-distant future.

To enable us to develop and launch Skyline, our ask was (and still is!) for Scottish public sector organisations to pilot our MVP in the coming months, to test and refine it, and add to its functionalities. The Q&A was brief but we were asked a number of interesting questions including what use cases beyond town centres might be relevant to our work. We will be reflecting on this question in our next blog post, so watch this space!

If you have watched our presentation and read about our work and would like to know more, or if you are interested in piloting with us, sign up here for updates or get in touch with us at


February 2023