NPIF Equity

COO leads new line-up as digital twin firm gets set for launch

Slingshot Simulations, the Leeds company which is a pioneer of ‘digital twin’ technology, has made four new appointments to support its growth as it rolls out its software to the market.

Dr Robert Harwood joins as Chief Operating Officer, having spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the modelling and simulation industry in both the US and the UK. Most recently he led global vertical market strategy at Ansys Inc, the world’s largest simulation software provider, during which time its market capitalization grew from less than $2bn to over £32bn.

Meanwhile, Amy Dell joins as Chief of Staff having previously worked at Leo Group; Megan Johnson joins from Bauer Media as Lead Digital Marketer; and University of Leeds graduate Anna Goldson joins as 3D and XR Designer.

Slingshot’s technology creates a virtual model of an object or a location to test new ideas – for example, to find the best office layout to reduce Covid infections or the most cost-effective delivery routes. Earlier this year, it led a government-backed trial to explore ways to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in Leeds, York and Hull which was one of the biggest ‘digital twin’ projects of its type.

The latest appointments follow a £1.5m funding round earlier this year from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), and the government’s Future Fund. The new additions bring total number of staff to 16, split equally between male and female employees and with a wide range of nationalities represented.

Robert Harwood said: “I am excited to join the leadership team of Slingshot Simulations, whose ground-breaking technology can help address some of the biggest challenges we face today, including climate change and sustainability. I look forward to helping accelerate the company’s growth trajectory.”

Slingshot’s CEO Dr David McKee added: “These latest appointments continue the company’s rapid growth and also make us one of the few software companies with an equal balance of male and female staff, which is a real demonstration of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Will Clark of Mercia added: “Slingshot Simulations has made real progress in commercialising its software and the initial version is now ready for commercial deployment. These new appointments will support the business as it rolls out the product nationally and internationally.”

Dr Martin Stow, Chairman and Director at Nexus Leeds Ltd, the tech-enabled innovation hub that houses Slingshot Simulations, added: “It is great to see one of our spin-out companies growing so strongly, creating high-tech jobs in the region and advocating for diversity and inclusion while leveraging all the benefits that a tech community like Nexus is able to offer.”

Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank said: “It’s good to see NPIF funding supporting the commercialisation of pioneering technology, and scaling up successful operations. Slingshot have a determination to create a diverse workforce which is successfully driving the business forward. NPIF exists to support SME growth across the North and I would encourage other firms that have an ambition to grow to consider it as a source of finance.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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