https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/14/game-changers-women-in-innovation-torie-chilcott/

Game changers: Women in innovation - Torie Chilcott

As part of our Game changers series we meet Torie Chilcott, who is revolutionising the advertising industry after bouncing back from a raft of challenges – including the worst week of her life. Scoota, which Torie co-founded with business partner James Booth, is a ‘programmatic advertising’ platform which intelligently distributes content and is on track to turn over £9 million a year.

Failure is the mother of invention. This company’s come out of failure. All of this has come out of a day of being fired.

Torie Chilcott, Co-Founder, Scoota

Programmatic advertising: growing 60% year on year

Scoota is a ‘programmatic platform’ that enables advertisers to create, activate, measure and optimise brand campaigns at scale.

The platform uses real-time data to automate media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics, enabling brands to automatically tailor messages to consumers at the right moment and in the right context.

In 2017, the company is forecast to turn over £9 million.

Scoota offices

Scoota is a technology company and we are expert in targeting the right people at the right time online with brand communication and messaging.

Torie Chilcott, Co-Founder, Scoota

From pain to gain

Torie started her career in television, producing for the likes of CNN, ITV and Sky.

A job on Pop Idol looked to be a springboard to even greater success – until the day she was fired by pop music impresario Simon Fuller.

But TV’s loss was the advertising industry’s gain.

Torie and her co-founder James Booth spotted an exciting new trend – the increasingly important role of content in online brand advertising – and immersed themselves in the world of branded content for fast-moving consumer goods and various supermarket, fashion and food brands.

With James’ personal investment in place, Torie urgently needed to raise her own chunk of capital in order to jointly secure the company’s first round of seed funding. This would enable the duo to build their big idea: an advertising platform that distributed highly engaging and relevant content to the right people at the right time.

Torie Chilcott and james booth of Scoota

Surviving the week from hell

Torie needed to secure her company’s first institutional investment – fast. Welcome to the most challenging week in the entrepreneur’s life:

  • “Monday…I was going to remortgage my house but there was a problem so I couldn’t get the money that way.
  • “Tuesday, my father was run over by a bus, while I was on the phone to him.
  • “Wednesday, my husband lost his job.
  • “Thursday, our nanny left.
  • “But the Friday we raised the money; we got the first round of funding into the business. That’s when it became properly exciting.”

Torie Chilcott, Co-Founder, Scoota

I haven’t met an entrepreneur ever, who’s successful in some way or another, who hasn’t had the ability to take one on the chin... So you just have to learn and move on, because it’s just experience. And you only get there by doing it.

Torie Chilcott, Co-Founder, Scoota

The road to global domination

Torie is now rolling out Scoota across the world and has recently secured nearly £4m of investment from Innocent Drinks co-founders Richard Reed, Jon Wright and Adam Balon and advertising legend Sir John Hegarty.
Meanwhile, she has become a respected thought leader and influencer, and is a mentor for Geek Girls UK, which supports and develops female STEM talent.

She has also raised £10 million in venture capital, won Woman of the Year at the 2014 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards and even landed a Guinness world record for the largest ever marketing lesson.

Scoota operations

Torie has brilliant energy and she’s very, very, very creative. She was so great to work with I thought well, she’s the perfect person to start the business with.

James Booth, Co-Founder and CEO, Scoota

She’s been an incredible mentor and shown me that you should never really take no for an answer, and has always encouraged me to be really bold in my work.

Francesca Burton, Head of PR, Scoota

 

  • You can follow Torie on Twitter: @TChilly
  • Follow Torie’s company, Scoota on Twitter: @Scoota_Group
  • For more information on Scoota, visit the company’s website

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