SMART Ideas Spark Off Growth at Synapse

Synapse, a Birmingham company supported by Innovate UK (the agency that works with companies to find and drive science and technology innovations which will help to boost the economy), is poised for significant growth after developing a ground-breaking cloud based solution to a prevalent business problem.

Over the next three years, Synapse, founded by digital entrepreneur Brian Donnelly (pictured), anticipates annual turnover to increase from £2 million to £10 million, and that its workforce will grow from 31 to 100.
Future development is in the wake of a cloud-based solution that allows multiple individuals working on a spreadsheet to share one synchronised up-to-the-minute version of their joint efforts. Current clients include a major UK bank and a leading Swedish retailer.

Synapse is now making its solution available as a mass market product to aid group companies in consolidating their accounts and accelerating their monthly financial close.
Mr Donnelly said:  “A leading high street bank asked us to fix a severe PPI resolution problem they were experiencing. We connected more than 400 of their advisors to our Cloud Server black box and solved their problem immediately, saving them time and money.”

Synapse’s impressive problem-solver was developed with the aid of a SMART award of £500,000 in 2013 from Innovate UK, which since 2007 has invested over £1.5 billion in innovation, matched by a further £1.5 billion in partner and business funding, creating 35,000 new jobs in the process.

The Synapse system connects spreadsheets to a secure cloud server which understands finance, audit and group financial accounts production. This means that, for the first time, a number of people working on the same set of financial data can share a single version of the spreadsheet. This eliminates the need for copying and pasting between spreadsheets and the risk of data inaccuracies is significantly reduced.
Based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, Synapse was founded in 2012 by Mr Donnelly and a British team of highly experienced Silicon Valley veterans with extensive experience in sophisticated data management solutions.

Mr Donnelly, who founded his first major business in the 1990s before selling it to IBM, said: “The funding from SMART was incredibly helpful but, that aside, what it really did was make people sit up and take notice. If the government was prepared to award a grant then people thought there must be something really valuable here. It made it a lot easier for us to hire people and to find customers.”
A second SMART award will allow Synapse to develop a prototype system that builds on its original process, offering advanced forensic accounting capabilities that allow CFO’s to query data across multiple companies to detect fraud or find candidates for acquisition.

Read the full article at