Paul Forrest’s entrepreneurial lifestyle at Startup Grind

by Marlene Lowe
Partner Relationship Manager

November 24, 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

On November 23rd at CodeBase in Edinburgh, the UK’s largest tech incubator, we had the privilege of attending a fireside chat at Startup Grind Scotland with Investment Executive, Value Creator and Board Adviser Paul Forrest.

​Speaker bio

Paul Forrest is Founder of Consilium Analytics, Exolta Capital Partners and DroneDox. He has 25 years experience of helping businesses solve complex business problems, deliver their transformation goals and achieve tangible strategic outcomes.

Having worked with many FTSE 100 clients, Global 500 businesses and major Government entities around the world (Ford Motor Company, Diageo and British Airways just to mention a few) Paul was a vast wealth of knowledge that he was willing to share on the night.

Paul also sits on the board of a number of agile, disruptive and challenger businesses and is a mentor with Virgin Startup. You can read more about him here.

​The fireside chat

Paul is a very candid person, not shy to state his opinion. He attests his composure, prudence and mental attitude to starting out in the forces. Like many of the Startup Grind speakers, he was able to bring the crowd to laughter one minute and think deeply about life itself in the next.

In the late 1980’s he began learning and working with data sciences. Paul started out as a self-taught programmer and got invited into the corporate world after leaving the forces. The frustration of working in the corporate world pushed him into setting out on his own and having the choice of who to work with and who to spend time with.

An entrepreneur at heart he started his illustrious career selling floppy disks, became a ‘bedroom coder’ and worked with shooting in 3D. A professional camera operator, he’s heavily involved in the filming industry and is also a multi-award winning producer, cinematographer and screen writer. Paul is the epitome of an entrepreneur; he ‘gets on with it’ and he maximises his own ideas before someone else has a chance to.

“The grounding for virtually everything I do is driven by previous failures or instances that didn’t have the outcomes that I expected them to be.” Paul operates a fair and fast model. If indicators are not going the way they should, he goes back, does a course correction and moves on quickly.

​What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?

​Cast a wider net

​Take a look at what other sectors are doing and bring those technologies and ideas into other industries and sectors.


​Make sure to have quality networking. Ask sensible, probing questions and don’t waste time. Take a genuine interest in the people you are speaking to and learn from what they have to share. This helps you build a useful and resourceful network around you that can help you in the future.

​Surround yourself with the right people

Find the people that you can have a trusted relationship with and that can introduce you to other trusted people. Find trusted people that you can work with and will give you candid and honest advice and feedback. You want to work with people that are integral and not just interested in a paycheck.

The last fireside chat of 2017 taught us more than expected. A phrase that stuck with me most was when asked what advice he would give entrepreneurs, Paul said:

“I am influenced by what I see and where I see success in others.”

​Missed the event?

​If you missed the event then there is no need to worry. It was filmed and can now be found on YouTube and the Product Forge website.

​About Startup Grind

​Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. With monthly events all over the world, it aims to feature fireside chats with successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors. They share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Their values of; making friends, not contacts; giving, not taking; and helping others before helping yourself, speak to us as an organisation. We are pleased to be part of the Startup Grind community.

​The next event

​The next event in Edinburgh was held on the 25th of January 2018. This time the fireside chat was a little bit different – rather than one speaker we had two. Patrick Birley, CEO of NEX Exchange, and Malcolm Palle, chairman/co-founder of Coinsilium Group Ltd, shared the stage. You can read more about the event in our next Startup Grind article.