Saltire 10th Birthday - Post 10 Steve Tigar

If not for my Saltire experience, I would have had to leave the country I love to pursue my entrepreneurial career in London, or overseas.

“Since the formation of the Saltire Foundation in 2007, our Saltire programmes have been on quite a journey. We have supported over 900 individuals that have taken part in our world-class leadership programmes, many of whom have heightened their ambitions and achieved things they never thought possible. Our mission has always been to find, fuel and spark the next generation of leaders for Scotland, and looking back over 10 years of success it is clear we have some of the most talented, determined and capable leaders within our alumni. Now part of Entrepreneurial Scotland, our alumni are part of a wider network influencing economic and social change for our country. To celebrate 10 years of Saltire, we will be shining a light on 10 inspirational alumni members, over the next 10 months showcasing their fantastic journeys since taking part in our Scholar or Fellow programme”

- Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland

Post 10: Steve Tigar, CEO of Money Dashboard and 2009 Saltire Fellow

It was January 2009 and I vividly remember travelling to downtown Boston, navigating six feet of snow and braving sub-zero temperatures. I was heading to my Saltire placement with Veolia Energy. Having just left a six-year career in advertising (I had the good fortune to work at an award-winning ad agency), I didn't feel terribly well prepared for my business development assignment in the engineering team at a Fortune 500 company! It wasn't just the weather that put me well and truly out my comfort zone. 

However, having been inspired by the unique teaching at Babson College, I had the drive and will to make it work. Much to my surprise (and I'm sure my project sponsors' also), the project was a great success and gave the Veolia team actionable insight on where to deploy their sales resources in the North American market.

Post-Fellowship, I was afforded the opportunity to run a £1m Scottish-based property portal for the business owner (incidentally, an Entrepreneurial Scotland member). I had one of our Babson lecturer's infamous sound bites ringing in my ears, 'ride it like you stole it', but this was counter-balanced by the fact the business owner was twice my size! It was a whirlwind 3 years. The team doubled in size. We rapidly grew top line revenues. And spun out several new products (and a new company).

I felt I needed a new challenge and now lead the team at Money Dashboard, a venture capital backed Fintech start-up.  The company is unique in that it has hosted and employed a number of Saltire Fellows.  Collectively, the Fellows have had a huge impact on the business, including raising multiple millions in equity financing, establishing a data insights business, developing new products and setting up a trade association that has led to major EU wide regulatory change. 

At present, I'm fully focused on working with the Money Dashboard team to achieve our mission of leading millions of consumers to financial freedom.   But as I'm still only 35, I hope I have another couple of start-ups in me after Money Dashboard.

If not for my Saltire experience, I would have had to leave the country I love to pursue my entrepreneurial career in London, or overseas.