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Tech Tales : Experts in cyber security

The CEO inspired by tech

Abilott is a cyber security company which enables businesses to determine their security posture. They do this in a multitude of different ways, stemming from third party vendor risk management, penetration testing, ISO27001 certification (which is a certification that mandatory for industries such as banking, gambling, and companies that offer a service to local councils and government officials). In the last 7 months, they’ve managed to secure a partnership with a global cyber security leader called Palo Alto Networks giving Abilott access to next generation Firewalls and cyber security counter measures. We interviewed the CEO Mark Adams around the journey so far and his years of experience in building and selling technology start-up’s. 

 Tell us about yourself

I started in business at the age of 20 in a marketplace that would be the IT industry of today.

Since then I have built businesses and ofcourse sold businesses whilst embracing new opportunities such as Abilott.

What are the main benefits of using Abilott’s services? Who are you targeting? What type of businesses would benefit the most?

Abilott are part of Airnow PLC which is a leader in the mobile application eco-centre, Airnow are due to float on the LSE in mid September .

“Our services range from consultancy, testing, training and countermeasures. We have some incredible emerging technologies that are at the forefront of cyber security.”

What made you decide to start your own business?

I’ve only had one job and I learned early that I could do it better, much better if I worked for myself.

What lead you to the concept of Abilott?

Abilott was an established business for ten years when I was asked to take over. It had primarily been a service business though being very good at what it did – when I took charge I wanted to add a new dimension to that.

Tell us about the journey so far with Abilott.

So far, we have increased our footprint in the UK having been successful in the banking and finance sector. We have also expanded to Melbourne, Australia and won some key accounts working with Palo Alto.

According to ‘’ there are 1.35 million tech start-ups worldwide. With so many tech start-up’s in the competitive landscape – how have you found it competing?

It’s a huge sector, not all will succeed but experience and vision will always rise to the top.

What advise would you give to other tech start up founders that are starting out?

Definitely seek out experience of others, research the market well and prepare for tough times before the good ones.

As an entrepreneur – what motives and drives you?

Creating success of course, I also love the ever-changing fast pace of the industry.

What does the future look like for Abilott?

Many exciting things, a wider global footprint, being a leader in Vendor Risk Management and securing mobile applications.



The best selling gender

Whilst women are massively under-represented in the technology market there is still a pressing issue of gender bias in various industries of the workforce – with the level of seniority also being predominantly taken up by males. Having worked in a sales environment funnily enough I was the only female working there and I also the only person who didn’t ‘sell’. Why? It’s been made apparent to me that stereotypes play a key role in creating bias in the workplace, in the context of technology the Bill Gates/Mark Zuckerberg stereotype has contributed to the concept of a role in the sector not seeming applicable for females. What image pops into your head when you think of sales? An ego driven man in a pin striped suit, you know your typical car salesMAN? But why?

Should there be a ban on the term salesman?

We live in a country where gender equality is at the top of the agenda, according to LinkedIn just 39% of sales positions in the UK are taken up by women which has had only a small increase of 3% in the last 10 years. Through my own research this is some of the suggestions as to why there isn’t gender equality in sales roles:

  • Lack of stability in a sales job is ‘less desirable’ when a woman wants to start a family.
  • The reputation of sales jobs still having that ‘car salesman’ mentality.
  • Intimidating, manly and potentially embarrassing sales floor atmospheres.
  • Having to use up a lot of time to travel would mean less time with the family.
  • The emotional position of women meaning they take rejection to heart.

To be completely honest these suggestions infuriated me to say the least, if a ‘manly atmosphere is intimidating’ surely this insinuates that men have more dominance and power than women? And what exactly is a ‘manly atmosphere’ because if there is one what does a female atmosphere look like? And of course, women are only made for birthing children? Because we obviously only care about the stability for our children that may even exist and perhaps never will? Furthermore, if women do have children who says they can’t enjoy a fast-paced professional structure and are also motivated by adapting to new environments and being challenged. There are many causes to the underrepresentation of women in the workforce however it seems that having to ‘fit’ into the characteristics of a female, male and other genders is resulting in people conforming to what the stereotype tells them.

It starts with education

I have always had a keen interest in gender stereotypes and the root of the cause as our childhood development has a crucial role in determining our future life choices. A report published on the 2nd conference of the council of Europe National around Europe’s Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 concluded that the curricula and knowledge that’s transmitted to pupils as ‘universal knowledge’ is for the most part experiences from men. Male issues are always present in the curricular and female’s remain the outsiders – for example the experiences of women in historical events have been absent. Males seem to be educated for public and economic life while girls are educated to care for others. Gender mainstreaming has not yet been put down to the education structure as policies have not extended down to practices in schools. Of course, this is a long-term fix for the generations to come, so how can we make a difference in the meantime? Putting a stop to placing someone’s actions, characteristics and life choices down to someone’s gender to be able to categorise them into their box would be a start.

If you’re a good salesperson, you’re a good salesperson and your gender won’t affect this. Stereotypes are only making us conform to uninformed, old-fashioned views and perspectives, we are the leaders of our own success so take charge of what YOU want to do not what stereotypes tell us to do.


Written by Sophia Ghahramani

Tech Tales: Machine learning technology that could secure you your dream job

Being able to portray your best qualities to an employer through a sheet of paper can be difficult, right? Jobxai uses machine learning to produce cover letters from scratch and assist in making sure your CV is up to scratch to land you your dream role. Welcome to tech tales, this is a new column dedicated to showcasing the stories behind technology start up’s. To kick start Tech Tales we’ve spoken to the Bei Mi Chen, Danny Blaker and Lane McDonald the founders of Jobxai. Let’s see what they had to say about how they got to say about all things tech…

The Founders

Bei Mi Chen

“I’ve always been a geek who loved technology. I was actually a musician before I became a software developer.”

 Danny Blaker

“I’ve always had a keen interest in technology from a young age and honed my skills whilst developing websites for clients. I’m passionate about building products that can have a great influence on people’s lives.”

Lane McDonald

“I worked as a chemist for a while before doing a phd in materials engineering, but I still did translation work and software projects on the side and eventually got into machine learning.”

What are the main benefits to a job seeker using your platform?

 Using Jobxai you can create Jobxai applications within minutes! Jobxai uses machine learning to produce cover letters from scratch and help tweak your resume, giving you the best possible chance of getting an interview!

 “Jobxai can be used by all professionals applying for jobs. It’s also particularly useful for young professionals who have just graduated university, and foreign workers who don’t have the linguistic and industry knowledge advantage.”

What made you decide to start your own business?

 Once we had fleshed out the concept of Jobxai, it was clear there was a lot of potential to provide value for people. As developers, we thoroughly enjoy the technical aspect of building software and the process of growing a technology business.

What lead you to the concept of Jobxai?

 When you’re new and trying to show your best, it can be hard due to the lack of knowledge and experience around writing great resumes. The time needed for job applications is also often daunting. We wanted something to take the pain out of writing job applications, and make the process easy and effective.

“The thought of applying for new jobs always bought me headaches, and for the few jobs I applied for, I’ve always had trouble optimizing my resumes”

Tell us about the journey so far with Jobxai

 Jobxai is approaching its final stages of development and we’re about to test with universities. Jobxai is tackling a rather complex problem and this is why we’ve been extremely focussed on the product – we’ve learnt so much in the process. We’ve had a seed round of angel investment and garnered the support of Amazon through their AWS Activate program. Now, we’re excited to release Jobxai to the public!

 According to ‘’ there are 1.35 million tech start-ups worldwide. With so many tech start-up’s in the competitive landscape – how have you found it competing?

We wanted to focus on building a solution that makes the process of applying for jobs simple, effortless and even enjoyable! We also feel there’s a lot of opportunity to apply Machine Learning and AI to this space. We believe focusing on the customer’s needs is the most important aspect of running any business, especially in a competitive landscape.

“There’s plenty of resume generators out there, but most only provide generic templates and advice. At Jobxai, we aim to take this experience to a whole new level with AI.”

What advise would you give to other entrepreneurs that are starting out in the tech industry?

Build the simplest version of what your product might be and try to get feedback as soon as you can. Not all products fall under this category but lots do.

As an entrepreneur – what motives and drives you?

It’s the journey and pleasure of working on something that matters to you and others.

What’s next for Jobxai?

We’ll be looking to build Jobxai’s userbase and getting as much as feedback as we can over the next year so we can improve it. We hope Jobxai will help millions of people land an interview for their dream job!

Check out their website to create your own personalised job application!

AI: Women we need you now more than ever

Whether the aim was to help reduce the spread of the virus or help people exercise from home during lock down – the usage of apps has undoubtedly risen. Apps like house party rose to fame over lock down even though the social app was actually launched in 2016, their total downloads in March ie. the beginning of lock down for many countries was estimated to be 17.2 million showing social apps really are the sweet spot during a global pandemic. Prior to writing this article, out of curiosity I googled how many women app developers have developed apps however most of the articles were around the subject of women’s online dating experiences during lock down – is this all that’s worthy of getting highly ranked on google?

Women in Tech during a pandemic

Unlike industries such as hospitality, technology is one the only industries that hasn’t taken a hit due to corona virus as many tech employees are able to work from home and companies have taken a quick shift to remote working. That being said there is still forms of discrimination towards women in tech during this unfortunate pandemic, this is evident in a trust radius survey which revealed that women in tech are 1.6x more likely than men to be laid off than men as 8% of women were laid off as oppose to 5% of men – according to the Harvard business review this is due to women generally having less seniority than men therefore making them more vulnerable to being laid off. Lock down has been very mentally challenging for many and with extra pressure from work this can be made even worse. Women are reportedly more likely to feel an increased pressure to be productive than men 40% of the female TrustRadius survey respondents said they feel more pressure compared to only 31% of male respondents.

The answer for women in AI

The idea of relying on computers and robotics was a concept that scared most of us as technology advances the more we can be ‘tracked’ – however countries including the UK are relying on AI technology in the hopes of reducing the spread of the virus. However, recently the Guardian reported only 17% of people in tech specialist roles were women – in order to show you a career in tech is in closer reach for women and reason to not discouraged or intimidated let’s look at women in AI that walk the walk.

Women who walk the walk

  Alice Piterova, Managing Director at AI for Good UK

Her main words of advise to women trying to excel in tech is trying to not just fit into the ‘job description’ and trying new things and also being okay with not being okay in the current global pandemic.




Marisa Tschopp, Switzerland Ambassador and researcher of Women in AI

The most important factor to success Marisa suggests is to do your ‘homework’ ie. what homework about yourself. What’s important to you? What are your values? Your Purpose? Talents? And what legacy you want to leave behind for your children. Being clear of what you want is the most important factor of getting what you want.



Inna Berkovich, Chief Information Officer at Emerging Technologies

Her main piece of advise that she gives to women trying to make it in the industry is to “learn from people that you dislike” this seems like strange advise but her meaning behind it is to listen to them, observe them, understand where they’re coming from, learn what not to do whether you like them or not.


Written By Sophia Ghahramani

Stop Hate for Profit

We are currently witnessing the world exclaim enough is enough with injustice, inequality and hateful comments online. Facebook, the pioneer of social networking founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg along with four other Harvard University students. Controversially Zuckerberg’s concept for Facebook was the idea of having complete transparency in order for users to be able to form personal relationships, ‘building up society’ and making it easier for companies to connect their products to consumers – well at least it used to be. Now over 300 global big name brands such as Adidas, HP, Coca Cola and Starbucks have all put a ‘pause’ on advertising on Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), this is due to the ‘ Stop hate for profit’ campaign claiming that Facebook isn’t doing enough to stop hateful content on the platform. For example president Trump responded to a post about the protests over the death of George Floyd “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” which was deemed to be glorifying violence by Twitter, however Facebook failed to delete the comment – this inaction to be socially responsible has led to big brands agreeing to boycott Facebook during the month of July.

Time for change

Having a social platform that has over 2.6 billion users and being the biggest social networking site worldwide means users protection should be at the forefront of their efforts. This isn’t the first time the tech giant has been lacking social responsibility as back in 2018 87 million Facebook user’s personal data was compromised. As of January 2019, nearly 25% of Facebook account holders said they were “extremely” or “very” concerned about the volume of personal information the company collects and stores. Even though consumers seem to not trust the platform only one in ten Facebook users stopped using the platform after. So why is now the time for change? A national bullying survey found 91% of people who reported cyber bullying said that no action was taken. To highlight what putting a pause on advertising means for Facebook and Instagram let’s look at the figures- In 2019 Adidas and Reebok was estimated to have spent just under £10 million on advertising through Facebook and Instagram, Coca cola spent just under £17 million and HP spent just under £20 million.

The ugly truth of online trolling

Ever heard the term “Knives cut deep, but words cut deeper”? Well when it comes to cyber bullying this term really resonates. When our world moved online, unfortunately so did bullying, I myself experienced online bullying through a platform where you could anonymously ask questions called Even though the owners of the platform were aware of the numerous suicides and teen cyber bullying cases it was only ‘considered’ to be shut down by the owners but never was. Prior to being a victim of online trolling, I naively didn’t think words on a screen would really affect me or make me sad in any way. However, I was wrong, it took over my thought processes and in the midst of the online bullying I started to believe the horrible comments that were being written about me. According to the NSPCC one in three internet users is a child and three quarters 12 – 15-year olds have some kind of social media account. The national crime prevention council say 43% of children have experienced online bullying and a survey conducted by ‘ditch the label’ found 47% of young people have received nasty profile comments. Unfortunately I was part of the 91% of people that reported the cyber bullying with no action taken – in a world where there are more than 3.8 billion active social media users (and probably more) making it increasingly difficult to publish hateful content and reducing the risk of people becoming victims of cyber bullying is paramount.

Written by Sophia Ghahramani