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Digital entrepreneur wins big at inaugural enterprise award

AWARD WINNERS: Mike Anderson (right) with ClinicJot co-founder Ian Robinson

A DIGITAL entrepreneur who developed his first award-winning software as a teenager, has added another prize to his mantelpiece.

Mike Anderson, 34, won the App of the Year award at last week's inaugural Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Awards for his ClinicJot app.

Born to a Nigerian father and Barbadian mother, Anderson describes his app as a "game changer" for the medical world.

"ClinicJot is truly a game changer, and already we have over 200 medical practices using our software," he told The Voice

"Heath is the fastest growing area of app development, and is set to be worth over $58 Billion globally by 2020," he added.

"With the NHS’s target to go paperless by 2020, ClinicJot is streets ahead of anything they have done. In fact the head of the NHS open source program was so impressed when they saw it they tweeted it and off the back of that spotlight we received £150,000 seed funding to build it. ClinicJot shows whats possible if your willing to be innovative, work hard and think differently."

Here, Anderson talks to The Voice about his big win and why he hopes to change perceptions of black scientists.

Congratulations on your SME Awards win, what does winning mean to you and your team?

When you run a small business, there’s no one standing over your shoulder telling you how well you're doing, its just you. You have to motivate yourself every morning to go in and do the best you possibly can. When things don’t go your way, you have to dust yourself off and listen to that little voice in side you that says ‘you’ll do better tomorrow’. So wining this award not only helps put all your hard work and energies into perspective, but gives you the inspiration that you can achieve anything if you believe it.

I do what I do out of passion, not to win awards but to have your hard work respected by your peers is an amazing feeling. We beat some very big players in our category and goes to show that if you believe in yourself and your product - sometimes David can beat Goliath!

When and how did you come up with the concept for ClinicJot?

ClinicJot was born out of a need to help small businesses just like us manage their resources and time better. There are 4.7 million registered therapists in the world and a great majority are self employed. I saw a need to create an intuitive mobile platform that could not only assist them dealing with their patients but take the stresses out of managing their businesses. The less time they spend on business admin, the more time they have for their patients.

Are you self-taught?

I taught myself how to code. My father was a Linux Guru who bought me a BBC Micro before I started primary school. I had my very own PC at the age of eight which was a very big deal back in the early 90s. I would spend hours locked away in my bedroom trying to figure out how it all worked. I could build a PC before I started high school which meant I spent my weekends fixing my parents' friends' computers. I’m so pleased that children as young as four are learning the basics of coding at school and through initiatives such as Barclays.

You were just 17 when you developed your first software, Learn2Pass: Driving Theory. It won awards, and was sold in WH Smith, how did that accomplishment feel?

When I was 17, I developed Learn2Pass: Driving Theory which was designed to help people pass their driving theory test. It was the first of its kind back in 2000. It was so strange walking into WH Smiths while still in high school and seeing my software on the selves. It went on to win the European Finals of the Young Enterprise Competition. I learnt some valuable lessons including the fact I am not a greatest developer in the world. Instead I surround myself with people who are smarter then me.

Are you working on any other projects?

We are currently in the process of developing a platform to enable therapeutic practitioners to market their businesses on demand. It’s the most logical next step to ensure we can help therapists find new patients, manage their patients and deal with the business side.

Do you think there's enough black people working in science and tech industries?

My new clients are always shocked when they meet me. When I speak with them on the phone they assume I’m white. When I turn up at the office they always do a double take. Sometimes they assume someone else in reception is me. The look on their face is priceless. I like it because I’m changing perceptions, one person at a time. I look forward to a day when its no longer a surprise.

There are so many black people who have made incredible achievements in science and technology. Ken Olisa is a hero of mine. He opened the door for upstarts like me! If I could have half the career he has had would be an incredible achievement!

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