Major e-business award for ReefNet

4th June 2002

Western Isles based internet company Reefnet, has won a second business award after only a year in operation. Formed by 2 young entrepreneurs, Reefnet has scoped the £1,000 Regional Prize in the Winners @ the Web competition, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This follows Reefnet's regional victory in the Shell Livewire business awards in March this year.

Founders Alex Tearse and Anne Buchanan met whilst working in the new media division of former Western Isles multi-media firm Eolas. Mr Tearse was formerly with virtual reality software company Superscape, working for clients like IBM, Lego and Microsoft, before moving to Stornoway to head Eolas' new media ventures. Anne Buchanan has several years experience in developing professional web sites, as well as a degree in computing from Lews Castle College and experience in marketing, project management and administration.

The new company inherited many on the former e-business clients of Eolas when it ended its new media activities, and has built up a wide range of new contracts, from all over the UK in the past 12 months. It is now the leading e-business provider in the Western Isles and is looking to expand from its initial home-office base to town-based office accommodation. Further expansion of the business could also mean additional staff being required at some point in the future. The company's services include websites, databases, e-commerce, marketing, training and advice.

Mr Tearse said Reefnet welcomed the recognition of their efforts from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise award. "We are delighted to receive this award. The competition looks for the most dynamic and innovative e-businesses, and it is very encouraging for ReefNet to be recognized in this way. Highlands and Islands businesses are embracing e-business technologies to reach new markets and to better serve existing markets. Advice and help from the local enterprise companies and competitions such as Winners at the Web have a valuable part to play in encouraging this trend."

Among their major clients are VisitHebrides, the tourism niche marketing group; QinetiQ Hebrides; Cala Hotels; Work Global; and Virtual Yarns.

Calum Davidson, HIE's Head of Knowledge Economy said, "we are delighted with Reefnet's achievement in becoming the H & I Regional Winner for this year's W@W awards. It demonstrates the high quality work they produce and the potential this type of activity has in the Western Isles, and proves that there is no periphery in the Digital World"

Mr Donnie Macaulay, chief executive of Western Isles Enterprise, said that the award was a welcome recognition of the high quality of work done by Reefnet as well as the e-business sector of the Western Isles in general. He congratulated Reefnet, which benefitted from WIE new business start-up support in the first year, on their success. "From a Western Isles base they are participating in a global E-economy," he added.


Shell LiveWireShell LiveWire winner: Western Isles

W@W Winner : Highlands and Islands

Shell LiveWire



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