Inverness exile Alastair Caithness feels ready to live the American Dream as he takes his business to Wall Street.

The Inverness CourierOriginally from the Crown area and a former pupil of Millburn Academy, where he credits his running coach, depute rector Colin Baillie, as one of his big influences on his life, he moved to Aberdeen to study business at Robert Gordon University.

He remained in the city before moving to the US with his American wife after the birth of their second son in 2015, but still regards Inverness as home.

“My brother Stuart still lives in Inverness with his family, and every year I return to the city to play golf with my old school friends at Inverness Golf Club,” Mr Caithness said.

However, he has found himself thriving in America’s can-do business environment.

“The business environment in the USA is a positive one where anything can happen,” he said.  “California is one of the most positive places I have encountered in the world.

“Coming from Scotland is a huge benefit as you have so many second generation Scots who live here and want to help you succeed.  The most embarrassing thing is they know more about Scottish history than I do.”

Even here he has kept his Inverness connections.

His corporate video for his business intelligence company Ziyen Incorporated makes use of the talents of Inverness actor Mingus Johnston, son of Highland politician Lord Russel l Johnston.

Ziyen Inc., comprises of three divisions.

  • Ziyen Intelligence provides small and medium size businesses with information that allows them to compete for 1.5 million contracts worth more than $350 billion in total, which are awarded by federal, state and local governments each year.
  • Ziyen Data uses the same database platforms as Facebook and Google Plus to give clients daily access to new US and International government contracts.
  • Rebuilding Iraq allows companies to bid for contracts awarded by the Iraqi government and international organizations and international organizations as the country continues to rebuild after years of war and internal conflict.

Mr Caithness believes the company’s cutting-edge business intelligence software is potentially revolutionary for the sector.

“We are about to take an industry and turn it upside down by providing information on contracts directly to our customers on a level that’s never been seen before,” Mr Caithness said.

alastair-caithness

To grow, however, requires investment and Ziyen is hoping to do so by taking advantage of the change in investment law under Regulation A+ of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act which allows companies to raise up yo $50 million by allowing the general public and not just accredited investors, to buy shares in the company.

“With Ziyen Inc. going public, and putting a company on the stock market, we are going to be in a position where Wall Street will be our banker and this will allow us to have an aggressive growth strategy,” Mr Caithness said.

“We are already looking at big expansion plans for the company in 2017.  We are looking at options to open up locations in Dubai, London and Scotland.”

He revealed he has a bit of help from his family help in spreading the word in his home country.

Even though I’m in California, my brother Stuart has been doing a great job of promoting my business to the Scottish marketplace in his spare time, despite being busy working at the Nationwide bank and being a dad with his own family,” he said.

“With any business big or small it’s help from your family and friends at this early stage that can be the difference between making it a success or failure.”

Mr Caithness hopes that support is set to pay off.

“It is my goal to have the company operating on the NASDAQ (the world’s second largest stock market), and the share price to be above $20,” he stated.

“Any company going onto the markets has to be set up with an exit strategy of being acquired  by one of the big boys, i.e. Microsoft, Google, Facebook or Oracle.”

“If I can build an organization that is eventually acquired by one of these organizations then I will have become a success.  But you never know – if I can grow big enough then maybe I will acquire one of them.

“I’m ready to live the American Dream.”