Chris Van der Kuyl: Entrepreneur and Inspirer

1 July 2016

chris van der kuyl

Chris Van der Kuyl


It’s the season of graduations and Chair of the Informatics Ventures’ advisory board, Chris Van Der Kuyl, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. As a way of offering our congratulations this blog will profile Chris Van der Kuyl’s background as one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs.


You can’t take the Dundee out of the man


Born in Dundee with Dutch and Polish roots, Chris V.d. Kuyl is a noted figure in Dundee’s vibrant video games industry. He founded the Tayforth group and 4J studios, named after Dundee’s well-known “Jue, Jam, Journalism” and Joysticks, and is chairman of both. His innovative spirit and entrepreneurial insight couples start-up and business development in the tech, media and entertainment sectors, through being involved in various Non-Exec Director (NXD) and Chief Executive roles. 4J Studios is a hugely successful video game development studio, responsible for video gaming star Minecraft console editions, the fastest selling and  multi-million award-winning Xbox Live Game in history.


Chris’ wealth of experience is  aimed in no small part at giving back to Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurs. He is the Strategic Adviser for DC Thompson, and has been a visiting professor of Digital Entertainment at Abertay University in Dundee for 11 years. He was also the CEO of brightsolid Ltd, the owners of Friends Reunited and one of the world’s largest family history companies, FindmyPast.


In an interview with The Scotsman, he outlined his ideals for the Scottish Tech Scene, highlighting the potential that harnessing big data has in simplifying and reducing costs of processing that data. He pointed to the success of companies who have used big data, notably EIE Alumni Mallzee, currently the “Tinder for fashion” by bringing over 150 clothing brands with one easy checkout on a single app. He also sees a future for augmented reality tech which will open all kinds of opportunities for the software and app sectors.


Herald News: Dundee Games Supremo


Inspiring Scotland’s Entrepreneurs


Chris represents the new young generation of Scotland’s entrepreneurs and has always believed in the potential for Dundee and Scotland to become a global centre for digital business and science. He has always believed in education and is committed to building future entrepreneurs, encouraging enterprise education in schools, colleges and universities as well as through founding and being the chairman of now Entrepreneurial Scotland, an amalgamation of Entrepreneurial Exchange and the Saltire Foundation. As he launched Entrepreneurial Scotland in 2014, his vision, expressed in this beautiful award speech, continues to inspire the next generation of Scotland’s entrepreneurs.

“We must do our utmost to develop inspire and entrepreneurial talent, wherever it is, wherever it needs to be… Where Scotland has the potential to not only imagine the future, but to invest and create it, to be an advocate for world-class entrepreneurship but also contribute to a just and fair society which recognises the talents of many and the entrepreneurial drive of a whole nation.”


And this is exactly what we are doing in this ecosystem, nurturing Scottish talent and building wings for them to fly high.


Thank you!


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By Silvia Gatti, Informatics Ventures

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