The Synapse Team
James Elliott

James Elliott

Chief Technology Officer

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James is the Senior Developer at Synapse and one of the first members of the team. An Oracle DBA Developer with 16 years experience of back-end and front-end Development, Database Management, Data-Warehousing and Web technologies in Linux, Unix and Windows. Outside of work James will ideally be on a Turkish beach eating seafood.
Rachelle Tuft

Rachelle Tuft

PA

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Rachelle joined Synapse in August 2015 after working in Broadcast Media for eight years on a variety of popular TV shows. Her experience of being well-organised and adept at multi-tasking means she can now help juggle the workload of the Finance and Operations Manager, Tineke Booth. She has a Master of Modern Languages reading French and Spanish at the University of Manchester. Outside of work, Rachelle enjoys getting creative – be it knitting, sewing or a project involving a glue gun –she’s happy! Can’t live without: Music and Strictly Come Dancing.
Ruth McFarland

Ruth McFarland

Finance and Operations Manager

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Ruth joined the team in October 2016 after spending 15 years with KPMG as an Audit Manager. Her unique expertise has helped develop Synapse’s new statutory accounts module, and as such, she has worked closely alongside our existing customer, Norman Hay PLC. Outside of work, Ruth keeps herself equally as busy – she is a mother to three children, owns 2 horses and 2 dogs, and is the Chair of Governors & PTA Treasurer at the local Primary School. She is also teaching herself how to play the bagpipes. Can’t live without: Chocolate and Cars.

Anna Hawkins

Anna Hawkins

PA to Brian Donnelly

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Anna graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Modern Languages. She has taken on a variety of responsibilities since joining Synapse in February 2016, and enjoys constantly learning and developing her skill set. Whilst she spends most of her time in Birmingham, Anna’s family base is in Florida. She is fluent in Italian having spent most of her life in Italy. Can’t live without: Music and travel.

Josef Baker

Josef Baker

Senior Engineer

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Josef joined Synapse in July 2013 as an experienced Software Developer in order to focus primarily on back-end development and support for all clients. He has spent time on site with major clients to improve the efficiency of releases and provide training and support to all users. Previously a Research Fellow at University of Birmingham, Josef has worked on projects in Japan, China and throughout Europe focusing on scientific document analysis and semantic web for mathematics. He holds a PhD in Computer Science, M.Eng in Computer Science & Software Engineering both at the University of Birmingham. When not at work, Josef enjoys combing and waxing his moustache.
Gary Liddle

Gary Liddle

Senior Software Engineer

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Gary joined Synapse in June 2015 as a Software and Systems Engineer. He is responsible for internal process improvement for a number of areas including service management and time management. Gary graduated from Swansea University with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and his previous employers include the Press Association, Demon Internet and Vodafone. Outside of work, Gary’s hobbies include electronics, home automation and swimming. Once, when bored, Gary practised a meditative technique mentioned in a book he had read on the training of Shaman..which caused his wife to scream upon seeing him, claiming his eyes were glowing. Gary confesses he can’t live without red wine and books.
Tom Brennan

Tom Brennan

Engineer

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Tom joined Synapse as a Software Engineer In June 2015. He is working to produce an automated testing harness to speed up the development of NanoApps, he also spends time working on-site with clients. A recent graduate of the University of Oxford with a Master’s degree in Physics, Tom has previously worked developing applications and migrating data at J.P. Morgan and Advanced Computer Software before joining Synapse. When not at work, Tom spends a lot of his time cycling around Birmingham’s canals, playing racquet sports, and hiking around foreign countries.
Tara Keaveny

Tara Keaveny

Telemarketing Team Leader

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Tara is Synapse’s Telebusiness Team Leader, she has been working in Telebusiness for over 10 years across various verticals, starting on the phones full time and working her way up to training and managing teams.

Tara joined Synapse as she found it to be a growing business with a fantastic culture and felt welcome from the moment she came for her interview.

She says she loves Synapse because “it is fast paced and constantly dynamic, it is a company which offers the freedom to look at new and innovative marketing practices, whilst promoting new and innovative products.”

Greatest achievement?  “A little cliché, but my children.”

What can’t she live without? Spreadsheets. (And a nice glass of Chardonnay on a Friday.)

Damla Elliot

Damla Elliot

Business Development Administrator

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Coming Soon.
Josie Byrne

Josie Byrne

Test and Support Manager

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Josie joined the company as one of the first testers in May 2015. She tests software, documents and analyses findings, liaises with engineers and provides support to Synapse’s clients. When asked why she joined Synapse, she said – “Because I love spreadsheets” – and really wasn’t joking. Prior to joining Synapse, Josie taught and tutored A-Level Literature and completed her MA in English Literature earlier this year at the University of Birmingham. She has also previously taught accredited courses in IT for a private training provider and gained a lot of experience working with excel in previous job roles. Josie is a bibliophile by nature and has a fire hazard level of stacked books at home. Can’t live without: Comic books and tea.

Toniann Francis-Cooper

Business Development Administrator

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Toniann is a member of the telesales department, where she liaises with FDs and CFOs to introduce them to our solution Cloud CFO. Toniann has 10 years’ experience in telesales and leadership, as well as 3 years networking and marketing experience. She is enjoying the opportunity of further expanding her networking and sales skills at Synapse. Outside of Sales, Toniann has successfully ran, cycled and swam her way through a triathlon. Can’t live without: A pedicure.
Tharanya Jyothiprakash

Tharanya Jyothiprakash

Business Development Administrator

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Tharanya joined Synapse in October 2014 as a Product Manager. She sits at the intersection of technology and business to enable the company to better communicate its products and services to the right audience. Tharanya’s recent project has included setting up the Test Plan for one of our biggest clients, designing a website analytics strategy and creating a Buyers Persona methodology. After earning her degree in engineering, Tharanya worked at one of the world’s largest IT companies for over three years. This was followed by an MBA at Warwick Business School. She joined Synapse immediately after her MBA to put all of her theoretical knowledge to the test. And where better than a start-up! In a past life Tharanya worked for Greenpeace. She can’t live without her hot chocolate or the library and plans to write a book on the quirky characters she meets there.
Brian Donnelly

Brian Donnelly

CEO

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Brian Donnelly founded his first major business; Constellar, in the late 1990’s. In the process of growing the business he migrated to Silicon Valley after being offered US VC funding. Brian took Constellar to a total of 70 major customers and 160 staff before being sold to IBM. Brian has seen companies large and small struggle with spreadsheets to automate business critical operations. The fundamental solution to this problem became the basis of Synapse. Outside of work you will most likely find Brian on the Squash court.
Ian Goldsmid

Ian Goldsmid

Executive Director

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Technology Entrepreneur Ian has started up and expanded multiple businesses, software and service product lines across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. His worldwide business expertise lends itself perfectly in heading up UK and Global Business Development at Synapse, for whom he has worked as an Executive Director since 2008. Ian also co-founded Constellar Corporation with Synapse CEO, Brian Donnelly, in the 1990s. Outside of work (when not found at the gym or on a bike), Ian enjoys studying topical issues like Science, Philosophy, Health and Nutrition. He also hopes to outwit the cosmos to live an extraordinary long, active and useful life and help others achieve more than they thought possible. 
Sean Blencowe

Sean Blencowe

Principal Consultant

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Sean started working at Synapse in 2009 and jointly built the first Synapse solution with CEO Brian Donnelly. Sean is responsible for solution design and client relationship management. He is experienced in project management of international teams, software architecture, design, development, test and validation, in addition to Product scope and requirements analysis. Outside of work, Sean can be seen restoring classic sports cars and taking them for a spin. Sean has three children and enjoys spending time with his family.
Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown

Financial Assistant

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Ryan joined Synapse to work alongside the CEO and CFO in order to upgrade the current financial reporting process. After receiving a BSc in Commerce from Santa Clara University in California with a major in Finance, Ryan moved to the UK to continue his studies. Currently working towards his MSc in Finance and Accounting from University of Wolverhampton; Ryan will become a part qualified Chartered Accountant in August 2015. Ryan is an All-American soccer player out of New Jersey, scouted by Blackburn Rovers and trialled with Sporting Charleroi in the top division of Belgium football. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey where a lot of the Sopranos series were filmed. Can’t live without: Peanut Butter and Kettle Chips.

Our Story

“Synapse is exactly the kind of company we need in the West Midlands. The team has decades of experience in software development and sales and every member demonstrates a real focus on solving the financial reporting problems so many corporates are currently experiencing.”

Dr. Steve Walker, Chief Executive, ART

Synapse was founded by a group of British database experts with Silicon Valley experience who gained backing from a UK Government SMART grant to develop solutions that are now used extensively in banking and retail and in the motor dealership and insurance industry.

Located at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, Synapse is at the heart of the technological innovation hub of the Midlands. Synapse customers include a global Swedish retailer and a leading UK Bank

Taking spreadsheets to the next level

i

Synapse Information develops solutions that solve the challenge of spreadsheet failure. Widely recognised as a major business risk, this problem causes almost 1 in 5 large businesses to suffer financial losses and was a major factor in the high profile collapse of US energy giant Enron, with legal documents revealing that 24% of the corporation’s spreadsheet formulas contained errors.

Synapse’s flag ship solution, Cloud CFO, is designed for group financial consolidation and reporting and combines the simplicity of the familiar spreadsheet interface with the power of an Oracle database.  By connecting spreadsheets to the Cloud, the whole process for Group Company Financial Reporting is made easier, more accurate and more flexible. This affordable solution improves collaboration by connecting users so that they only see data in real time and improves data quality and validity by eliminating one of the biggest risks associated with spreadsheet use; the lack of an audit trail. It transforms financial reporting by reducing the time taken to report on complicated group structures from days to minutes.

News

Innovation Birmingham’s Synapse appoints new Finance and Operations Manager to support the rapid growth of the business.

Synapse set to go from strength to strength in 2017, as Enterprise spreadsheets connected to the Cloud become the tool of choice. Synapse Information has appointed Ruth McFarland as Finance and Operations Manager to support the next stage of growth of the business.

Read More

Birmingham Success Story to Accelerate Growth and Create Local Jobs

October 9th , 2017 –  Synapse Information announced that it is securing investment with the help of crowdfunding platform, Shadow Foundr, to create local jobs for the economy.

Read More

Innovation Birmingham’s Synapse appoints new Finance and Operations Manager to support the rapid growth of the business.

Synapse set to go from strength to strength in 2017, as Enterprise spreadsheets connected to the Cloud become the tool of choice. Synapse Information has appointed Ruth McFarland as Finance and Operations Manager to support the next stage of growth of the business.

Read More

Birmingham Success Story to Accelerate Growth and Create Local Jobs

October 9th , 2017 –  Synapse Information announced that it is securing investment with the help of crowdfunding platform, Shadow Foundr, to create local jobs for the economy.

Read More

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