Julie Grieve - Women of Inspiration 2019


"As a start up, every single piece of motivation drives us on to succeed"

Julie’s impressive 17 year career in the hospitality and leisure industry has seen her rise from single property business centre manager to Chief Executive of Lateral City offering prestigious Edinburgh leisure accommodation to tourists. In 2015 she changed both home and career to support a family gift shop business and start a new project, ‘Criton’. Criton is an App that allows accommodation providers to digitise their guest directory and improve the customer experience.

In just 2 years, Julie is now employing over thirty people, has an in-house tech team and has launched multiple Apps for different accommodation types. Criton won Best Technology Provider at the Travolution Awards and Industry Breakthrough and Innovation Award at the ASAP Awards. Julie herself was an Innovation award finalist in the 100 Women in Tech Awards this month. Julie also has an impressive volunteering, board experience and mentoring resume; and is currently running the Women in Tourism mentoring programme.

Please describe what the company does

Criton was created to fill a gap within the UK hospitality industry – an affordable, easy to use digital platform for accommodation providers to create their own branded guest portal (an app). While large, multinational chains spend millions on developing apps for their businesses, Criton’s core target client is the independent accommodation sector – offering them the same tools that the Hilton and Marriott already adopt.

The business has developed quickly and in August 2018 Criton launched group functionality – which enables any accommodation providers with more than one property to group mini apps within one parent app. The core strength of Criton and its products is that it has been driven by a CEO who truly understand the hospitality sector – recognising the tangible benefits that the products can drive for its clients. Criton has clients in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.

Please describe what your current role within the company is

As Founder and CEO my role is to formulate and implement the strategy of the business, and as a fairly new start up, I remain very involved in all aspects of the business!

Please tell us about what inspires you, and what this award means to you

I am inspired by my team and how far we have come in a short space of time. It been truly humbling to see colleagues get on board with the vision and work to improve guests choice during their stay.

In terms of this award I remember nominating Pat Denzler for an ASB award some 15 years ago and feeling very proud when she won the award whilst wondering if I would ever be in that position as a woman in business. As a past president of the Edinburgh Businesswomen's Club and therefore a member of the ASB Committee it ishumbling and treasured to be recognised by them.  The fact that my nominator has taken the time to apply on my behalf is something to be proud of, recognition is hugely motivational not just for me but for the whole team and as a start up, every single piece of motivation drives us on to succeed.