7th October, 2022

Our premier tech investor conference, EIE, concluded yesterday after hearing from 39 startups pitch for investment as well as featuring several keynote speeches, including one from Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Logan.

Logan says Scotland must normalise entrepreneurship in society and throughout the education system if the country is to achieve greater startup and scale-up success.  The former Skyscanner chief operating officer, appointed by the Scottish Government as Scotland’s first Chief Entrepreneur earlier this year, said that while he believes entrepreneurial potential is “latent in us all”, a more “systems-based approach” is required.

Addressing the annual EIE22 tech investor conference yesterday, Logan said he believes the roll-out of Tech Scaler hubs in seven locations across Scotland are a key component of that approach.  Turning to higher education, Logan added that while Scotland’s universities are world-class in teaching and research, they need to do better at entrepreneurship to “complete the triangle”.

Logan also expressed his belief that by co-locating industry sectors like life sciences and creative industries with internet-economy technology companies, greater scale-up success will follow.

Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur Logan and Scottish Enterprise’s recently appointed CEO Adrian Gillespie, who spoke later in the conference, concurred on the importance of securing more international investment into the Scottish startup scene, something both admitted was high on the agenda at governmental level.

“Keep watching Scotland,” said Logan, “because great things are happening, and great things will follow.”

Entrepreneur and investor Ana Stewart, chair of the Women in Enterprise Review, or Stewart Review, a report that is being co-authored with Mark Logan, reiterated her belief that Scotland can bring about transformative change when it comes to moving the dial on gender imbalance.

The other main keynote talk was by Hannah Jones, the CEO of The Earthshot Prize, an organisation founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Royal Foundation in 2020 to search, spotlight, and scale solutions that can repair and regenerate the planet in the current decade.

A year on from COP26 in Glasgow, climate tech companies were among the startups pitching at EIE this year.  They included Robotics Cats, a startup aimed at tackling wildfires via AI-enabled detection software, and Ocean Biofuels, a startup seeking £4 million of investment to help develop autonomous vessels powered by green hydrogen and solar to harvest sea kelp for a variety of applications with sustainability at their core.

Overall, 39 startups pitched to investors across the UK and beyond on the day, including 8 extended pitches to investor panels led by Kerry Sharp, Director, Entrepreneurship & Investment, Scottish Enterprise Growth Investments; Paul Callaghan, Investment Director at Scottish National Investment Bank; John McNicol, Founder and Director, Kelvin Capital; Devina Paul, Founding Partner, Galvanise Capital; Amelia Armour, Partner, Amadeus Capital, and; Fraser Lusty, Director, Equity Gap.

The EIE Investor Readiness Programme delivered by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre has helped over 540 companies raise more than £1.1 billion since 2008.