University business center target venture capital – Nick Freer


Nick Freer Picture by Stewart Attwood

Most high-growth companies require funding to fuel their rocket ships and, on the investment side, 92 per cent of startups polled in the survey said they were targeting investors outside Scotland. Along these lines, the EIE investor readiness program run by a team based at the Bayes Centre, is set to announce its first EIE London event since before pandemic times.

London is a global tech capital, and startups headquartered there raised around $25.5 billion in venture capital (VC) investment last year, a mammoth amount that only trails the San Francisco Bay Area ($98.5bn), New York ($46.3bn) and Greater Boston ($28.3bn).

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London’s total investment figure comes from VC firms across the globe, and the scores of firms who are based in the UK’s capital. Because of this, London provides a gateway to global finance for Scottish startups and it’s vital that we strengthen links between our ecosystems.

As Scotland continues to build its own successful tech ecosystem, albeit at a vastly smaller scale than the world’s leading tech hubs, many bemoan what is seen as an investment bias towards London that takes investment away from other regions in the UK.

The hope around EIE London is that we can fire up the narrative, and design an action plan that moves the dial to the advantage of our most exciting tech ventures here.

The gender gap in business has become a common narrative in the media over recent years.

In my own experience, for every female founder I’ve met that you have encountered male bias in the business world, there is another female entrepreneur who has excelled without experiencing prejudice to any great extent. But no one should be content with the status quo.

Along these lines, it’s encouraging to hear that Ana Stewart will chair the Scottish Government-commissioned Women in Enterprise review – a report that should get to the heart of the matter in the Scottish context by producing key findings and recommendations around barriers facing women in business .

Ana previously founded and floated IT specialist i-design Group, subsequently acquired by US-based ATM group Cardtronics Inc in 2013, is a partner with investment firm Eos Advisory, a non-executive director with the Scottish Football Association, and also sits on the board of startup Bella & Duke and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS).

Stewart is already close to completing the discovery phase of the review, with findings likely to be published by late September, and will focus on a number of areas including education, access to finance and funding, advice, mentoring, and support.

Another key aspect of the report is around what Stewart describes as “robust and resilient” data. That’s going to be important, according to Stewart, so that we can benchmark and measure progress in the years ahead.

Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic communications agency the Freer Consultancy


www.scotsman.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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