Barclays throws weight behind Edinburgh start-up event

WeAreTheFuture founder Bruce Walker, centre, with Barclays' Jamie Grant, left, and Stuart Brown. Picture: Stewart Attwood

WeAreTheFuture founder Bruce Walker, centre, with Barclays' Jamie Grant, left, and Stuart Brown. Picture: Stewart Attwood

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Banking group Barclays is making a push into Scotland’s start-up scene by sponsoring a major conference to be held in Edinburgh this month.

Business leaders from across Asia, Europe and the US are due to jet into Edinburgh for the fifth annual Startup Summit, the brainchild of Bruce Walker, founder of fast-growing global entrepreneurship organisation WeAreTheFuture.

Speakers will include Duncan Logan, the Scots-born entrepreneur who set up San Francisco-based technology accelerator RocketSpace, which recently raised $336 million (£273m) from Chinese conglomerate HNA Group to fund its global expansion.

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the summit, being held on 14 November at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, which sees Barclays come on board as main sponsor for the first time.

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Stuart Brown, head of SME for Scotland at the lender, said: “Barclays Bank are strongly focused on supporting entrepreneurs on their journey from the idea through building the business and onto success, which takes a variety of forms.

“Similarly, the Startup Summit plays valuable role in backing entrepreneurs and we are delighted to sponsor and support the UK’s leading gathering for entrepreneurs.”

The Startup Summit is run by Walker, who has grown WeAreTheFuture from an idea formed in a high-school classroom in 2011 to an organisation spanning 13 cities across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and US.

He said: “The energy and creativity generated at the Startup Summit is unrivalled. This summit is a place for entrepreneurs, innovators and visionaries – we bring everything an entrepreneur needs to succeed into one room.”

Along with Logan, the summit will feature speakers from FanDuel, the Edinburgh-founded fantasy sports operator, technology giant IBM, crowdfunding website Indiegogo and broadcaster ITV, who will discuss how to start and grow a global business.

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