Scottish business wire: Sports Direct | Converge | Equity Gap

Beleaguered internet company Yahoo said the personal information of 500 million accounts had been stolen in a massive security breakdown, dating back to late 2014. Picture: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Beleaguered internet company Yahoo said the personal information of 500 million accounts had been stolen in a massive security breakdown, dating back to late 2014. Picture: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

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The main breaking business stories of the day plus recent investments and grants achieved by Scottish firms.

This feature is brought to you by The Scotsman and Young Company Finance.

Mike Ashley said Dave Forsey's resignation was like losing his right arm. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Mike Ashley said Dave Forsey's resignation was like losing his right arm. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Mike Ashley takes charge as Sports Direct chief quits

Dave Forsey has resigned as the long-standing chief executive of Sports Direct, with founder Mike Ashley replacing him. The embattled retailer, which this week bowed to investor demands for an independent review of its working practices, said Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, would be supported in his role by its existing executive management team, “and Dave Forsey has agreed to facilitate a smooth handover of his responsibilities”. Ashley said: “I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future.”

Converge Challenge unveils winning university start-ups

Two start-ups from Scottish universities have shared the top £71,000 prize at this year’s Converge Challenge awards. The company creation competition aimed at staff, students, and recent graduates of Scottish universities, saw Edinburgh’s MicroSense Technologies and Glasgow-based MindMate each win £21,500 in cash and £14,000 worth of business support at last night’s awards ceremony at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.

Business angel group Equity Gap flies high

Funding group Equity Gap has claimed the title of Scotland’s most active angel syndicate for the first half of 2016 as it closes in on its first successful investment exit. The group, set up by management consultant and former Scottish rugby international Jock Millican, typically provides between £20,000 and £500,000 to young high-growth companies. Recent investments include funding for Insignia Technologies, Synaptec, Appointedd, Shotscope and Vert Rotors.

Martin Flanagan: Brexit concerns linger on at Lloyd’s

The Lloyd’s of London insurance market admitted trading in the European Union post-Brexit remained a “major issue”, with the EU accounting for 11 per cent of its premiums, writes Martin Flanagan. “The British financial services industry is concerned at the possible loss of passporting rights allowing it to do business in the EU after Brexit.”

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RECENT INVESTMENTS OVER PAST THREE MONTHS

Company: Cognitive Geology, Edinburgh

Industry: oil & gas

Amount of investment: £340,000

Investors: Scottish Enterprise and private investors

Company: Ecometrica, Edinburgh

Industry: environmental technology

Amount of investment: £622,000

Investors: Clydesdale Bank

Company: My1Login, Glasgow

Industry: security software

Amount of investment: £1,300,000

Investors: Equity Gap, SIB, Par Equity,

Company: Flexiworkforce, Glasgow

Industry: business services

Amount of investment: £113,000

Investors: Kelvin Capital

Company: pureLiFI, Edinburgh

Industry: opto-electronics

Amount of investment: £5,054,000

Investors: Temasek, existing investors

Company: Nodthera, Edinburgh

Industry: drug discovery

Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Epidarex Capital

Company: TVSquared, Edinburgh

Industry: data analytics

Amount of investment: £2,012,000

Investors: West Coast Capital

GRANT AWARDS OVER PAST THREE MONTHS

Company: Ingenico (UK), Glasgow

Type of grant: research and development

Grant awarded: £498,000

Company: ESS Technology, Glasgow

Type of grant: SE Smart Development (Scottish Enterprise)

Grant awarded: £600,000

Company: Farrpoint Assure, Edinburgh

Type of grant: SE Smart Feasability

Grant awarded: £100, 000

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