32 high-growth firms chosen for Dragons' Den style investor event in Edinburgh

More than 30 high-growth companies have been selected for a Dragons’ Den-style conference that will see them pitch for investment from seed level to over £2 million.

Left to right are Paul Patras of Net AI, Genevieve Patenaude of Earth Blox, Michael Rovatsos of Bayes Centre and Emma Carroll of OnGen. Picture: Stewart Attwood
Left to right are Paul Patras of Net AI, Genevieve Patenaude of Earth Blox, Michael Rovatsos of Bayes Centre and Emma Carroll of OnGen. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre has chosen 32 firms for this year’s EIE21 event, which is due to take place on 10 June and will be delivered in a virtual format.

EIE, which is run by the Bayes Centre in partnership with the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative, is a year-round programme highlighted by a day of pitching to investors from across the globe.

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EIE has supported in excess of 500 tech start-ups since 2008 which have collectively raised around £750m from seed through to series A and later stage funding.

They include Current Health (which secured a £9m series A round in December 2019), FanDuel (Scotland’s first billion dollar-valued tech start-up or “unicorn”), Celtic Renewables (which has raised more than £33m since 2011), Amiqus, Two Big Ears (acquired by Facebook in 2016), Speech Graphics, PureLiFi (backed by Singapore sovereign fund Temasek) and mLed.

The sector categories for EIE21 are: AI and Data Science; Energy, Climate and Cleantech; Digital Health and Medtech; Fintech and Cybersecurity; Smart Cities and Mobility; Robotics and Autonomy; Internet of Things; and Creative Design and Media Tech.

In 2021, EIE also has a “Wildcard” category for the first time. Featured companies include: satellite data specialist Earth Blox; OnGen, a tech platform that helps companies cut energy costs and carbon emissions; University of Edinburgh spin-out Net AI, whose AI-driven analytics aim to revolutionise the management of virtual mobile networks; and Oceanium, a start-up developing sustainably-farmed seaweed into plant-based foods and packaging.

Steve Ewing, director of entrepreneurship at Bayes Centre and EIE21 lead, said: “We are excited to see so many fascinating companies and products underpinned by both innovation and ambition at this year’s EIE, companies who are aiming to solve real-world problems and meet some of the biggest challenges facing our societies in 2021 and the years ahead.”

Michael Rovatsos, professor of artificial intelligence (AI), deputy vice principal of research and director of the Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Bayes has already established itself as a beacon in an evolving landscape of data science and artificial intelligence, and it’s our mission to remain on the frontier of academia and industry working in a collaborative way.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the core pillars of Bayes’ strategy to boost the university’s impact across the city and region, and the EIE programme is central to this overall approach, demonstrating our commitment to support the wider tech startup ecosystem in Scotland.”

The full list of companies selected for EIE21 is: AiM; Bendi; Beta Bugs; BLK Global; Boxergy, Bridgeweave; Crack Map; Earth Blox; Danu Robotics; Data Innovation.AI; Decblue; DTIME; GoBubble; iLoF; Innovatium; Intelligent Reality; Ionburst; iOPt; Libereat; Looper; Nebu-Flow; Net AI; NIQS Technology; Nomad Energy; Oceanium; OnGen; Open Banking Reporting; REOptimize Systems; theo Health: Transwap Technologies; UrbanTide, and; Voicekey.

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The Bayes Centre is the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and AI.

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