Cell gel firm takes top spot at EIE14

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A spin-out from the University of Strathclyde was unveiled as the winning pitch at a conference for start-up companies in Edinburgh.

Biogelx makes “hydrogels” for growing cells to be used in drug discovery and toxicology screening, and was voted “pitch of the day” at the annual Engage, Invest, Exploit (EIE) forum, where 60 firms were selected by mentoring organisation Informatics Ventures to showcase their technologies.

Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter delivered the keynote speech at the start of Thursday’s event, telling delegates that entrepreneurs “are not afraid of the things other people are afraid of – they’ll go into the lion’s den and tackle things”.

Peter Ferry, who is responsible for Microsoft’s business partner channel in Scotland, said EIE14 was an ideal opportunity to discover new talent, “and over the past three years or so the level of creativity in the technology sector has rocketed”.

Other delegates included Jude Cook of crowdfunding site ShareIn, which has helped firms such as Holoxica – an University of Edinburgh spin-out that makes 3D display technology – to raise funds from investors.

Another of the companies pitching was Parkure, which is aiming to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease using fruit flies. It plans to launch a funding drive on ShareIn in the near future.

EIE is run in conjunction with Edinburgh BioQuarter, the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and the Scottish Inv­estment Bank.