Glasgow firm is only non-English addition to Tech Nation cohort

Graeme Malcolm, chief executive and founder of M Squared Lasers. Picture: Nick Callaghan
Graeme Malcolm, chief executive and founder of M Squared Lasers. Picture: Nick Callaghan
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A Glasgow-based laser firm has emerged as the only ­Scottish business to join a ­prestigious UK-wide ­programme helping tech organisations to scale this year.

M Squared Lasers is one of 24 companies welcomed into industry body Tech Nation’s Future Fifty cohort for 2019.

The initiative, which seeks out fast-growing, late-stage British technology companies, aims to support UK firms as they expand operations at home and internationally.

Notable alumni include Edinburgh-founded Skyscanner, along with Deliveroo, Farfetch, Made.com and Just Eat.

The Glasgow laser manufacturer is one of only five companies based outside of London in this year’s intake, termed Future Fifty 7.0.

It is also one of just three companies named in the hardware devices or Internet of Things category, with ten fintechs, including challenger banks Monzo and Starling, dominating the list.

The newcomers will join 26 businesses appointed last year to participate in the 24-month programme, which offers access to Tech Nation’s peer network of digital tech entrepreneurs and a tailored programme of masterclasses designed to drive expansion.

The initiative also connects business owners with senior decision-makers in the UK government and encourages international recruitment through a dedicated team which assists with visa ­applications.

Its goal is to support companies in creating jobs and opportunities across the UK, entering new markets and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

More than 70 per cent of founders taking part in this year’s cohort are first-time entrepreneurs.

Companies must have gained “considerable traction” in their markets and demonstrate global potential to gain entry.

Graeme Malcolm, chief executive and founder at M Squared Lasers said: “We are delighted to have been named as one of Tech Nation’s Future Fifty amongst a group of ­brilliant businesses that we stand alongside at the ­forefront of innovation.

“We are using the world’s purest light to help measure global atmospheric pollution and climate change gases, microscopically image degenerative brain diseases and realise the potential of quantum computing.

“Collaboration has always been at the heart of science and we look forward to working with a new network of tech companies for the betterment of society.”

Parveen Dhanda, Future Fifty programme lead at Tech Nation, said: “The companies we’ve selected are established in their chosen markets and are at the point where they can look forward to scaling up rapidly. The peer connections and access to global experts that is on offer will help them fully deliver on their potential.”

Figures compiled by Tech Nation indicate that companies participating in the programme between 2013 – the year the initiative launched – and 2018 have raised a combined $8 billion (£6bn) in venture capital funding and capital markets, with $2.5bn of this raised in the last year alone.

Nine of the Future Fifty alumni have successfully taken their companies to market via initial public offerings.