Edinburgh tech investor showcase EIE20 unveils two more top speakers

Scotland’s top technology investor event has lined up Jacqueline de Rojas and recently elected CBI president Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of the Cobra beer brand, as speakers.

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE is president of TechUK.

EIE20 is due to go virtual for the first time on 14 October, featuring 50 data-driven start-up to scale-up companies pitching to investors from Scotland, the UK and internationally for seed to series A funding.

This year’s event, originally intended for Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall, will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre team on a virtual conference platform.

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De Rojas is the president of TechUK, which represents more than 900 technology companies across the UK. Formerly a senior executive at software companies CA Technologies and Sage Group, de Rojas was appointed as head of TechUK in 2015, became the chair of Digital Leaders UK in 2017 and helped to launch the Institute of Coding in 2018.

British Indian entrepreneur Lord Bilimoria founded Cobra Beer in 1989, continues to hold the position of chairman at the global beer brand, is a life peer in the House of Lords and was recently appointed President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Bilimoria said: “As an entrepreneur, I am greatly looking forward to seeing at close hand some of Scotland’s most exciting early to scale-up stage technology companies at EIE20.

“Scotland has a proud tradition in innovation, research and the commercialisation of technologies, and has some of the world’s leading universities and informatics schools.

“At the same time, in common with the rest of the UK, 2020 has been a challenging year in the face of Covid, the ensuing economic crisis and how we make a success of the ongoing Brexit process.

“In my new role at the CBI, I will be doing everything I can to work for the best interests of entrepreneurs and UK plc overall in the months and years ahead.”

De Rojas said: “Scotland’s tech scene has progressed rapidly over the last decade to become one of Europe’s most highly-rated centres for start-ups, evidenced by globally leading companies like Skyscanner and Edinburgh itself continues to strengthen its position as the leading UK data hub outside London.

“As Lord Bilimoria says, I am also looking forward to supporting so many of Scotland’s most promising tech companies and to addressing the EIE20 conference in October.”

Karen Wood, director of enterprise, EIE, added: “Having business and technology leaders of Lord Bilimoria and Jacqueline de Rojas’ stature feature at EIE20 is a sign of how far EIE has come in recent years and their experience and insights, alongside our other fantastic speakers, will be among the highlights for our cohort companies and attendees on the day.”

EIE has supported nearly 500 tech start-ups and scale-ups since 2008 which have collectively raised more than £750 million. EIE alumni companies include FanDuel, Mallzee, Current Health, ZoneFox, Two Big Ears, PureLiFi, Float, Citruslabs and Amiqus.

The year-round EIE Entrepreneurship and Investor Readiness Programme culminates with the annual EIE showcase event in the Scottish capital.

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