Entrepreneurs to showcase top Scottish start-ups at major European web summit

Founders and leaders from 20 start-ups will head to Portugal later this year to showcase innovative Scotland-based businesses to the rest of Europe.
Foras is to showcase the Scottish start-ups in Lisbon later this year.Foras is to showcase the Scottish start-ups in Lisbon later this year.
Foras is to showcase the Scottish start-ups in Lisbon later this year.

After the success of excursions to Silicon Valley, Helsinki and New York, Foras has opened applications to take the founders and start-up leaders (15 female-led, five male-led), on a funded programme to Lisbon to coincide with the Web Summit conference. November’s event is being billed as one of the largest tech conferences in the world, offering a range of expert speakers, panels and workshops. It is expected to attract more than 70,000 people.

In line with the Pathways report, commissioned by the Scottish Government and co-authored by Ana Stewart and chief entrepreneur Mark Logan, the programme will have a strong focus on addressing the barriers and challenges women face in entrepreneurship, including mentorship, peer-to-peer connectivity, access to support organisations, fundraising best practices and investor-facing opportunities.

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Stewart said: “I am pleased to support such an impactful initiative that focuses on action and aligns with the Pathways principles. Bringing so many women and male entrepreneurs together for meaningful connections in such inclusive environments is not just about fostering camaraderie, it’s a vital catalyst for unleashing their true potential.”

As well as support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Development International, Foras is welcoming corporate sponsors “whose values align with the vision of the project”. Accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael has already pledged support to the trip to enable the participation of the partners and children of applicants.

Leah Hutcheon, chief executive and co-founder of Appointedd, who attended the Foras programme to New York in April, said: “It was honestly one of the best things I have ever done for my business. It was a fantastic chance to make connections, both in and out of the cohort, to start to think bigger, take a step back and look at my business holistically and see it through the eyes of others.”

Carolina Melendez, Foras co-founder, added: “After attending Web Summit last year, and building a strong international network of women in tech and global leaders at the conference, I knew we needed to bring the Foras model to Lisbon.”

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