The event, on June 10, is being held virtually this year and will see company founders pitch for investment from seed level to up to multi-million series A and later stage investment rounds.
Eccles, an EIE alumnus, co-founded gaming platform FanDuel in 2009, with the company going on to achieve a $1 billion “unicorn” valuation in 2015. She is also a board member at Entrepreneurial Scotland, Tech Nation, and in March was appointed to an advisory board working with the Scottish Government to help the country become a world-class tech hub.
Among the other high-profile speakers at EIE21 is Mike Welch, who founded online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com in 2001, going on to sell the company to Michelin in 2015. Since then, he has founded a series of other e-commerce businesses including fashion site Atterley, and earlier this year he merged his US-based online tyre retailing business Tirescanner with American Tire Distributors’ Tirebuyer operation.
EIE has supported more than 500 tech start-ups since 2008 which have collectively raised around £750 million from seed through to Series A and later stage funding – with Current Health, FanDuel, Celtic Renewables, Amiqus, Two Big Ears, Speech Graphics, PureLiFi and mLed among EIE alumnus companies.
The investment programme is run by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre in partnership with the DDI (Data-Driven Innovation) initiative and supported by Scottish Enterprise.
Karen Wood, director of enterprise, Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh, said: “We have assembled a strong collective from the worlds of international investment, entrepreneurship, impact and sustainability, and the university sector.
“From Sir Ronald Cohen, a founding father of UK private equity and pioneer in social impact, to Alex Joss from UNFCCC Climate Champions for COP26, two of Scotland’s most successful tech entrepreneurs in the form of Lesley Eccles and Mike Welch, and the University of Edinburgh’s principal, professor Peter Mathieson, we have a lineup that is going to be eagerly anticipated by all of our attendees at EIE21.”
Last month, the team behind EIE – “engage, invest, exploit” – launched this year’s EIE Scottish Start-up Survey.