Five tech companies to watch at EIE16

Taking place within Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms, the Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) investor showcase will give 60 Scottish technology start-ups the chance to pitch their businesses to a hall of investors.

Rebecca Pick, founder of Pick Protection.
Rebecca Pick, founder of Pick Protection.

These dynamic companies are at the heart of Scotland’s rapidly expanding digital technologies industry. An industry where 81 per cent of businesses expect sales to increase over the next 12 months and almost three quarters (74 per cent) expect to be on the look-out for more staff in 2016.

Here we look at five companies to watch at EIE16.

Rebecca Pick, founder of Pick Protection.

TickX, an event ticket search engine, is a rapidly growing tech start-up based in Dunoon. Launched in only December 2015, the firm is already making the right noises in the industry.

Backed by music giants, Ministry of Sound, the company currently compares prices from 20 different outlets for nearly 53,000 events and boasts an impressive 18,000 users a month.

“The next year is all about becoming the go to event search company,” says co-founder Steve Pearce.

The young entrepreneur and his business partner, Sam Coley, are relishing the chance presented to them at EIE.

Steve Pearce (left) and Sam Coley from TickX will be looking to impress investors at EIE. Picture: TickX

Pearce said: “We’re really looking forward to pitching to a room of 250 high net-worth investors.

“We heard about EIE from [youth entrepreneur organisation] We Are The Future.

“It can really put you on the map with the investor community. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

Nick Findlay from City Room Rentals will be pitching on the day. Picture: Informatics Ventures

A spinout from the University of Strathclyde, Pick Protection was set up by Rebecca Pick to launch a new product in the personal security industry.

Rebecca’s business has introduced a revolutionary new personal attack alarm, the Personal Guardian, which will not only protect women but also gather evidence to increase the amount of convictions made.

Pick was driven to create the device after a fellow student at university was raped when putting out the bins .

Pick said protection remains the driving force of her business: “The end goal is to keep people safe and prevent attacks.

Rebecca Pick, founder of Pick Protection.

“The plan is to continue developing innovative security solutions and become the European market leader of lone working solutions and personal protection.

“EIE will provide a platform to tell the UK what Pick Protection is doing.

“Investment from these individuals has the potential to catapult the business to success by allowing us to fully exploit our first mover advantage.”

Recently rebranded from Edinburgh Room Rentals, City Room Rentals is an online accommodation platform that connects students from around the world with purpose built student accommodation.

Based at an Entreprenial-Spark hatchery on the edge of Edinburgh, the company has now created a commercial hotel division that provides partners with the expertise to utilise underused assets as hotels. 

Steve Pearce (left) and Sam Coley from TickX will be looking to impress investors at EIE. Picture: TickX

The fast growing firm founded by husband and wife duo Nick and Anna Findlay have arranged more than 55,000 overnight stays and generated over £1.9million in revenue in the last year alone.

Nick Findlay said: “EIE can provide us with a platform for scaling into Europe over the next two years.”

Robotical is a bonafide robot that can walk, turn, dance, kick a ball and more.

Controllable from your phone, the device was created by Robotical founder Alexander Enoch and is a sophisticated educational toy.

“Robotical can help children learn coding skills, mechanics and give them hands on engineering skills,” says Enoch.

He continued: “The robot will help more kids get into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mechanical) subjects and give them the chance to get hands on with robotics.”

Enoch is hoping to attract investor attention at EIE so he can grow his team and develop a new prototype, but he know he faces stiff competition.

He added: “The standard is incredibly high but the training we’ve received from the organisers in pitching and product development has been top class.”

Yavi is a communications platform for shift workers that gives employers a single and easy channel to non-desk staff.

The company is a spinout from Kotikan, which was Scotland’s biggest mobile agency before it was acquired by Scottish “unicorn” Fanduel in July 2015.

Company co-founder Alex McAndrew started Yavi with Kotikan’s founder Gavin Dutch, and is currently in the midst of completing a first external seed round. McAndrew is hoping the attention EIE brings will propel Yavi to greater heights as they look to bring their first non-beta version to market.

McAndrew said: “EIE will serve as a great platform to start building relationships with prospective investors, and to garner some publicity for the product.”

- This article was produced in partnership with Informatics Ventures and investor technology showcase EIE16.

Nick Findlay from City Room Rentals will be pitching on the day. Picture: Informatics Ventures