Gateway to Investment programme supports Edinburgh start-ups

A group of Edinburgh-based entrepreneurs have completed a five-week programme designed to help their start-ups grow and secure investment.

Business Gateway's five-week course provides growth advice to start-ups in Edinburgh. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Eight business owners took part in Business Gateway Edinburgh’s Gateway to Investment course, which has resulted in 80 companies securing more than £2 million of investment since it began in 2015.

The programme aims to give entrepreneurs advice on growing their business and finding funding by covering aspects such as investor buy-in and research, financial readiness, and pitch presentation training.

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Expert advisors included Michiel Smith from angel syndicate Apollo Informal Investment, which provides seed funding to new start-ups, and tech entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den contestant Alison Grieve, inventor of G-Hold devices for tablets.

Grieve, who has partnered with Microsoft and Amazon Devices, has raised around £500,000 in investment since taking part in the entrepreneurial programme and sold more than 100,000 G-Holds since appearing on Dragons’ Den, 90 per cent of which are exported from her site in Edinburgh.

The programme culminated with a live pitch to angel investors including Apollo, Equity Gap, Linc Scotland, Archangels and Wallace Equity.

This was the tenth edition of the Gateway to Investment programme, which runs three times a year at Edinburgh City Chambers.

Grieve said: “I was fortunate enough to be on the pilot series of Gateway to Investment when it first began, which was an invaluable experience and really got my business off to a good start.

“It’s great to see the programme has gone from strength to strength and is contributing to the success of many of the Scottish companies we see flourishing today.

“Every start-up journey is unique, but it all starts with an idea and committed founders. The advice and exposure entrepreneurs have access to on the Gateway to Investment programme can really make the difference in turning those ideas into fully fledged and funded commercial enterprises.”

Edward Baillie, founder of bicycle developer Zip Electric Bikes, who was one of the entrepreneurs selected to take part in the programme, added: “I’m incredibly grateful to have been challenged on my business plans throughout the entire process as it really has given me so much to think about, adopt and learn to make my proposition even more attractive to investors.”

Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said the programme provides business owners with the tools to develop their ventures on an international level. She added: “Gateway to Investment has resulted in 80 Edinburgh-based companies taking their businesses global after securing over £2m of investment in the last three years.

“This investment enables entrepreneurs to employ staff, support both local and national supply chains and make a positive impact on the Scottish economy, which is why we use the programme to make sure the companies that we’ve identified that have the potential to grow and secure investment are aware of each stage of the process.”