LSE event hosted by Nicola Sturgeon strengthens 'gateway to global investment' for Scotland’s most innovative firms

Scotland’s “most innovative companies” have been given an investment boost thanks to an event that took place this week in London.

EIE London is one of the main fixtures in 2022 for the EIE Investor Readiness Programme delivered by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre. The event has been supported by the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund in connection with the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review in 2020.

EIE - standing for Engage Invest Exploit - has helped more than 540 companies raise in excess of £1.1 billion since the investor-readiness programme was launched in 2008.

Alumni companies include Scotland’s first tech unicorn, fantasy sports site FanDuel, healthtech scale-up Current Health (acquired by US consumer electronics group Best Buy in 2021), and agritech specialist Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), which announced a £42.2 million series B funding round on the occasion of Scotland’s Green Innovation and Investment Showcase, run jointly by EIE and Scottish Enterprise, at COP26 in Glasgow last November.

Ecosystem partners represented at EIE London include Scottish Enterprise, Scotland Development International (SDI), Scottish Financial Enterprise, the British Business Bank, and the Earthshot prize.

The EIE22 annual investor conference is due to take place October 6, when this year’s 36-strong cohort of technology companies pitch for seed to series A-plus investment to UK and international investors in a Dragons’ Den-style event.

Karen Wood, director of enterprise, Bayes Centre, said: “We are showcasing Scotland’s tech ecosystem innovation talent pipeline in London, which is a global gateway to investment and finance, as we continue to play a part in inspiring, supporting, and scaling high growth companies.

“By matching our most innovative companies and ecosystem partners with investors based in the UK’s capital and beyond, we can help to drive Scotland’s economic growth in the years ahead.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the London Stock Exchange's market close ceremony. Picture: Layton Thompson

Keynote addresses were made by the Lord Mayor of London, Vincent Keaveny, and London Stock Exchange (LSE) chief executive Julia Hoggett.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hosted the EIE London event at the LSE, said: “Scotland is moving with vigour towards a high tech, low carbon economy and developing capabilities in emerging markets - including renewables, fintech, and cyber security - while our leadership around global priorities like net zero positions our tech sector to make the most of the opportunities for economic growth that a ‘just transition’ presents.”

“The ties between London and Scotland’s tech ecosystems enable easy access for investors to leading edge Scottish companies via the City and, vice versa, companies based in Scotland can access the opportunities the City presents in order to maximise the sector’s potential and capacity to drive growth and job creation.”

Keaveny said: “Encouraging innovation is essential to the continuing success of our financial and professional services sector. The success of innovative firms and ecosystems outside the capital is a key part of our international appeal.

“Strengthening links between London and Scotland’s thriving tech pipeline will help to drive investment and growth,” he added. “I look forward to continuing to develop the partnership we have with colleagues in Scotland to the benefit of us all.”

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