Scots start-ups set for Finnish arrival at forthcoming tech showcase in Helsinki

A group of top names from Scotland’s tech scene have launched an initiative to showcase Scotland on the global stage, with a trip to Finland lined up for later this year.

Startup Grind Scotland, the Scottish Government and enterprise agency Scottish Development International are partnering to take ten founders on a funded programme to the Slush tech conference in Helsinki in November.

Billed as “The World’s Best Start-up Event”, Slush takes place on November 17 and 18, and is set to welcome more than 4,000 start-ups and at least 2,000 investors. The trip will take place November 12 to 20, taking in other meetings and events aimed at learning, peer-to-peer connections, ecosystem immersion, and investor engagement.

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The Slush 2022 Foras Programme was designed by Startup Grind Scotland executives Dec McLaughlin, Carolina Melendez, and Nick Murray. Mr Murray said: “This trip was born out of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review and the success of our team’s previous cohort trip to Silicon Valley... ‘foras’ means to go forth, to look outwards, to meet, and to create a forum for discussion, and that’s at the root of what we aim to achieve in Finland and going forward with these international programmes.”

Ms Melendez, Startup Grind Scotland head of operations, said: “We’re excited to take some of our leading start-ups for what we hope will be a truly inspirational experience to one of the world’s most important tech conferences. There are incredible things going on in Scotland, but we have much to learn from other cultures and mindsets, bringing that back to our country is key to stimulating and accelerating the maturity of our tech ecosystem.”

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Mark Logan, the Scottish Government’s chief entrepreneur, said: “To build world-class companies, start-up founders should always be outward-looking, learning from best-practice techniques and frameworks from around the world, and connecting with the international peer start-up community and potential investment opportunities.

"The Startup Grind programme is a great example of how we can help Scotland’s start-ups to do that, while it also helps to foster a greater sense of community and connection amongst our entrepreneurial talent.”

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Helsinki will be the setting for what it is hoped will be a 'truly inspirational experience [attending] one of the world’s most important tech conferences'. Picture: Shutterstock.

Mr Murray added: “We want to put our best foot forward for the Scottish ecosystem, and to make connections for some of our most highly-rated start-ups and founders – connections that will help take their companies to the next level.”

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