Tech investor conference EIE21 unveils revamped pitch process

Tech investor conference EIE21 has revamped its pitch process for this year’s event, which takes place next month, as it harnesses a more virtual offering.

EIE – which stands for Engage Invest Exploit – will see company founders pitch for investment from seed level to multimillion series A and later-stage investment rounds.

Organisers have bumped up the traditional one-minute pitches to three minutes for 25 of this year’s companies, while ten have been selected to pitch for five minutes followed by a Q&A of the same length with the investor panel that includes Scottish Equity Partners’ Stuart Paterson, Silicon Valley Bank’s Flavia Popescu-Richardson, and Old College Capital’s Andrea Young.

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EIE has supported more than 500 tech start-ups since 2008 who have collectively raised around £750 million. Alumnus companies include Current Health, FanDuel, Celtic Renewables, Amiqus, Two Big Ears, and PureLiFi – and the keynote speaker line-up for this year’s event will be unveiled later this month.

Genevieve Patenaude, CEO of Earth Blox, one of ten firms chosen to give a five-minute pitch. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

The 25 companies making a three-minute pitch to investors include AiM, Danu Robotics, Data Innovation.AI, Intelligent Reality, Looper, Open Banking Reporting, SkillSeeder, and Voicekey.

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The ten firms chosen to give extended pitches are Beta Bugs, Bridgeweave, Earth Blox, GoBubble, Ionburst, iOpt, LiberEat, Nebu-Flow, Net AI, and Transwap. They represent sectors including space and satellite technology, fintech, digital health and education.

Beta Bugs, for example, an agri-food technology company based at Easter Bush Campus, develops and distributes high-performance insect breeds as a source of protein for animal feed.

Susanne Mitschke, CEO and co-founder of MindMate, at a previous EIE event. Picture: Lesley Martin.

Earth Blox, led by chief executive Genevieve Patenaude, is harnessing the power of satellite data without the requirement for computer coding, while Ionburst is a data protection, compliance and security-focused start-up based in Edinburgh.

LiberEat develops technology aimed at improving food allergy communications for restaurant chains, supermarkets and food-producers, and has a consumer-focused app to help people manage their dietary requirements. The company, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, was recently named one of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars in a UK-wide competition.

Net AI, a University of Edinburgh spin-out, is a real-time artificial intelligence-driven analytics company aiming to “revolutionise cloud-based virtual network management” and helping telecoms companies to lower their capital expenditure.


EIE21, a year-round programme highlighted by the day of pitching, is run by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre in partnership with the DDI (Data-Driven Innovation) initiative and supported by Scottish Enterprise.

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Steve Ewing, director of entrepreneurship at Bayes Centre and EIE21 lead, said: “We have a particularly strong set of companies pitching this year and that, coupled with our ever more flexible virtual environment, persuaded us to allow each of them more pitching time.

"It was hard to pick the ten who get the opportunity to make the extended pitch, but for all 35 companies on the day, EIE provides a platform to get onto the radar of investors from across the globe and make connections that can lead to investment.”

Last month saw the launch of the latest EIE Scottish Start-up Survey, which this year asks start-ups across Scotland about the main challenges faced and opportunities achieved in 12 months characterised by the ongoing Covid pandemic.

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