Tech investor showcase EIE20 broadens remit with virtual event

EIE20 – this year’s iteration of what is billed as Scotland’s premier technology investor showcase – is going virtual in October, a move it says significantly extends its remit.

From left: Colin Hewitt of Float, Eleanore Irvine of Biogelx, Steve Ewing and Susanne Mitschke of Citruslabs. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
From left: Colin Hewitt of Float, Eleanore Irvine of Biogelx, Steve Ewing and Susanne Mitschke of Citruslabs. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

The event features 50 data-driven start-up to scale-up companies pitching to investors from Scotland, the UK and globally for seed to series A funding. This year’s cohort is described as tackling “real-world problems with cutting-edge solutions,” with the largest percentage to date of internationally-founded ventures moving to Scotland.

High-profile EIE alumni firms include FanDuel, Mallzee, Current Health, ZoneFox, Two Big Ears, PureLiFi, Float, Citruslabs and Amiqus.This year’s event, originally intended for Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall, will be hosted by Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence (AI), on a virtual conference platform on Wednesday 14 October.

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Monika Ohashi, chief information officer and co-founder at Polydigi from this year's cohort. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

Steve Ewing, director of entrepreneurship at Bayes Centre, says this has allowed EIE to widen its net in relation to investors, conference speakers, sponsors and participants in 2020.

Ewing said: “One unintended consequence of Covid is that by going virtual in 2020 we’ve been able to broaden the target market in terms of participants and supporters and that’s enabled us to go even more global. Having seen how this had developed over the last few months, it’s encouraged us to look at a more hybrid EIE event going forward.” EIE has since 2008 supported nearly 500 tech start-ups and scale-ups who have collectively raised more than £750 million.

This year’s cohort includes companies from AI and data science; creative design and media tech; digital health and medtech; energy, climate and cleantech; fintech and cybersecurity; internet of things; robotics and autonomy; satellites and space tech, and smart cities and mobility.

Companies include Machines With Vision in the smart cities and mobility category; Polydigi in fintech and cybersecurity; Trade in Space in space and satellite tech; and Criton in internet of things.

Innovators

Ewing added: “In 2020, the EIE cohort contains innovative companies who are tackling real-world problems with cutting-edge solutions in sectors including energy, climate, cleantech, cybersecurity, fintech and digital health. The 2020 cohort is also characterised by the largest percentage to date of internationally-founded ventures who are locating to Scotland.”

The EIE20 team will be releasing the final speaker list later this month, along with a number of related events taking place in the run-up to the showcase. EIE is backed by the likes of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, Scottish Enterprise, Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Initiative, Cazenove Capital, Johnston Carmichael, Linc Scotland, Murgitroyd, Royal Bank of Scotland, Talent Spark powered by Eden Scott and Pentech.

The EIE showcase is the culmination of the year-round EIE Entrepreneurship and Investor Readiness Programme. The EIE20 team is based at the Bayes Centre, the first of five hubs to be delivered by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and the DDI Programme.

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