Three pioneering Scots SMEs secure prestigious slots at Can Do Innovation Summit

Three pioneering smaller Scottish firms have secured a global audience spot at the Can Do Innovation Summit that takes place next month and aims to help foster new opportunities fusing purpose and profitability.

The successful candidates – FC Laboratories, Cheemia ReSet and Danu Robotics – will join a host of “world-class” speakers, addressing an audience of more than 800 investors, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators at what is the third iteration of the annual event, which is being held virtually on February 23.

The competition, open to all Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), required applicants to submit a short video demonstrating how their business drives innovation that is creating solutions to society’s biggest challenges.

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The winners will now take their prize spot on the Summit’s SME stage, showcasing how they are building innovation into their daily practices, and will benefit from two days of support from an innovation specialist at Scottish Enterprise worth £2,000 to help take their idea to the next level.

Mehrnaz Campbell, founder and CEO of Cheemia ReSet, one of the three firms taking to the #SMEstage next month. Picture: Donna Green Photography.

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This year’s virtual Can Do Innovation Summit aims to connect start-ups and SMEs with top innovators, entrepreneurs, and academics from across the globe to explore new opportunities with purpose as well as profitability. It will feature a speaker line-up of more than 40 multi-sector SMEs and a range of innovation support agencies across 12 industry-led panel sessions.

Organisers say keynotes, panel discussions and live Q&A sessions will run throughout the day covering practical insights on how “people power,” combined with the right tech plus sustainable and inclusive business practices, can accelerate and enable a smoother digital transformation journey for businesses.

Mari-Anne Chiromo, entrepreneur and business growth and effectiveness specialist at Apple, is the latest name to join the list of keynote speakers.

The news comes after Can Do announced that delegates will also be addressed by names including Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes; Wade Davis, vice-president of inclusion strategy for product at Netflix; and Gayemarie Brown, chief executive of Wintam Place Consulting.

Dr Laura Bell of the Can Do Innovation Summit, has now said: “Recent social and economic changes have created unprecedented challenges for SMEs, and we would encourage them to attend the [event] to be part of our vision of making Scotland a world-leading entrepreneurial nation.

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“This virtual focal point for business will help SMEs adopt new technologies, build progressive working cultures, and access the right support for innovation-led recovery and growth.

“I’d like to thank our panel of judges for selecting three excellent winners to take their well-earned place in the spotlight... on the #SMEstage. We look forward to welcoming many more SMEs on February 23.”

The #SMEstage competition winners were selected by an independent panel of judges comprising Evelyn McDonald, chief executive of Scottish Edge; Enoch Adeyemi, head of Black Professionals Scotland; and Colin Meager, innovation team lead at Scottish Enterprise.

Mr Meager said: “It’s inspiring to see that, despite the economic and societal challenges we are facing, there is a wealth of entrepreneurs and businesses in Scotland using digital transformation to develop new business models and more innovative products and services.

"Winning the competition will give these businesses access to useful connections and support as well as linking them into invaluable practical support from Scottish Enterprise.”

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