HELD at Assembly Rooms, last year’s Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) investor showcase event in Edinburgh saw 60 start-ups pitch their businesses to investors.
The EIE event, organised by Informatics Ventures and will take place again this year on May 12, offers small Scottish businesses the perfect platform to network with industry leaders, experts and potential investors. We spoke to two Scottish start-ups a year on to find out what their EIE15 experience meant to them.
Since raising the seed round of investment in July 2015, Shot Scope has grown the team, completed development of the technology, ran a successful pre-selling campaign and launched the product to the golf industry at the PGA Merchandise Show in the USA. Participating in EIE15 was fantastic for Shot Scope.David Hunter
Shot Scope is an Edinburgh-based technology company that has developed a smart performance tracker for the golf market. The patent-pending wearable technology allows golfers to collect scoring, statistics and analytics data without interrupting a round of golf. The clever gadget means that after a round, the golfer can login into the Shot Scope website or mobile app to review statistics in charts, graphs and tables or look at an overhead map detailing every shot played.
Founded in 2014 by chief executive David Hunter, in less than two years Shot Scope has grown into a company that employs ten people in Edinburgh and is about to launch the product across the UK.
Amid this growth, Shot Scope’s participation in EIE15 proved to be a worthwhile experience, says Hunter.
For instance, one investor who was particularly impressed by the firm’s offering has, a year later, helpfully made a number of introductions to investors in London.
“The publicity from EIE15 helped generate awareness of Shot Scope with investors here in Scotland and the UK,” says Hunter.
“Since raising the seed round of investment in July 2015, Shot Scope has grown the team, completed development of the technology, ran a successful pre-selling campaign and launched the product to the golf industry at the PGA Merchandise Show in the USA. Participating in EIE15 was fantastic for Shot Scope,” says Hunter.
“The EIE team are fantastic and spend a lot of time preparing companies to pitch at EIE. I would advise any start-up that is considering investment to apply,” he adds.
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The brainchild of former Dundee medical student Chris McCann, snap40 is a piece of wearable technology which could save lives. The device is worn on the upper arm with the aim of continuously monitoring patients, at home and in hospital, across a wide range of vital signs – more than any other product on the market. Algorithms are then used to automatically detect patients at high risk of deterioration, with notifications pushed to healthcare staff. It is hoped that this will allow earlier decisions and interventions, reducing admissions to hospital and length of stay in hospital.
“I founded the company in July 2014 as a medical student but have now left to run the company full-time,” explains McCann. “We are a team of five based in the centre of Edinburgh and we have raised over £600,000.”
According to the inventor, last year’s event was invaluable in getting snap40’s name and ideas out there.
“EIE is one of the highlights of the UK technology scene. It was a great opportunity for us to raise our profile, meet potential future investors and meet and learn from other fantastic startups.
“To this day, I still meet new people who remember seeing us pitch at EIE. Attending the day directly led to us raising a small round of investment but also allowed us to build connections with investors who can support us at our next stage.”
With the company having grown since 2015’s EIE event, McCann is keen to attend again this year and share snap40’s story.
“It was a fantastic experience and we look forward to being part of the coming EIE16,” he says.
“Since last year’s event we’ve grown to 5 people, built our product and went a long way towards validating it clinically and commercially. I’m excited to share our progress and journey.”
And that journey should involve saving lives soon. According to McCann, it won’t be long before snap40 hits the market.
“We have just entered our healthy volunteer study,” he says. “This is taking place at the University of West of Scotland, funded by the Digital Health Institute. It has been progressing strongly. We’ll be entering our clinical evaluation in August and we will be on the market before the end of the