EIE selects 60 start-ups for investor conference

Sixty of Scotland's brightest start-up firms have been chosen to take part in this year's Engage, Invest, Exploit (EIE) investor showcase.

Appointedd boss Leah Hutcheon and Snap40 chief Christopher McCann will be among those pitching at EIE16. Picture: Jane Barlow
Appointedd boss Leah Hutcheon and Snap40 chief Christopher McCann will be among those pitching at EIE16. Picture: Jane Barlow

Among those pitching for investment at the event, to be held at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on 12 May, include online bookings specialist Appointedd and Snap40, which has developed a wearable device to monitor patients’ health.

A survey carried out by Young Company Finance found that about 50 per cent of pitching companies have secured funding since last year’s EIE, with an average investment of £560,000. Personal shopping app Mallzee raised £2.5 million in July, with Royal Mail leading the funding round.

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Gordon Stuart, director of operations at EIE organiser Informatics Ventures said: “It’s encouraging to see the funding successes of so many of the companies who appeared at EIE in Edinburgh last year. Following on from our EIE London event in November, scaling up remains a central theme for EIE16 and you only have to look at the recent Skyscanner funding for growth story to see what a tremendously positive impact scale-ups can realise for Scotland in terms of jobs, turnover and general economic growth.”

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He added: “We’ve got a great batch of early stage companies on show in Edinburgh in May and it’s really exciting to consider that some of this crop may become the Skyscanners and FanDuels of the future.”

Stuart McKnight, managing director of corporate finance adviser Ascendant, which focuses on the technology and health sectors, described Scotland as “the real ‘Northern Powerhouse’”.

“The region has been second only to London in the number of tech businesses that have found venture investment, moreover in each of the last four years it funded more companies than the total for Cambridge and Oxford,” McKnight said.

“The frequent criticism that Scottish companies struggle to raise capital from international investors has been fully answered by Edinburgh-based FanDuel raising £175m – the UK’s biggest ever venture deal – last July.

“Ascendant opened an office in Edinburgh last year to help the many great technology businesses in Scotland reach out to a wider group of investors and we look forward to seeing the 2016 EIE group attract even more capital to Scotland.”