Start-ups selected as investor showcase heads for EICC

Sixty Scottish start-ups have been chosen to show off their wares at next year's Engage, Invest, Exploit (EIE) investor conference as it moves to a new home.

Amiqus founder Callum Murray and Pick Protection chief Rebecca Pick are attending next year's EIE investor showcase. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The annual gathering, which brings together the country’s emerging technology talent with investors from around the globe, is being held in May at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) for the first time, having previously been hosted by the city’s Assembly Rooms.

Since its formation in 2008, EIE has acted as a springboard for about £400 million in funding for start-ups including fantasy sports outfit FanDuel – which last month agreed a merger deal with US rival DraftKings – and personal shopping app Mallzee.

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This year’s attendees – including Glasgow-based safety alarm start-up Pick Protection and legal software specialist Amiqus – are seeking funds ranging from £100,000 to more than £5m, which a spokesman said illustrates that many of Scotland’s fledgling tech companies “are moving into the scale-up phase”.

The event, being held at the EICC on 10 and 11 May, will also see Martin Gilbert, chief executive and co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, take part in a “fireside chat” on the closing night, joining the likes of Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of California-based Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm that invested about £200m in travel search engine Skyscanner in 2013.

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Gilbert said: “Scottish entrepreneurs face opportunities and challenges in equal measure as we approach 2017 and it has been inspiring to see so many great stories coming out of our start-up community over the last 12 months. I very much look forward to sharing my experiences and hearing more about these talented young companies at the EICC next May.”

Steve Ewing, director of operations at EIE organiser Informatics Ventures, added: “2016 has been another incredible year for Scottish tech and our start-up community as a whole and collectively there is a definite feeling that we are at our zenith point. But we can’t rest on our laurels and our most promising young start-ups and scale-ups need as much support as ever before, including by way of making connections with the UK-based and international investors who can help to fuel their next phases of growth.

“We’re massively pleased to have lined up Martin Gilbert for the event, who as one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs will be a huge inspiration to all the founders and founding teams at the EICC.”