University business center targets venture capital – Nick Freer

Photo of Nick Freer by Stewart Attwood

Most high-growth companies need funding to fuel their rockets and, on the investment side, 92% of startups in the survey said they were targeting investors outside of Scotland. Along those lines, the EIA Investor Readiness Program, run by a team based at the Bayes Centre, is set to announce its first EIA event in London since before the pandemic.

London is a global tech capital, and startups headquartered there raised around $25.5 billion in venture capital (VC) investment last year, a mammoth amount that only tracks the Bay Area. San Francisco ($98.5 billion), New York ($46.3 billion) and Greater Boston ($28.3 billion).

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London’s total investment figure comes from venture capital firms around the world and the dozens of companies based in the UK capital. For this reason, London provides a gateway to global finance for Scottish startups and it is essential that we strengthen the links between our ecosystems.

As Scotland continues to build its own successful tech ecosystem, albeit on a much smaller scale than the world’s major tech hubs, many bemoan what is seen as an investment bias towards London that diverts investment away from Scotland. other parts of the UK.

The hope around EIE London is that we can kickstart the narrative and craft an action plan that shifts the dial to the benefit of our most exciting tech companies here.

The gender gap in business has become a mainstream narrative in the media in recent years.

In my own experience, for every female entrepreneur I’ve met who has encountered male bias in business, there’s another female entrepreneur who has excelled without being biased to a great extent. But no one should be content with the status quo.

In this sense, it is encouraging to learn that Ana Stewart will be chairing the Women in Enterprise review commissioned by the Scottish Government – a report which is expected to get to the heart of the matter in the Scottish context by producing key findings and recommendations on barriers faced by women in business. .

Ana previously founded and launched IT specialist i-design Group, then acquired by US ATM group Cardtronics Inc in 2013, is a partner at investment firm Eos Advisory, a non-executive director of the Scottish Football Association, and also sits on the board of the startup Bella & Duke and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS).

Stewart is already close to completing the discovery phase of the review, with findings likely to be published by the end of September, and will focus on a number of areas including education, access to finance and finance, advice, mentorship and support.

Another key aspect of the report concerns what Stewart describes as “robust and resilient” data. This is going to be important, according to Stewart, so that we can compare and measure progress in the years to come.

Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic communications agency Freer Consultancy


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