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Tech stars invited to build links with Silicon Valley

Building bridges: Scottish entrepreneurs will meet their counterparts in California

Twenty tech startups and scaleups are being offered a chance to share experiences and build connections with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

A cohort will join an all-expenses paid trip that will include the two-day 2022 Startup Grind Global Conference California in April.

Financed by the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund, delegates will spend a week immersed in what is described as the “entrepreneurship mecca”, complemented by visits to leading tech companies and Scottish success stories in the area.

Startup Grind Scotland expects a high number of applications from a diverse group of leaders across a range of business sectors.

Its director Dec McLaughlin said: “We are so grateful to the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund for providing us with the opportunity to take some of the most promising startup and scale-up leaders from across the country to our Global Conference.

“It will allow them to dive into the international startup ecosystem, get inspired by industry leaders and create new connections with founders and business leaders from all over the world – all in the startup mecca that is Silicon Valley.”

“Taking the first step towards becoming a global business on a bootstrapped budget is no easy task, so this support will be vital for many young businesses. We hope that this experience will help showcase Scotland’s world-class startup ecosystem on the international stage.”

Startup Grind Global CMO Karlie Krieger Valine said: “So often we know that there are financial barriers to early-stage businesses accessing support. It’s incredible to see the Scottish Government helping founders to reach a global stage in this way, enabling them to plug into the power of community that Startup Grind provides.”

The Scottish Government’s Technology Ecosystem Fund launched following the 2020 Logan Report, an independent review of the Scottish technology ecosystem by former Skyscanner executive Mark Logan.

The report provided recommendations on developing a world-class technology sector, calling for greater investment in activities that assist peer learning, networking and more connected, community-led initiatives to support entrepreneurs in Scotland.

Mr Logan, who is an adviser to the Scottish Government, said: “Fostering a greater sense of community and connection amongst our entrepreneurial talent is essential to strengthening Scotland’s tech sector.

“I’m delighted that the new Technology Ecosystem Fund is able to support Startup Grind to  deliver this excellent programme. It’s  a great opportunity for a diverse cohort of business leaders to access new networks, opportunities and inspiration on a global stage.”

Applications are open now and close on Wednesday 16 February. Successful applicants will fly from Edinburgh to San Francisco on 9 April and return on 15 April.

SMEs win Can Do audience slot

Three SMEs have secured a global audience spot at the CAN DO Innovation Summit after entering a competition to appear on the events stage.

Successful candidates: FC Laboratories, Cheemia ReSET and Danu Robotics, will join a host of speakers, addressing an audience of more than 800 investors, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators at the third annual event held virtually on 23 February.

Applicants were required to submit a short video demonstrating how their business drives innovation that is creating solutions to society’s biggest challenges.

The three winners will also 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.

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