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Huge opportunity to raise capital

Growth firms to hear stock market options

Steve Ewing Jane KennedyScotland’s brightest growth prospects will be encouraged this week to consider a flotation when senior figures from the London Stock Exchange hold a summit in Edinburgh.

Informatics Ventures, the technology-focused start-up support group has teamed up with the LSE and TalentSpark, a new initiative for early stage companies to enable companies to learn more about the range of opportunities for raising capital.

Aimed primarily at Scottish ICT, life sciences and food & drink companies, the event takes place at The Balmoral Hotel on Wednesday.

There have been a number of notable Scottish successes on the Alternative Investment Market – the junior exchange – since it was established 20 years ago.

Craneware’s value has risen by 453% since listing in 2007, while Smart Metering Systems is up 370% since listing only four years ago.

However, Scottish firms are under represented on AIM, with only 23 companies currently based north of the border among more than 1,000 in total.

The introduction last year of the ELITE programme – a unique platform designed to help the UK’s most exciting and ambitious private companies prepare for their next stage of growth – is another avenue now available. The programme includes access to capital markets, such as private equity, venture capital, bond or equity markets.

To date, 10 companies from Scotland have joined the programme from 300 in total.

Steve Ewing, programme manager at Informatics Ventures, said the event at the Balmoral offers a chance for Scottish founders, management teams and advisers to get the latest information from the London Stock Exchange and hear first hand from Scottish companies who have been part of AIM or ELITE.

Jane Kennedy of TalentSpark, which was launched by recruitment firm Eden Scott in June, said: “There’s a huge opportunity here for Scottish companies to embrace the AIM market and ELITE programme.

“By pulling together the London Stock Exchange, Informatics Ventures and TalentSpark networks in Scotland, we can connect scores of entrepreneurs and managers with various influencers that can advise, support and nurture their future success.”

Marcus Stuttard, Head of UK Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange said: “There is a very strong pipeline of companies from Scotland who are looking to access equity capital to fund their next stage of development. Events like this and platforms such as our ELITE programme, play a vital role in connecting companies with investors and advisors, fostering growth and benefitting the UK economy as whole.”

Photo: Steve Ewing and Jane Kennedy


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