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60 start-ups pitch for cash

Chinese join overseas investors at EIE

Gordon StuartChinese investors will be among a growing overseas contingent at today’s EIE showcase for start-ups in Edinburgh.

Investment groups such as London-based Cocoon Networks, Europe’s first Chinese capital-backed international start-up ‘ecosystem’, is among those attending the event.

Cocoon is raising a £500 million fund to invest in early-stage European technology companies.

Sixty of Scotland’s brightest start-up hopes will gather at the Assembly Rooms for the Engage, Invest, Exploit (EIE) pitching event which has leveraged more than £350m of funding since the series began in 2008.

As part of a deliberate move to globalise the event, other investors attending will be from America and the Middle East.

Among the speakers will be technology investor Hugh Campbell, managing director of dealmaker GP Bullhound; Ann Budge, technology entrepreneur and owner of Hearts FC; and David Rose, the chief executive of online entrepreneur platform Gust.

Gordon Stuart (above right), director of operations at Informatics Ventures, which organises EIE, is keen to encourage a mix of investors, including a strong representation from London.

“If we can get the mix of Scottish and UK investment along with international capital, we will see our technology scene take off beyond any of our expectations,” he says in a pre-event article today.

He notes the importance of a “strong investment spine” in Scotland and points to Scottish Equity Partners, one of the event’s main sponsors, whose track record includes backing Skyscanner, now a billion dollar company.

“At the same time, we cannot rely on our Scotland-based investors alone – including our impressive angel investment community and the enterprise agencies – to carry all the load when it comes to supporting our most ambitious tech companies,” he says.

“It’s important that we work hard to sell our Scottish technology scene – the best of Scottish tech if you like – to external investors and this is something a leading London investment bank will address at the Assembly Rooms today.”

It is estimated that London-based tech companies receive almost half of overall investment funds in the UK. Edinburgh has emerged as a hub for technology firms.

For a full list of all the companies pitching visit the EIE website.

 



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