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CBI president booked

Lord Bilimoria joins EIE20 speaker line-up

Lord Bilimoria: Scotland has a proud tradition

Investor pitching conference EIE20 has lined up the CBI’s president Lord Bilimoria and tech leader Jacqueline de Rojas to address its virtual event on 14 October. 

British Indian entrepreneur Lord Bilimoria founded Cobra Beer in 1989 and continues to hold the position of chairman at the global brand. He is a life peer in the House of Lords.

Ms de Rojas is the President of techUK, which represents more than 900 tech companies across the UK. Formerly a senior executive at software companies CA Technologies and Sage Group, she was appointed as head of techUK in 2015.

Lord Bilimoria said: “As an entrepreneur, I am greatly looking forward to seeing at close hand some of Scotland’s most exciting early to scale-up stage technology companies at EIE20. 

“Scotland has a proud tradition in innovation, research and the commercialisation of technologies, and has some of the world’s leading universities and informatics schools. 

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“At the same time, in common with the rest of the UK, 2020 has been a challenging year in the face of Covid, the ensuing economic crisis and how we make a success of the ongoing Brexit process. 

“In my new role at the CBI, I will be doing everything I can to work for the best interests of entrepreneurs and UK plc overall in the months and years ahead.” 

Ms de Rojas said: “Scotland’s tech scene has progressed rapidly over the last decade to become one of Europe’s most highly-rated centres for startups, evidenced by globally leading companies like Skyscanner and Edinburgh itself continues to strengthen its position as the leading UK data hub outside London.”

Karen Wood, director of enterprise, EIE said: “Having business and technology leaders of Lord Bilimoria and Jacqueline de Rojas’ stature feature at EIE20 is a sign of how far EIE has come in recent years and their experience and insights, alongside our other fantastic speakers, will be among the highlights for our cohort companies and attendees on the day.”  

EIE20 goes virtual for the first time, featuring 50 data-driven startup to scale-up companies pitching to investors from Scotland, the UK and internationally for seed to series A funding. 

This year’s event, originally intended for Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall, will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre team on a virtual conference platform.

Jacqueline de Rojas: tech scene has progressed rapidly

EIE has supported nearly 500 tech startups and scale-ups since 2008 who have collectively raised over £750 million.  EIE alumni companies include FanDuel, Mallzee, Current Health, ZoneFox, Two Big Ears, pureLiFi, Float, Citruslabs and Amiqus. 

EIE is supported by partners including the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, Scottish Enterprise, Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Initiative, Huawei, Cazenove Capital, Embark Group, Johnston Carmichael, LINC Scotland, MBM Commercial, Murgitroyd, Royal Bank of Scotland, Talent Spark powered by Eden Scott and Pentech.

Lord Bilimoria and de Rojas join other keynote speakers at EIE20 including Jarmo Eskelinen, executive director of data driven innovation initiative at Edinburgh University; Professor Shannon Vallor, Baillie Gifford chairman in the ethics of data and artificial intelligence at Edinburgh University; Simon Holden, group chief operating officer at CityFibre; Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal of Edinburgh University;Shane Kehoe, co-founder of SVK Crypto; and Frank Ross. Lord Provost of Edinburgh

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