Global conference

Startup Grind picks ‘eclectic’ cohort for Silicon Valley

Nick Murray, Tzaritsa Asante, Mark Logan, Allan Cannon with Startup Grind team member Anna Brow

Startup Grind Scotland has announced its 20-strong cohort of entrepreneurs who will travel to Silicon Valley next month to take part in a programme of activities based around its global conference.

From 178 applications an independent panel selected representatives from R3-IoT, HindSight, Bio Technical Scotland, Robotical, Coastr, Estendio, Hearing Diagnostics, Float, Yaldi Games, Lenz Labs, DragonflAI, Theo Health, Administrate, Liftango, PlayerData, Biscuit Tin Planning, BR-DGE, MoneyMatiX, TZAR! and Holoxica.

Supported by the Scottish Government’s Technology Ecosystem Fund, the cohort will spend a week in meetings and presentations with investors.

Scottish Development International will host an event on 14 April where the cohort will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to hand-picked US investors and meet Scottish success stories from the Global Scot network. 

Startup Grind Scotland co-director Nick Murray said:  “We’re honoured to bring together a richly diverse cohort, not only in the focus and stage of their businesses but also in age, ethnicity, gender and lived experience. Selected from 26 locations across the country, our delegates are a true illustration of Scotland’s eclectic entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

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

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.

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Mark Logan, advisor to Scottish Government, Scottish Technology Ecosystem, and former Skyscanner chief operating officer, said: “The quality of the companies selected for the programme truly represents the ambitions of the Scottish Ecosystem Fund. There is enormous potential in every single leader in this cohort.”

Mr Logan addressed the cohort at a closed-door event at CodeBase Edinburgh on 17 March, outlining how the journey fits into the 2020 Logan Report’s recommendations.

He said: “The value of the Startup Grind Scotland Programme is huge, but so is your responsibility. There’s the responsibility to your company to learn and grow as leaders, and then there’s the responsibility to Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to bring back your new knowledge and share it with your peers.

“We established the Ecosystem Fund to ensure that Scottish entrepreneurs learn both from each other and other ecosystems worldwide, but it’s only meaningful if our leaders who learn from the world’s best ecosystems, then bring these learnings back to Scotland. Great companies come from great ecosystems, and great ecosystems come from great companies. That will be the true legacy of this programme.”

One member of the cohort, Allan Cannon, co-founder and CEO of R3 IoT, said 2022 is set to be a significant year for his business as it prepares up for commercial launch and international expansion.

“The opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded individuals at different stages of the venture building journey, as part of the Startup Grind Silicon Valley Programme, will be extremely valuable to our growth ambitions,” he said.

Tzaritsa Asante, founder of TZAR!, added: “This is an opportunity I could never have dreamed of. TZAR! is community-driven by nature, so being selected for this year’s cohort will help us lock into the right network where we can add and gain value.” 

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Cohort representatives

  • Allan Cannon – CEO and Co-Founder – R3 IoT
  • Alexander Macdonald – CEO and Founder – HindSight
  • Beena Sharma – Co-Founder – Bio Technical Scotland
  • Ben Henderson-Palmer – Director & Comercial Lead – Robotical 
  • Lee Anderson – Director of Sales & Partnerships – Coastr
  • Chris Hughes – Founder & CEO – Present Pal
  • Claudia Freigang – CEO – Hearing Diagnostics
  • Colin Hewitt – CEO – Float
  • Elena Höge – Founder and CEO – Yaldi Games
  • Hamish Geddes – Founder and CEO – Lenz Labs
  • Hannah Mercer – Founder and Director – DragonflAI
  • Jodie Sinclair – Founder and CEO – Theo Health
  • John Peebles – CEO – Administrate
  • Kevin Orr – CEO – Liftango
  • Roy Hotrabhvanon – Co-Founder and CEO – PlayerData
  • Sheila Anne Hogan – Founder and CEO – Biscuit Tin Planning
  • Thomas Gillan – CFO – BR-DGE
  • Tynah Matembe – CEO – MoneyMatiX
  • Tzaritsa Asante Founder – TZAR!
  • Wendy Lamin – Managing Director – Holoxica


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