IoT tie-up

STAC partners Murphy to plug ‘funding gap’

From left Paul Wilson with John Moran and Adrian Murphy (Murphy), Gregor Aikman, and Angus MacFadyen (STAC)

A partnership to help plug a perceived funding gap for early stage tech firms has been agreed between Scotland’s first Internet of Things accelerator and Murphy Wealth.

Paul Wilson, CEO of The Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC), says there has been a shift among some investors from startups to scale-ups, leaving a shortfall in support.

“From the outset, STAC has been strongly supported by the Scottish investment community,” he said.

“But we have to recognise that the successful evolution of Scotland’s angel syndicates, who are now investing more frequently in scale-up companies than seeding startups, means there is a void in access to capital for early stage companies.  So, we are working to plug the gap.” 

He said the tie-up with Murphy will also ensure experienced talent is in place to build an international IoT tech cluster in Scotland.  

He added: “The upside of Scotland’s multi-decades of small business generation is the creation of a strong talent pool of experienced entrepreneurs who have exited their ventures and want to support the next generation of founders, and the Murphy tie-up gives us access to a large community of these entrepreneurs.”

Adrian Murphy, CEO, Murphy Wealth, said: “Paul and the STAC team have made incredible progress in the eighteen months since the accelerator was launched.

“In common with our own firm, we support entrepreneurs, albeit at a different stage of the entrepreneurial journey, and we share a strong belief in how transformational entrepreneurs and fast-growth tech companies can be to the wider economy.  

“We also share STAC’s ambition to create world-beating companies from a base in Scotland, and are pleased to be strengthening our relationship with STAC to help make this happen.” 

In partnership with Murphy, STAC will launch ‘STAC Invest’, an online platform showcasing Scotland’s high potential IoT and smart devices startups to local and international investors. 

In January, STAC launched a new IoT recruitment platform, ‘STAC Jobs’, in partnership with Jordan Talent Solutions aimed at improving recruitment and retention in Scotland’s growing IoT industry. 

Mr Wilson said: “Our STAC-supported companies have international perspective from day one, it’s built into their DNA, and to plan for international growth you need access to capital and talent.  The partnerships with Murphy and Jordan underpin this approach.” 

“The IoT and smart device market in Scotland is heating up, we’ve seen merger and acquisition activity with companies like Pelion, Sonos, and Current Health, and Waire, IOpt, Krucial, Kingdom Technologies, and Beringar are among next wave of sector players building investment and market momentum.  

“With STAC’s Jobs, Space, and Investment, we have the acceleration support in place to support internationally competitive businesses.” 

STAC will be accepting applications for its third cohort of companies on 1 March. Currently, the accelerator is supporting 23 companies with 70 employees from its base at Skypark in Glasgow, with a new 250-desk facility and fully equipped labs planned for Q2 2023. 

Tennis elbow funding

Causeway Therapeutics, a University of Glasgow spin-out specialising in tendon disease has raised £8.75M from investors to conduct a clinical trial for the treatment of tennis elbow.

Professor Declan Doogan, an experienced pharmaceutical executive, biotech entrepreneur and an alumnus of the University of Glasgow Medical School, led the round of investment which included existing investors Mediqventures, Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow University Holdings.

As part of this round, Professor Doogan will become Causeway’s executive chair.

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