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Scottish technology ‘showcase’ X3 is called off

James-Varga-and-Russell-Dalgleish
James Varga and Russell Dalgleish are among those behind X3 (pics: Terry Murden)

A global conference designed to “showcase Scotland’s dynamic tech scene”, has been called off without explanation.

The X3 Summit, scheduled for Edinburgh at the end of May, promised a “distinguished” lineup of innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world. The three-day event was aimed at later stage startups and growth investors.

Its backers included the Department for Business and Trade, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Business Network, whose founder Russell Dalgleish was among more than 15 speakers. They also included the leadership lecturer and author Michael Anderson.

One of those behind X3 is James Varga, who recently stepped down from the open banking data firm DirectID, 13 years after setting up the business. A week ago he told his LinkedIn followers that X3 was taking a “fresh approach” to hosting an event and that “it’s going to be an amazing event”.

Its website refers to the “potential of X3 to emerge as a seminal event, catalyzing unparalleled value and engagement within our vibrant community.”

It has been updated to say that the organisers have been led to a “pivotal decision” that “to fully capitalise on the opportunity and ensure an event of the highest calibre, we have postponed X3 until the future.”

No reason was given, nor any new date. However, the statement suggests some disconnect between investors and companies seeking investment.

“This strategic choice, though difficult, is propelled by our aspiration of connecting scaling companies with growth investors,” it says.

“It affords us the precious opportunity to refine our vision, incorporate the valuable feedback from our community, and plan for an event that truly reflects the aspirations of X3.

“We are also immensely grateful to have garnered the commitment of over 20 investors, ready to engage and explore the wealth of opportunities X3 presents.

“This exceptional show of interest from the investment community is a powerful endorsement of the event’s potential to drive meaningful innovation and business growth, its fresh approach to content and structure, and the opportunity to work collaboratively across industries to create a fantastic event.

“The journey toward X3 has already sparked a series of industry-led fringe events, showcasing the richness of our ecosystem. These events, supported by a wide array of partners and the hospitality industry’s creative flair, from themed cocktails to receptions in esteemed venues and immersive experiences like golf outings and whisky tastings, exemplify the inclusive and collaborative spirit of X3.

“Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Together, we will ensure X3 is a testament to Scotland’s dynamic potential and our shared commitment to driving positive change.”

The postponement of X3 follows last year’s cancellation of the EIE pitching event amid a tightening of the investment market and some concerns that investors had cooled on Scottish technology.



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