Connect Scotland, the technology business network, is anticipating its second Springboard event this year. It is the first time the business event for early stage technology companies has been held twice in one year. Over 100 VCs, business angels and other investors from the technology business community attended the March event in Glasgow. The second event is being held on 17 June in Dundee.
March’s Springboard highlighted the trend of an increased number of technology start-ups spinning out of the Scottish university base. Eight out of the thirteen companies that presented in March were associated with academia. Applications for the June event have been flooding in and again the trend for high numbers of high quality start-ups coming out of the Scottish university base is repeating itself.
“It’s so good we’re doing it twice,” said Andy McNair, a director of Connect Scotland who is leading the event. “The number and quality of applications for this year’s Springboard has left us in no doubt that there’s a great deal more to be achieved from bringing young technology companies forward.”
Companies at the event are seeking funding of between £100,000 and £3 million. This year there has been particularly strong interest from Scottish university start-ups and spin out businesses.
“The quality of businesses coming out of Scotland’s university base are getting stronger. Only through the provision of a supportive business environment, expert advice and access to crucial early stage funding, will the full economic potential of Scotland’s future high-growth companies be secured,” said McNair.
Edinburgh’s success in spawning start-ups has recently been recognised by the European Commission with the Region for Excellence of Innovation Award. It is the first time a Scottish region has won the award, which has previously been given to renowned hubs for tech and biotech start-ups such as Oxford and Cambridge. The award recognises the research undertaken in the city’s universities – notably in medicine, life sciences and micro-electronics from institutions such as Edinburgh University and Heriot-Watt.