baking a tasty startup scene in Scotland

The Scottish startup community and crowdfunding

By · Event Startup Talk

Recently Kickstarter announced the had facilitated $1 Billion in pledges to projects from startups to charities in over 224 countries around the world. So I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the Scottish based companies using the platform to kickstart their products and what else is happening in the crowdfunding space in Scotland.

Lupo

Lupo

The Lupo ‘smart tag’ is a piece of wearable tech that has several useful use cases. Out the box Lupo along with it’s companion app on smartphones will allow you to track and locate the Lupo tag with the classic example being finding your keys.

Lupo is empowered through an SDK open to developers to extend the functionality of the device. Some proposed use cases of the SDK are using the Lupo as a motion controller for games and media or using it to auto lock computers when you step away from them.

The team behind Lupo are based in Glasgow in the Strathclyde University Incubator and founder says “We are confident that the benefits of the Lupo extend far beyond simple ‘lost and found’ as it has significant feature and performance advantages over Bluetooth item finders. The combined range of features offered by the Lupo in one single device coupled with the SDK option makes it a very compelling proposition both for consumers and developers and we look forward to introducing it first to the Kickstarter community.”

The funding  goal for Lupo on Kickstarter is £20,000.

Cycle Hack

Cycle Hack Logo

Founder of the well known service design consultancy Snook based in Glasgow, Sarah Drummond along with Johanna Holton is organising a hack event which is focused around one of their hobbies – cycling. As hack events go it’s largely the same as most, get a ticket (priced at at £10), go on the Friday for a pitch, get fed and watered as you power through the weekend and display your product on the Sunday night.

Where the Cycle Hack differs is with what Sarah and Johanna are doing with Kickstarter. The crowdfund is being used to fund an ‘Open Source Catalogue’. This open source catalogue is envisioned to empower cyclists around the world by providing 2D and 3D renders, 3d printing models, code, documentation and other outputs of the hack.

The funding  goal for Cycle Hack on Kickstarter is £5,000.

ShareIn

ShareIn Logo

So Kickstarter is without doubt the largest crowdfunding platform out there just now but there are plenty more, Indiegogo, Crowdcube etc but there are also some local services such as BloomVC and the recently launched ShareIn.

ShareIn is baed in Edinburgh and is focused on crowdfunding for British technology and health focussed companies. Billed as “TED with an invest button” as it specifically aims to provide equity investment from £40,000 to £1m for inspirational UK companies looking to change the world through innovation, engineering and science.

Unlike other equity crowdfunding platforms, ShareIn offers investors a best-of-breed share structure, where every share carries voting rights and establishes professional, fair legal arrangements between the shareholder and the investee company, without forcing the use of a middle-man and the associated fees.

ShareIn also sets itself apart by focussing closely on company valuations, asking companies to justify their valuation to potential investors in an extensive section containing data on actual money spent to date and the estimated costs to replicate the company to its current state. In addition, ShareIn provides investors with a secondary market for their shares, providing a bulletin board to allow investors to sell their shares.

Avenues such as Kickstarter and ShareIn give Scottish startups the ability to raise capital outside of traditional methods. This is allowing idea’s perceived as too niche or perhaps to risky to shine and reach not only audience but also advocates. It’s a strong proposition.

Have you backed a crowdfund project? Maybe now is the right time to start.

Open Glasgow Hackathons

By · Event Glasgow

In 2013 Glasgow beat 29 other UK cities to win the Technology Strategy Board Future City Demonstrator competition. This awarded the city £24 million to showcase how other UK cities can become smarter, more efficient and perhaps most importantly more open. As part of the project the city is running a series of Hackathons called ‘Future Hacks’.

Future Hack

The Future Hacks take the format adopted by the likes of Startup Weekend and Launch48 – pitch on the Friday, work over the weekend and pitch to win on the Sunday. The teams use the 48 hours to form teams, validate their idea, find customers and build something meaningful. Food and drinks included and experts on hand to help you.

The Future Hacks differs from most hacks (and is applicable to startups) because there is a £20,000 cash prize for the winner. It’s effectively a launch pad for your idea, a sizable stack of seed money. A comparative example is spending a few days to write a funding proposal, business plan or even producing a deck for an investor pitch in all these scenarios you’re up against a host of other startups.

At the very worst the Future Hack weekends are an opportunity to validate the idea, work with domain experts and by the Monday morning have a stack of experience, contact book full or talented people and a product as a showcase of your talent. At best you walk away with all the above plus a meaningful amount of money to take forward into a sustainable business.

Glasgow Future Hack Public Safety

Future Hack One – Public Safety

South Block, February 2014
The first Future Hack actually took place in February of this year around the theme of public safety. There were 11 teams with a mix of participants from designers, developers, marketers to domain experts from the public sector. With the core principle of ‘Open’ many of the teams open sourced their work and made it available for others to extend and work on.

Future Hack Two – Energy

Whisky Bond, March 2014
The second hack (taking place this weekend) is around the theme of energy. Modern life is fuelling massive energy consumption. From transport, to manufacture and industry to our homes and media we are using more and more energy each  year. We are reliant on finite supplies of energy and costs are increasing so a lot of good can come from a weekend of talented people hacking together new products and ideas.

Future Hack Three – Health

TBA, April 2014
Health is a topic which affects all of us and health issues are increasingly found in the public spotlight. Rise of diabetes and obesity, the ageing population, the over use of antibiotics. What can we as a technically able community do to provide services and products to empower citizens and the NHS to provide better health care, better preventative measures?

Future Hack Four – Transport

TBA, May 2014
A hack that will be also touch many Glasgow citizens is transport. Those who sit on the M8 stuck in yet another traffic jam, or those using our public transport infrastructure and no to forget the cyclists dodging pot holes and buses. This is a means to produce products which can directly impact your ability traverse the city. Make the journey shorter? Quicker? More enjoyable?

The hacks are all free to attend and open to all, not just designers and developers. For more information on the Future Hacks and the Open Glasgow project follow the @openglasgow Twitter or check out the Open Glasgow homepage.

For disclosure: I’m currently working as part of the Open Glasgow team on the Active Travel demonstrator.

What’s happening in the Scottish tech community for Christmas?

By · Christmas Community Event

We’ve had the first snow fall of the winter and it’s just a little over two weeks until Christmas. Workplaces across the country will be heading out on Christmas nights outs but what about the startups of Scotland? Well Colin Hewitt of Float has put together an amazing line up for Scotland Startup Christmas Party which will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday the 12th December.

Startup Party

Tickets are £25 and for that you’l be treated to food, drinks and excellent entertainment. Plus you’ll of course be mingling with the best of the Scottish tech community. The likes of Kotikan, Float, Insight Arcade, Mallzee, FreeAgent and more will be there.

Glasgow Tech Community Christmas Meetup

In Glasgow there will be gathering of the Scottish tech community at the Christmas market on Wednesday 18th. With there being no Refresh, RookieOven Meetup or TechMeetup in December this is a good opportunity to meet up with peers across the Glasgow tech community for a final banter of 2013.

From 6.30 at the Christmas Market let’s get together to celebrate successes in 2013 and look ahead to what we will be doing in 2014.

Lessons from Organising an Event

By · Event Glasgow

So a week ago we had the first RookieOven Galleries event in Glasgow. They day worked out pretty well and we had good fun but I thought it would be worthwhile collating some feedback and my own views to share with the community what worked with the event and what didn’t. Hopefully it will help others.

header

What Worked

The Venue

The CCA in Glasgow was great. The staff were on hand to help with set up and the audio visual side of things. It left the organising team (David, Stewart and I) little to do other than register attendees and get the speakers hooked up.

We were in the CCA cinema which opens out onto the cafe/bar where their great selection of beers was thoroughly enjoyed in the networking session.

The Speakers & Sponsors

sponsors logo

We were very grateful to our three sponsors, FreeAgent, Boyd Digital and Twig World who not only helped cover the venue and bar costs for the event but also came along on the day to support us. All three companies helped to facilitate discussion and were eager to share knowledge and experience.

We struck gold with the speakers. Colin, Aaron and Brian all gave talks with advice that was distinctly different from the typical event focused on career advice. Colin kicked the event off by sharing his and a frank overview of the realities of ‘Startup Life’.

This was followed by Aaron who looked at the theme of working in startups from the side of an employee and highlighted what they should be looking for in a tech company. As Aaron stressed it’s a two way street and the employer should be trying to woo you as much as you should be trying to woo them.

Brian brought the day to a close with a wide ranging talk which touched on the Scottish startup eco-system. One of the attendees, Kenny Fraser, enjoyed the talk saying “Brian had some excellent insights into how startups build teams and recruit at different stages of their development.  He also showed some quality thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of the technology industry in Scotland.  I especially liked his point that we all nee to focus on solving real world problems”.

All three talks kicked off debate which engaged the audience. The debates and conversation spilled over to the networking.

The Beer & Networking

I was keen to ensure the best of the monthly RookieOven Meetups would carry over into the Galleries events and that’s the laid back and open atmosphere. I’m happy that in the post talks networking we had guys like David GauldMichael Carruthers, Colin Boyd and Alasdair Gunn mixing with young founders and student.

The atmosphere allowed some great conversations to flow with input from those with experience and knowledge being shared not only from the more experience attendees but also from the other direction. In all I would say we succeeded with our goal here.

Getting the word out

We managed to get the word out in a short amount of time (roughly 3 weeks before the day) to not only quite a lot of people but also to interest a varied bunch of people to sign up and attend. to be honest I feel this was more down to luck than anything in particular we tried.

Although I have to say the likes of Tadas Labudis and Allan Lloyds spreading the word through their mailing lists (SIE and StartupDigest respectively) were most definitely a huge aid.

I also found the RookieOven Facebook page to be a great place to promote the event but thats hardly ground breaking.

What Didn’t Work

Social Media on the day

On the day we had little to no engagement on social media. We didn’t have a hashtag, we didn’t do a good enough job connecting attendees online as well as off and we didn’t follow up particularly well (this post is a going up a whole week after the event).

I think the errors are pretty clear and easy to rectify. They might appear obvious now but they were an oversight and we will be sure to try something to improve this next time round.

Free Ticket Hypothesis

Free events are great; clearly. They cost nothing so there’s no pain in signing up. But equally there’s no pain in not turning up. We had 1/3 of our expected attendees on the day.

We are clearly identifying the fact it was a free event caused the number of attendees on the day to be s low. Although that assumption may be wrong (Time of the Year? Day of week? Time of day? are all valid reasons for this), we feel it’s the most likely candidate and the easier one to validate against by introducing a small fee. £5 a ticket sound fair?

Structure

I think the last bit we were poor on is down to me. I had the attitude let’s suck it and see.

The event was free. It was out first time. Expectations were low. But i think that’s a poor excuse for how poorly we scheduled the day and how poorly I communicated what was actually happening.

It wasn’t great but it wasn’t a deal breaker as, I feel, we all had a good time and got a lot out of the day. However for next time we will definitely try have to up our game here.

What Next

The next step for RookieOven Galleries is to run another event in 3 or 4 months time. We have identified several themes we would love to explore (some of the based of your feedback):

  • Failcon type – Have you failed? Stand up and shout about it. Share it with the community so we can learn off of your failures.
  • Demo Day – 10 minutes to pitch your product to your peers. No investors, just a room of could be advocates who could possibly become your best sales team.
  • Engaging Education – the talent coming out of our Universities is key to the community. What are they currently failing to teach students to make them successful in the tech community?
  • CoFounder Dating – can we help marry up product talent (developers, designers etc) with business talent (finance, marketing etc)?

That’s a few suggestions what would you chose or what would you add?

Great startup and tech events to end 2013

By · Edinburgh Event Glasgow

Earlier this year I highlighted some top events taking place across Scotland and it seemed to go down pretty well so I figured worth highlighting what Scottish startup and tech events are coming up in the closing weeks of 2013.

Startup Summit 2013

SUS13

Date: 20th November

Returning to Edinburgh for its second running and once again taking place during Global Entreprenuer Week, Startup Summit is the UK’s largest national, not-for-profit event for entrepreneurs. It features a varied, interactive, day-long schedule: inspiring speakers, workshops, presentations, network opportunities. The venue is Edinburgh’s prestigious Assembly Rooms and as of writing there a few hours left to secure your ticket.
Around 500 young entrepreneurs will attend. They’ll hear from a wide range of inspiring expert speakers but who share one attribute: massive business success. Their fields include marketing, retail, technology, food, film and media, recruitment, and entertainment.

Life’s a Pitch Bill Joos

Date: 20th November (Glasgow) 21st November (Edinburgh)

Just go book your place on one of these workshops immediately. Excellent workshop with a former sales executive and ex-VC who knows what the perfect deck should contain and how you should be delivering it. Bill Joos has been running these workshops with Informatics Ventures for several years and the quality is consistently high.

There are main workshop sessions in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and likewise a smaller taster session in the evening in both cities.

STV Tech Talks

Date: 22nd November

The 4th STV Tech Talks focuses on Javascript with Phil Leggeter talking Building front-end JavaScript apps that scale and Stuart Memo talking The Amazing Sounds of JavaScript. There will be free beer and pizza and a chance to meet/network with other developers.

RookieOven Edinburgh

RookieOven Edinburgh Meetup

Date: 2nd December

To my shame we’ve never ran a RookieOven Meetup in Edinburgh but I’m pleased to announce we will be having out first Edinburgh Meetup on the 2nd of December. Huge thanks to Allan Lloyds of Insight Arcade/Startup Digest and Callum Stuart of Mallzee for helping get the Edinburgh Meetup off the ground. The Meetup will follow the same format as the Glasgow Meetup. Grab a beer and chat with your peers following only two simple rules. No Sales! No Stealth!

Startup Christmas Parties

There will almost certainly be another excellent Edinburgh Startups Christmas Party and if there’s interest (this is where I would appreciate your feedback, or if you’re in a position to your support) there is also likely to be  a Glasgow Startup Christmas Party. Dates and venues to be confirmed but will be sharing on this site and on our Facebook and Twitter when we find out.

Anything I’ve missed out? Let me know in the comments or tweet RookieOven and it can be added in.

Find your gadgets with SmartTAG

By · Glasgow Startup Spotlight

When one of his close friends lost her iPhone in a taxi while in Glasgow Raj Sark decided to do something to reduce the risk of losing expensive gadgets. This led him to think if there was a way to not lose portable gadgets by monitoring them in the context of a wireless personal area network. Raj developed the idea into what would become SmartTAG.

SmartTAG iOS

At this stage, 2009, the concept had been validated but the technology was some way behind; battery life drain and cost were simply far too high for the idea to be practical. However with the adoption of Bluetooth 4.0 with the launch of the iPhone 4S in autumn 2011 the technology had reached a level where the concept could be converted into reality.

The company has been well received winning multiple awards and even being supported by Nokia (6 months of Incubation support in Copenhagen). In January 2013 a seed investment from Gabriel Syndicate brought SmartTAG from Copenhagen back to Glasgow where it all started. By summer 2013 SmartTAG team won a second round of funding from the TSB to help them invest in further R&D.

Following this the team started detailed product design of a keyfob device which is now manufacture ready and the team are preparing for a Christmas launch of the SmartTAG keyfob which can be attached to valuable belongings. In the meantime the team have been proactive in getting an App Store presence have have launched SmartTAG on iOS for device location between devices.

The iOS app (Store link) has three modes:

  • Anti Theft: Sends a notification to your iPhone when your 2nd device is moved or touched.
  • Proximity Mode: Alerts you when either device moves outside of the user defined proximity zone.
  • Finder: Allows you to ring your devices

The current SmartTAG app (which is free and currently only on iOS) must be installed and running on both devices as well as them being synced through bluetooth. This initial app is aimed at gaining insight into user needs so the team would appreciate downloads and feedback to be fed back to them.

Personally think it’s a good way to secure our expensive devices which also house pretty much all our personal information. I look forward to using the SmartTAG keyfob when it is launched later this year.

Scots at the Web Summit

By · DWS Event

Flexiant

Flexiant logo

Tony Lucas is founder and SVP of Product at Flexiant and will be taking the stage at Web Summit on day one for a session held on the cloud stage. Flexiant are provide cloud management and are based in Livingston.

Twitter: @tonylucas

RE.Work

REWORK-tech-summit-2013

Nikita Johnson is from Shetland and the founder of RE.Work; a series of events across the UK (and potentially the world) with the focus on emerging tech. Nikita has been involved in the Startup Weekend series of events, being an organiser of the Manchester event in 2012 and the Nottingham event in 2013.

Twitter: @nikitaJohnson

Swarmly

Swarmly Real Time Location sharing

Represetned at the Web Summit by founder Marco De Nichilo. Swarmly is a real time location based service available on iOS and Android. Perhaps best described as a passive Foursquare with an element of sentiment analysis.

Twitter: @Swarmly

IC Mobile

Both founder, Lee McLoughlin and lead creative Alex Mitchie will be at the Web Summit to display the work of IC Mobile. Biggest piece of work being iOS augmented reality app PrintAR which is aimed at digital marketers.

Twitter: icMobileLab

Mallzee

MallzeeLogoTrans

Founded by Cally Russell in 2011 at RecommendedBy the startup has pivoted into social shopping with the aim of replicating the high street shopping experience online and mobile. The team are nearing launch of their new iOS app.

Twitter: @mallzeehq

Float

Float App Ship Logo

Colin Hewitt of CEO and founder of cash flow forecasting web app Float will be at the WebSummit. Having recently raised investment and grown the team Colin will be keen to share his vision for Float of the coming months.

Twitter: @floatapp

StorkUp

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.00.21

StorkUp helps mums navigate the world of kids’ products. It’s a unique shopping experience where a growing community of mums can discover products and help. The team will be on a stall in the main area for the event.

Twitter: @storkup

miiCard

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 09.59.22

miiCard will be at the Web Summit with their new miiTag. A tag which you can attached to belonging to verify they are yours. Cassie and James will be on hand to show you more of the miiCard product.

Twitter: @miicard

RookieOven

I will also be at the Web Summit (@_MDHayes), if you want to find out about the Scottish startup community and how you can engage with companies and individuals in it please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Startup Weekend Glasgow 2013 – Sustainability and Clean Tech

By · Event Startup Weekend Glasgow

This Friday, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with a passion for technology and the environment will gather for 54 hours in Glasgow for Startup Weekend Glasgow: Sustainability and Clean Tech.

Startup-weekend-Cleanweb-scotland

Up to 100 hackers, designers and industry professionals will meet at the city’s SocietyM on Renfrew Street on Friday October 25th. Apart from sleep breaks, the groups will work constantly throughout the weekend creating and validating business ideas relating to environmental sustainability.

As with all Startup Weekends the event has been organised over the past few months by a team of volunteers based in the Scottish community. The team has been led by Allan Lloyds, founder of InisghtArcade and have pulled out all the stops to ensure this is the biggest and best Startup Weekend to hit Scotland.

Despite there being over 1000+ previous Startup Weekends events in over 475 cities all around the world this is the very first event focused on environmental sustainability and cleantech. Right here in Scotland.

Scotland has led the way in biological and environmental science. The phrase, “Think Global, Act Local” – one of the most successful and memorable environmental slogans – is attributed to the Scot, Sir Patrick Geddes, who made significant contributions to environmental thinking and urban planning a century ago. Now our country is leading the way in the development of sustainable technologies to protect our environment.

If you’d like to think global, then support a local volunteer run event and get yourself along to SocietyM this weekend.

The whole weekend event culminates on Sunday October 27th from 4.30pm, when the groups will present their business ideas to a panel of experts including Andrew Mitchell of the Clean Web Factory, Fiona Godsman of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Stuart Deed of The Launch Point at the Lighthouse on Mitchell Lane.  It is hoped some of the ideas will be developed into environmental and clean technology businesses.

To find out more and get your ticket go to – http://glasgow.startupweekend.org/

One year on – an update on GatherContent

By · Aberdeen Startup Talk

There have been a few notable changes since RookieOven last covered GatherContent, which we described as Basecamp meets Google Docs with structure. They were last mentioned here on RookieOven on a Startup Spotlight feature last year and have since celebrated their first birthday and working on a host of exciting new updates.

GatherContent-Aberdeen

Some of the new features coming to GatherContent include:

  • A new WordPress plugin
  • A New Drupal Module
  • A comprehensive Helpdesk
  • Doc.x and HTML export of projects and pages
  • WordPress and Gathercontent

So why build these features? Mark Young of GatherContent gave some insights into the Product Development environment in GatherContent and why they chose to build these features.

WordPress

To us, and more importantly, to GatherContent users, connecting a powerful content production platform to a popular content publishing platform made sense.

Our WordPress plugin lets Gatherers export their content straight from GatherContent into their WordPress. We wanted to make the whole process of moving content into the CMS a lot easier. Mapping bits of content to specific fields within the CMS was a priority, so you can now import GatherContent pages as Pages, Posts, Media and various Custom Post Types.

We think it’s a much simpler way of importing to the CMS rather than copying and pasting bits of text from a word document! You can read more about it on our blog.

Drupal module

This add on sets out to do a lot of what our WordPress plugin does, and we aim to make it available within the next few weeks. Much like our WordPress update, The plugin will let you map content to certain fields in Drupalto allow you retain your structure and heavily customise your import.

New export options

Previously, we only had the option of exporting a whole project (not specific pages), and users could only export in .pdf format. Now our new functionality lets you export single pages to whole documents and you can choose to migrate content in a DocX or pdf. formal.

We will also be making a start on modules for ExpressionEngine and Joomla, and an extension for Magento too.

Helpdesk

Our help documentation was limited, so we spent some time making up in-depth walkthroughs and help videos.

GatherContent-help

New Writing Experience

As well as creating a cleaner writing interface (with fewer fields etc.), we are hoping to implement track changes too. That way, everybody knows who made alterations to a bit of content.

Mark tells me there’s lots more to come from the GatherContent team and urges you all to keep up with their developments on twitter or through their public roadmap.

ScotSoft 2013 – Funding Growth

By · Edinburgh Event Pitching

Last week I was invited along to the ScotlandIS ScotSoft 2013 Global Forum. It was a fantastic event with an utterly brilliant line up of speakers including ‘father of the internet’ Vint Cerf, Larry Cable of Salesforce and Heidi Roizen, Venture Partner at DFJ.

hockey stick graph

The day was split into three sessions:

  • First session was on ‘Funding Growth’ with Ann Winblad, MD of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Eddie Anderson of Pentech Ventures, and Heidi Roizen.

  • Second session was on ‘Scaling Fast’ with Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction, John Innes, CEO of Amor Group and Karen White, President & COO of Addepar.

  • Thirdly ScotlandIS had Principal Architect, Platform of Salesforce Larry Cable opening up for ‘father of the internet’ Vint Cerf.

The day presented loads of material I’m going to be sharing on RookieOven over the course of the next week or so but first up, here’s what the investors had to say on Funding Growth.

Know your stuff

It seems like common sense but yet the invesotrs felt the need to stress it so I guess a lot of people miss this. Know your stuff! What is the market like – size, competition, routes, hurdles and avenues; what do you need to execute; and what are your forecasts?

Eddie Anderson sized up a deal as 70% objective and 30% subjective (more on that later). The objective part is clear since the investor will want a return and the hard (non-vanity) figures won’t lie.

Deals take time

The notion you can rock up to an investor, show them a couple of slides and walk away with a briefcase of notes is a fallacy. If that’s the basis on which you’ve been building your startup then go back to the drawing board.

All the investors stated that they’re highly unlikely to make an investment on the back of a proposal landing on their desk or a 10 slide deck. Imagine it was your money that you were investing. Would you do so on the back of a flashy slide deck? Of course not and an investor is no different. Their job is to get a return on the money, not simply to give it out. To that end all three members of the panel agreed you must build a relationship.

Over the course of 9-12 months and potentially over 60 meetings you need to build a relationship with the investor. The panellists shared their views on how to do this:

  • Can you do it? – Set targets and stick to them. Show an investor before they invest that you can achieve these targets. Set targets on growth, revenue, product features etc. and at least meet them but preferably exceed them in a given timeframe.

  • Dangle a carrot – when you meet an investor do *something* to win the next meeting. This is your goal, not to pitch. Investors are busy folk too, pique their interest and get a date in the diary for the next meeting.

  • Keep the deck away and grow excitement – as the process of courting an investor goes on, your aim is to slowly grow their excitement. Once you’ve excited the investor to a point let them lead on when you can pitch. When they make the offer jump at it.

30% subjective

Why is the relationship so important? Well, although undoubtedly important, numbers will only take you so far. There’s the remaining 30% that comes from the gut and feel. This is established over the course of building that relationship. The investor is looking for international growth and scale, the ability to give a return of 10 times or more and to do so in a timely fashion.

The investor will trust their gut and feel for the team’s talent and ability to do so. This is something they can’t glean from a term sheet. They can only do it from a working relationship with the team.

‘But you can’t in the UK’

A lot is made of the state of the UK investment scene and in particular the scene in Scotland. Personally my view is the money will go to where the talent is and in Scotland we currently lack a critical mass of talent to attract the money. Therefore we must flip that notion and those with the ability must go to where the money is.

This is something Sir Jackie Stewart spoke of in his keynote at EIE 2012. Although there has been a global financial crisis there are still plenty of cash-rich countries, companies and individuals. Stocks are volatile and there’s a lack of trust with banks, so where can you grow your wealth? Investment is a real option. Heidi Roizen summed this up with“Go to where the money is”.

I will be posting more thoughts and content from ScotSoft 2013 throughout the week and hope that it’s helpful. A big thank you to ScotlandIS for running an event that was startup friendly and had such great content for young businesses. I look forward to them continuing to engage more with the startup community.