Scotland’s vibrant startup scene is attracting global attention and praise but could we be doing more to harness and maximise the growth potential of tomorrow’s Fanduels or Skyscanners? This was one of the main themes of the recent Startup Summit a Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms. The event, ran by WeAreTheFuture, brought together investors, entrepreneurs and key figures in business with the main aim to inspire conversation, tell stories and create and build relationships.
The event combined keynote speakers from the Scottish Government and Virgin Unite as well as input from various successful entrepreneurs including Amida Nabi of Kinnect2 and Stacey Ferreira of Forrge. There was also an expert panel session, a workshop breakout session and a Silicon Valley pitching competition. In the main the conversation revolved around Scotland’s vibrant startup scene, what can be done to continue to improve the ability for more businesses to become the next Skyscanner or Fanduel, advice to allow a young entrepreneur to harness and maximise their growth potential, and discussions around the best and right time to take on board funding.
The overall mood of the event was incredibly upbeat. Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed Scotland’s enviable position in terms of its unique ability to maximise opportunities from the creative minds of entrepreneurs both young and old. He specifically asked that people contact him where they believe he could be doing more to support innovation and development. In my mind, the three key areas where further support and clarity are required are around bridging the skills gap, access to the right funding at the right time and the ability to access good quality professional advice and support. Scotland has made great strides in these areas as well as many others and my hope is that our Innovation Nation continues to feature at the forefront of Scotland’s growth journey.
Events like Wednesday harness so much positive energy and highlight the fact that organisations like WeAreTheFuture are providing such an important forum to drive growth and entrepreneurship. Grant Thornton are looking to build relationships with Scotland’s start up community and as such have just invested £22 million in a new offering Geniac (a startup in its own right) which allows the entrepreneur the flexibility to focus their time on growing their business whilst the legal, HR, tax compliance, accounting and payroll functions are taken care of (www.geniac.com). In addition to this our sector focused approach and our network of local offices we’re here to support businesses in helping to create a vibrant Scottish economy.Add paragraph text here.