On the evening of 6th October 2015, over 80 entrepreneurs from across Scotland gathered for the second annual ‘Connecting Scotland’s Entrepreneurial Network’ event. The event brought together entrepreneurs from across Scotland, allowing them to network and showcase their business propositions.
Edward Cunningham OBE FRSE chaired the event, which was organised by Elizabeth Fairley and supported by the RSE Enterprise Fellowships Programme with additional funding from the RSE Young Academy of Scotland, Converge Challenge and Interface. The focus of the evening was linking talent across the organizations, providing an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to practice their business pitches, and stimulating discussion around issues faced by start-up and spin-out companies. Entrepreneurs benefited from the diversity of other participants with backgrounds across technology, life sciences, business, finance, retail and food and drink.
27 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their businesses (Appendix 1) and a panel of industry experts (Appendix 2) assessed each pitch and awarded prizes. Two first-place prizes were given to Simon Greenway of Rigs Pigz and Caroline Barelle of Elasmogen Ltd. Kara Nisbet of Articulate Language Camps was awarded second place. The prizes were kindly donated by M2 Lasers and Converge Challenge.
During dinner, delegates were invited to engage in sector-led discussions at one of seven tables (Appendix 3). At each table, an expert table host chaired a dialogue about the opportunities and challenges surrounding enterprise in their sector. Appendix 4 contains notes of some of the important areas for discussion points raised within these dialogues.
Concluding remarks from Grahame Bulfield FRSE and Ian Ritchie FRSE: “Go knocking on doors”, “Be bold”, “If a global product and global opportunity you can get global investment”. Get out there and attend the US investment conferences and use corporate financial advisor to find out what is happening on the ground.