Technology investor conference EIE20, held on 14th October, is set to feature a wide range of dynamic tech talent, with 50 data-driven companies pitching to secure funding.
This year’s event will be held on a virtual platform and see a range of startups and scaleups pitching to investors from Scotland, the UK and further afield. Over the past 12 years, EIE has supported nearly 500 fledgling companies, and collectively, firms supported by the showcase have raised in excess of £750 million.
Danny Helson, Programme Manager at EIE says that this year’s event is set to be one of the most exciting on record and, despite the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, the show must go on.
“‘It’s crucial that we keep the showcase event running this year,” he says. “Clearly, there were a few knocks at the beginning of the year and people have had to regroup.
“The companies that we’re engaged with range from Seed through to Series A levels of investment. Particularly in the early stages, a lot of them are pre-revenue and need the investment to help the business grow,” Helson adds.
Hosting EIE20 has presented challenges, Helson admits. However, long-term he envisages the event will transition into a hybrid showcase incorporating the physical and virtual elements. This, he suggests, could be crucial in extending EIE’s reach to a wider global audience.
“This is the first virtual event for us so it’s all new. We do see that this creates great opportunities for EIE though, especially in extending our global reach as people from all across the globe are now able to take part,” he explains.
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Published last month, Mark Logan’s Technology Ecosystem Review underlined the importance of conferences in raising the Scottish tech sector profile and improving global outreach.
“We recommend that these conferences are internationalised to showcase startups regardless of their origin country, and that a level of public finance is provided to ensure that ticket prices, pitch-entry prices, etc. are not prohibitive,” the report states.
“The reason for doing so is to attract external investors and international industry expertise to Scotland that won’t come to see a solely domestic portfolio,” it adds.
With such a broad range of companies pitching this year, this global reach provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the growing strength and quality that Scotland’s ecosystem has to offer.
The 2020 cohort boasts the largest percentage of globally-founded ventures locating to Scotland; a sure sign that both the event and the ecosystem are attracting global attention.
“It’s a very diverse group at EIE20, and we had applications come in this year from four different continents, so the reach is definitely getting bigger and better,” Helson says. “There is also a strong focus on data-driven innovation, and that’s reflected in the companies in our latest cohort.”
Who is taking part at EIE20?
A full list of the EIE20 cohort can be found here.
Additionally, seven companies will make extended pitches live at the showcase event before the judging panel. With some of these firms looking to secure investment packages up to £2 million, the stakes are high, and DIGIT has compiled a list of those taking part.
Check them out below.
The Glasgow-based sensor tech firm, Beringar, specialises in the real-time monitoring of workplaces.
Founded in 2016 by two chartered surveyors, Paul Byrne and Mark Sorsa-Leslie, the company uses IoT sensor technology, machine learning and data analytics to provide insights into how spaces are used in offices and building spaces.
Using Beringar’s technology, organisations are able to accurately view how many people are in certain areas of a building and how long people dwell in a particular space.
Additionally, sensor technology provides detailed insights into air quality, ambient light and sound levels across multiple storeys.
Earlier this year, Beringar was one of four companies to win a package of support from CENSIS to develop new IoT-focused cybersecurity products.
Alongside PolyDigi Tech, Lupovis and Craft Prospect, Beringar secured its place on the first CENSIS IoT Cyber Security Accelerator. The company’s inclusion on the programme will see it receive product support and business development guidance.
Edinburgh-based travel technology firm Criton helps hospitality and hotel firms transform their relationship with customers.
The Criton guest engagement app allows hotels, for example, to fully digitise its guestbook and provide customers with a custom app to boost engagement, save money and earn from each booking made.
Criton says its platform can help maximise efficiency, reduce operating costs and, crucially, improve customer satisfaction and have them coming back for more.
The firm employs staff in both Edinburgh and London, and has worked with a host of major brands across the UK. During the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic, Criton announced it would make its guest engagement platform free to use for hotels until 2021.
In 2017, Criton secured £5 million investment and, at EIE20, the company is pitching for an investment of £2 million.
Decipher Analytics Limited
This dynamic MedTech company is helping break down silos to make medical data more accessible and impactful.
Based in Edinburgh, Decipher Analytics works with universities and healthcare practitioners to enhance patient treatment and drug administration.
The company’s platform, known as a data commons, enables the secure storage, access and sharing of health data to provide safe access to detailed clinical and genomics data.
Decipher Analytics is led by CEO and co-founder, Diane Harbison, and has been raising eyebrows in the Scottish tech sector for some time now. At EIE20, Harbison will pitch for £1-2 million investment.
Know You More
Know You More is a digital coaching platform that helps organisations provide executive-level training to staff.
Co-founded by Tim Mart and Chirag Mehta, the Edinburgh-based firm’s virtual coaching platform connects organisations with coaches and enables them to guide and shape their own international development programmes.
Since its launch, Know You More has delivered coaching to improve leadership development and mental wellbeing for thousands of people, and has worked with a range of organisations including NHS Scotland, Ocado and Siemens.
In August this year, the firm announced it is raising up to £400,000 in SEIS/EIS investment capital to support its rapid expansion. At EIE20, the firm will pitch for £500-999,000 investment.
One of the most exciting startups on the scene in Belfast, retail analytics firm Limitless Insights will be pitching for £500-999,000 investment at EIE20.
The Limitless retail analytics platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable businesses to combine location, store and external data and generate detailed consumer insights.
The firm is working with a range of high-profile brands, including Tesco Ireland and Coca Cola, to provide services.
HR technology startup, Peachy Mondays, aims to transform the way businesses deal with employees and improve the employee-employer relationship.
The Peachy Mondays employee feedback platform provides companies with a simple, easy-to-use method of gathering and acting on employee feedback. The company says it aims to provide a “holistic approach to all employee feedback, offering one familiar interface for employees and one central hub for employers”.
A range of global organisations currently use the Peachy Mondays employee feedback platform, and the firm is growing rapidly. In June this year, the Edinburgh-based startup announced Silicon Valley veteran Aaron Ross as its first advisory board member.
Co-founder James Anderson will pitch live at EIE20 for £2 million investment.
Soar is one of the most exciting fintech startups Scotland has to offer right now.
The Glasgow-based firm, launched by entrepreneur Andrew Duncan in 2017, provides cloud-based integrated banking platforms to credit unions and not-for-profit banking organisations. The company’s platform enables ethical institutions to analyse and manage data more securely and efficiently.
Soar says its apps are intended to “enable those in the ethical finance sector to better meet the demands of their communities”.
The company has raised eyebrows in the Scottish tech sector over the last three years, and was a double award winner at the 2019 Scottish Financial Technology Awards. Similarly, the company has grown rapidly since its launch, having moved to a larger unit in Glasgow and securing significant funding in 2019.
Andrew Duncan will pitch for an investment of £1-2 million at EIE20.