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Seed Haus Tech Accelerator Opens For Business

Brian Baglow


Seed Haus China

Scotland’s first pre-seed technology accelerator has launched in Edinburgh, announcing high profile investors and the first cohort of start-ups.

For a ‘pre-seed’ incubator, Seed Haus has some fairly major ambitions. According to the company’s launch press release: “Seed Haus’ mission is to trigger Scotland’s next billion-dollar startup.”

It’s no empty promise either, Seed Haus has also released the names of the partners it is working with to help it realise its mission. These include:

  • Alistair Forbes
  • James Watt
  • Gavin Dutch
  • Paul Walton
  • Judy Wilson
  • Rob Dobson
  • Paddy Burns
  • Chris van der Kuyl
  • Paul Davidson
  • Sir Tom Hunter

That’s one hell of an impressive list. If you’ve worked in or with a start-up business in Scotland, the chances are you’ll know more than one of those names and know exactly how experienced they are in starting-up, growing and exiting companies.

The incubator addresses a gap in the Scottish startup system by providing the very best founders with pre-seed investment, office space in its incubator, mentorship, infrastructure and space to grow and succeed.

Seed Haus opened it’s inaugural recruitment round in April 2017. It received over 165 applications from companies, of which approximately 50% were international applicants.

From that Seed Haus and its partners chose only five companies – less than 3% of the total applications – to join the incubator.

The startups chosen to join the accelerator’s first intake are:

  • SecurityCTRL – cybersecurity for cloud infrastructure
  • Sansible Wearables – body monitoring IoT technology
  • Drinkly – on-demand drinks service
  • Kindaba – collaborative communication platform for families
  • Taka – Parkinson’s therapeutic symptom management system

Seed Haus tech accelerator founders Calum Forsyth & Robin KnoxSeed Haus was co-founded by Calum Forsyth (CEO) and Robin Knox (Chairman). Calum straddles the worlds of technology and investment with a background as a PhD scientist and a Risk Consultant with KPMG.

Robin has a proven track record of business success having grown his own startup IPOS (acquired by iZettle in 2016) to seven figure revenues in four years.

Forsyth told DIGIT: “The founders themselves represent a highly-talented, diverse group with considerable experience and achievements already under their respective belts.

“The quality observed in terms of startups speaks volumes for the perceived benefits of going through an accelerator like Seed Haus and the doors it potentially opens. Several of the incoming founders are serial entrepreneurs, four of them hold a PhD, four have completed Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships and one is a Saltire Fellow. Encouragingly, two of the five teams are gender balanced.”

Knox added: “We are Scotland’s most selective accelerator and we have big ambitions for the companies we support. We seek out people with the best ideas at a very early stage – we are not looking for business plans.

“Potential is more important to us than business experience. Seed Haus is providing exactly the sort of support needed by early stage startups to give them the greatest chance of achieving success and securing the next stage of investment.”

Seed Haus startups receive guidance and support from a suite of mentors and advisors and have access to partner support from MBM Commercial, Johnston Carmichael, Silicon Valley Bank, Amazon AWSGoogle Cloud Platform, Hubspot, SendGrid and many more tech partners.

Start-ups accepted into the incubator also receive a pre-seed investment of £18,000 and office space in a brand new custom-designed facility in Edinburgh, created to facilitate collaborative working.

The companies will share workspace with three of Scotland’s most high profile young technology companies: Seed Haus’ entrepreneurs-in-residence: Callum Murray (Amiqus), Patrick Clover (BLACKBX), and Sarah Stenhouse (Pixey) who will lend peer support to the incoming startups alongside designer-in-residence: Jeremie Warner.

Seed Haus is already recruiting for it’s second round of start-ups. Ambitious founders should apply directly through the Seed Haus website.

Movers and shakers

Brian Baglow


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