Button pressed on major study to gauge Scottish business recovery from pandemic

A major survey looking at how Scotland’s start-ups and scale-ups are dealing with the post-pandemic recovery has been launched.

The EIE Scottish Startup Survey 2022, run in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre, will ask business founders and bosses about investor engagement, growth strategy, economic outlook, Scottish ecosystem support, hiring plans, returning to the office and new ways of working post-pandemic.

The survey has been running since 2017 in association with the Freer Consultancy and targets a sample of Scottish tech companies drawn from both the EIE alumni and the wider start-up community north of the Border. EIE - standing for Engage Invest Exploit - has helped more than 540 companies raise in excess of £1.1 billion since the investor-readiness programme was launched in 2008.

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While the previous survey had a strong focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the Covid crisis and lockdown restrictions, this year’s study will examine how start-ups are navigating their way out of pandemic times.

Karen Wood, director of enterprise, Bayes Centre, said: “The last couple of years have been challenging for so many in business, including in the start-up world, but we know that start-ups are a resilient and creative breed, and that investors continue to invest in innovation - all themes we expect to come through in this year’s survey.”

Dave Hughes, chief executive and co-founder of remote sensor specialist Novosound, an EIE alumni company, which featured at the EIE London event earlier this year, said: “The results of the start-up survey are a great barometer of the Scottish tech ecosystem. It has helped us to navigate our next stage of growth and, as a founder, realise that other founders share many of the same aspirations and concerns.”

Michael Moore, director general at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), added: “This is an exciting time to be investing in tech, especially in Scotland. Shared insight is vital to growth companies and their investors across the country - this survey gets right to the heart of the key issues and its findings will be invaluable to all of us.”

The University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre is a world-leading centre of deep tech, artificial intelligence, robotics and data science, and is one of five Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) hubs supported by the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

EIE - standing for Engage Invest Exploit - has helped more than 540 companies raise in excess of £1.1 billion since the investor-readiness programme was launched in 2008. Picture: Stewart Attwood

EIE London was one of the main fixtures in 2022 for the EIE Investor Readiness Programme delivered by the Bayes Centre. The event was supported by the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund in connection with the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review in 2020.

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Alumni companies include Scotland’s first tech unicorn, fantasy sports site FanDuel; healthtech scale-up Current Health (acquired by US consumer electronics group Best Buy in 2021); and agritech specialist Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), which announced a £42.2 million series B funding round on the occasion of Scotland’s Green Innovation and Investment Showcase, run jointly by EIE and Scottish Enterprise, at COP26 in Glasgow last November.

The EIE22 annual investor conference is due to take place on October 6.

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