Newly launched in-person business event looking to propel Scots scale-ups

Ambitious scale-up companies in Scotland are being invited to apply to be part of a new, in-person business event that has just been launched in Edinburgh by high-profile corporate players with a view to helping plug a perceived gap in the market.

Scalable companies with strong growth aspirations are being sought to take part in Invest2Scale, which is led by a group of business support organisations. It aims to help revenue-generating scalable Scottish companies that are ready for high-level growth by providing them with direct access to investors and venture capitalists – and its organisers believe there are advantages to meeting in person rather than online.

Ten to 12 company founders will be invited to participate in a showcase event on November 2 at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios that will involve an audience of senior figures from the UK and global investment community and feature networking sessions, industry discussions, and other scale-up focused activities.

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The Invest2Scale event has been conceived by law firm MBM Commercial; accountancy firm Chiene + Tait; recruitment specialist Eden Scott; and Angel Capital Scotland (formerly Linc Scotland), the national association for business angels in Scotland. The founding partners say they will, through their networks, bring scale-up experts and other key figures from the UK and international investor community to the event.

They are also in discussion with a number of key sponsors and will announce further details of these in the next few weeks, while the firms selected to attend Invest2Scale will be announced in October.

Stuart Hendry, senior partner at MBM Commercial, said: “Invest2Scale addresses a gap in the market by targeting revenue-generating companies with significant scalability. It does this in person as there is major value in bringing company founders and investors together in the same venue as opposed to attempting this interaction through online facility.”

He added that the event is designed to help “lay the foundations in creating the next Scottish unicorn” – the latter term referring to a privately held start-up whose valuation has reached at least $1 billion (£854 million). “We are passionate about supporting scale-up businesses to help them make the most of global investment opportunities so they can reach their full potential,” Mr Hendry added.

From left: Michelle Lownie of Eden Scott; Stuart Hendry of MBM Commercial; Alan Donald of Angel Capital Scotland; and Neil Norman of Chiene + Tait. Picture: Graham Clark.

Value

Alan Donald of Angel Capital Scotland said: “Our partnership of highly regarded and well-connected corporate organisations, where we can access key figures within the global investment community through our networks, brings immense value to this event.

"Collectively we will also leverage our experience and close relationships within Scotland’s business community to help identify many of the companies that could maximise the impact of additional growth investment.

“In addition to the contribution of the founding partners, through Invest2Scale we will put ambitious high-growth Scottish companies with scale-up funding aspirations in front of an invited audience of investors.”

Those behind Invest2Scale that, unlike any other investment event in Scotland, it is targeted squarely at scaling companies only, rather than start-ups; and is not charging any fee for investors and founders to participate, for example.

It was announced last month that high-profile entrepreneurs including Sir Tom Hunter were backing a new initiative to increase the number of scale-up businesses in Scotland. However, the project has been criticised for a lack of female mentors, and for its requirement for participating companies to pay £10,000 each “towards costs”.