A group of eight Edinburgh-based entrepreneurs have taken part in Business Gateway Edinburgh’s 10th Gateway to Investment five-week programme to help businesses to secure investment.
The programme has resulted in 80 companies securing over £2m of investment since 2015 and covers everything from investor buy-in and research to financial readiness and pitch presentation training and runs three times a year at Edinburgh City Chambers.
The aim is to give entrepreneurs advice on growing their business and seeking investment by various experts including Gatekeeper Michiel Smith from angel syndicate Apollo Informal Investment, which provides seed investment to new start-ups and former delegate and Dragons Den contestant Alison Grieve who invented G-hold devices for tablets.
Alison shared her experience raising around £500k investment since being on the entrepreneurial programme and also her business journey which includes partnering with Microsoft and Amazon Devices and selling over 100k G-Holds sold since Dragons Den, 90% of which is exported from her site in Edinburgh.
Entrepreneurs who were selected by Business Gateway Edinburgh to take part in the programme were Edward Baillie, founder of Zip Electric Bikes, Sabine Klaus-Carter, founder of Saltire Coconuts, Jamie Birse-Stewart founder of Aeon Ltd, Anne Brooks, founder of Minute HR, Cameron Johnston, founder of Riixo Ltd, Scott Newby, founder of NewbyCore Consultant Ltd, Martina Zupan of Alterwaste Limited, Calum Scott founder of Better Nutritional Science and Ruaridh Currie of Rockifi Ltd.
The programme culminated with a live pitch to angel investors including Apollo Informal Investment, Equity Gap, LINC Scotland, Archangels and Wallace Equity.
Alison Grieve said: “I was fortunate enough to be on the pilot series of Gateway to Investment when it first began, which was an invaluable experience and really got my business off to a good start.
“It’s great to see the programme has gone from strength to strength and contributing to the success of many of the Scottish companies we see flourishing today.
“I really enjoy returning to meet the founders of new exciting businesses coming through the pipeline and sharing my investment experience.
“Every start-up journey is unique, but it all starts with an idea and committed founders. The advice and exposure entrepreneurs have access to on the Gateway to Investment programme can really make the difference in turning those ideas into fully fledged and funded commercial enterprises.”
Edward Baillie said: The Gateway to Investment programme was a fantastic experience. It was great to learn exactly what investors are looking for and to get advice from so many experts on the process including lawyers and accountants.
“Pitch practising was particularly useful for me as it’s an area I really needed to fine-tune. Being able to do this at the end of each session and get feedback, not only from the experts in the room, but also from the other entrepreneurs was invaluable and really helped me to deliver confidently to investors on the final day.
“The programme also forced me to do further research on my value proposition and business model not only to articulate it better verbally, but also to be clearer in my own head.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have been challenged on my business plans throughout the entire process as it really has given me so much to think about, adopt and learn to make my proposition even more attractive to investors.”
Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “Gateway to Investment is a fantastic programme which has resulted in 80 Edinburgh-based companies taking their businesses global after securing over £2m of investment in the last three years.
“This investment enables entrepreneurs to employ staff, support both local and national supply chains and make a positive impact on the Scottish economy, which is why we use the programme to make sure the companies that we’ve identified that have the potential to grow and secure investment are aware of each stage of the process.
“Congratulations to all of the companies who completed the programme and have left with inside knowledge and tips from our experts who I can’t thank enough for sharing their investor advice and experience.”
The next Gateway to Investment programme will take place in February 2019.