Early stage Scots technology businesses need to get rid of a reserved nature and grasp the global nettle when it comes to pursuing global growth opportunities, according to Danny Meaney of the UP Business Accelerator Programme.
Meaney is just back from Qatar where one of his businesses ‘New Media Partners' (NMP) is helping develop a media city following on from previous successful projects in Pacific Quay, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Seoul, Sydney, Brisbane, Belfast, New York City and Manchester (BBC) – international work that has given him extensive exposure to varying entrepreneurial cultures and investor behaviours.
He believes the huge wealth of talent and developments happening in Scotland today can compete favourably with anything happening in other parts of the world, many of which cannot boast a supporting infrastructure anywhere near as good as it is in Scotland, particularly for early stage investment. He believes new developments under way in the Scottish investment community to address the growth capital gap will further increase Scotland’s attractiveness from which to grow international technology businesses.
UP recently ran an Accelerator programme for healthcare growth businesses (“The Future of Health”) in Salford that featured 11 different companies from 8 different countries, including Australia, and was surprised that no company from Scotland took part (a London based company attending achieved Europe's biggest ‘series A' investment round this year of £17.5 million). Meaney believes Scots understated nature was a factor in not being represented despite UP having successfully run several accelerator programmes, typically based over a 12-week period, focusing on healthcare, media/creative and financial technology for the last 5 years.
Meaney is particularly keen to help the new City Deals programme and its funded focus on fledgling data and technology developments as he believes it will face many of the same issues.
Danny Meaney, Founder and CEO of UP, said:
“I am a passionate Scot and enthusiastic to help push our developing new businesses through various stages of growth. With the City deals there is a potential for hundreds of new businesses and the creation of thousands of new jobs.
“To make this successful we must learn and embrace best practices and ideas from around the globe. Our greatest entrepreneurs have done this for many years having had the confidence to push themselves forward, learn and embrace international opportunities.
“This will be key in making the City deal programme an ongoing success. It's stated aim of attracting investment, fuelling entrepreneurship and delivering inclusive growth is highly achievable if we not only tap into the considerable talent on our doorstep but also push ours”.