EIE20 wraps with CBI President Lord Bilimoria placing innovation as central to UK’s economic recovery.

  • 50 startup to scale-up founders pitched for seed funding to series A investment rounds, with keynote addresses from CBI President and Cobra founder Lord Bilimoria and techUK President Jacqueline de Rojas
  • Lord Bilimoria: “Our country is at a crossroads and we must innovate our way out of this”
  • Jacqueline de Rojas: “techUK has seen the demand for digital skills grow exponentially on the back of Covid-19”

EIE20 wrapped its tech investor conference for 2020 yesterday with keynote addresses from CBI President and Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria and techUK President Jacqueline de Rojas.  Lord Bilimoria remarked that “our country is at a crossroads and we must innovate our way out of this”, noting that Cobra Beer lost two-thirds of its sales over lockdown, while Jacqueline de Rojas said techUK has seen the demand for digital skills “grow exponentially on the back of Covid-19” while championing diversity in the tech sector.     

EIE20 led off with an investor-only event on Tuesday evening featuring former Skyscanner COO, Mark Logan, whose Scottish Government-commissioned report on Scotland’s tech sector was published in August.  Yesterday, the main conference included pitches from 50 startups to scale-up founders pitching for seed funding to series A investment rounds up to £5 million.  Pitching companies included hotel app Criton, sensor technology specialist startup Beringar, and ethical finance startup Soar.  

Danny Helson, Programme Manager for EIE, said: “All our companies did a brilliant job today and they got a rare forum in which to pitch to investors from across the globe.”

EIE was more international than ever before in 2020, with online “pavilions” bringing startups, investors, government and advisers together from Germany, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.  

EIE has supported nearly 500 tech startups and scale-ups since 2008 who have collectively raised over £750 million.  EIE alumni companies include FanDuel, Current Health, Two Big Ears, pureLiFi, Float, Speech Graphics and Cyan Forensics. 

EIE is supported by partners including the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, Scottish Enterprise, Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Initiative, Huawei, Embark Group, Johnston Carmichael, LINC Scotland, MBM Commercial, Murgitroyd, Royal Bank of Scotland, Talent Spark powered by Eden Scott and Pentech.

  • Full list of EIE20 company cohort
  • The year-round EIE Entrepreneurship and Investor Readiness Programme culminates with the annual EIE showcase in Edinburgh.
  • The EIE team is based at the Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence.  The Bayes Centre is the first of 5 hubs to be delivered by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Programme, aspiring together to make Edinburgh the Data Capital of Europe.

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