Informatics Ventures, Scotland’s technology entrepreneur support programme, has confirmed that FanDuel cofounders Nigel and Lesley Eccles and Rob Jones have been lined up as keynote speakers for EIE18 on 19th April at McEwan Hall in Edinburgh.
FanDuel is one of the EIE success stories having first appeared at Scotland’s tech investor showcase in 2010. The FanDuel cofounders will be joined as keynote speakers at EIE18 by Dame Stephanie Shirley, one of the UK’s most renowned tech entrepreneurs, and Eileen Burbridge, a partner at London venture capitalist Passion Capital.
FanDuel was founded in 2009 and became Scotland’s first billion dollar valued tech startup, or ‘unicorn’, following a $275 million funding round in 2015. This year, Nigel Eccles and Rob Jones announced the launch of Flick, a new platform for the eSports and gaming market.
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Lesley Eccles said: “EIE was an important part of our early journey from startup to global tech business and we are big supporters of the role the Informatics Ventures team play in supporting our most promising technology entrepreneurs and startups. Experience has shown us that while it is possible to build really successful tech businesses from a base in Scotland, you also need to be able to grow the investor base outside of Scotland and events like EIE can help to put Scottish startups on the radar of investors in London, Europe, North America and Asia.”
Dr Steve Ewing, Director of Operations at Informatics Ventures, said: “The chance to get a firsthand account of the challenges associated with rapidly scaling a technology business like FanDuel is an experience that all of our delegates will want to share, not least our 2018 cohort of companies. I’m sure Nigel, Lesley and Rob will impart how important persistence and graft is to product development, opening up target markets and securing the right set of investors to underpin growth plans.”
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Last month, Informatics Ventures announced the 60 early stage, high growth potential tech companies that will pitch for seed to Series A funding and are drawn from sectors including AI, Data Science, Internet of Things, Cleantech, Digital Health and Cybersecurity. 12 per cent of startup founders at this year’s EIE are female and, now in its 10th year, EIE has been a springboard to over £500 million in funding. FanDuel, Mallzee, Celtic Renewables, Two Big Ears, ZoneFox, pureLiFi and MindMate are a few of the companies to come through the EIE programme in recent years.