Head of Microsoft’s venture fund to speak at EIE 2019

Nagraj Kashyap

Nagraj Kashyap, Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, has been announced as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Engage Invest Exploit (EIE).

The international technology investor event for data-driven innovation, which is expected to attract 1,000 delegates to Edinburgh on 24th April, is organised by Informatics Ventures, Scotland’s technology entrepreneur support programme.

Now in its twelfth year, EIE has been a springboard for over 350 companies who have benefited from the investor-ready programme and have gone on to raise in excess of £650 million, including the likes of mLED Ltd, Mallzee, and Two Big Ears.

This year’s event, which will take place at the city’s historic McEwan Hall, will be hosted by Dr Quentin Cooper, a regular commentator and broadcaster on science and technology. 

With more than 20 years of experience in venture capital, business development, software engineering, and management, Nagraj Kashyap will take to the stage to share his advice with delegates.  He said: “Speaking at events like EIE helps to show companies how corporate venture capital can be a source of funding to support them on their journey.  There will be fifty ambitious companies pitching on the day and the advice I give to founders is to be clear on the business problem you are solving and the team you have put together to achieve it.”

“Edinburgh has an eco-system that supports and develops talent and EIE is a great platform for founders, academics, business leaders and investors to exchange their experiences, challenges and victories.”  

Nagraj will be joined at the event by award-winning computer scientist, Professor Sue Black OBE and Scottish tech scene veteran and Pufferfish Chairman, Seonaidh MacDonald.

Sue, founder of BCSWomen and #Techmums , was recently named in the list of top 50 women in tech in Europe and is well known for founding the high-profile campaign to save Bletchley Park. 

Seonaidh himself is no stranger to EIE, having led mLED through a hugely successful trade sale to a U.S household name, delivering a significant exit multiple.

Steve Ewing, director of operations at Informatics Ventures, which runs Engage Invest Exploit (EIE), said: “We are delighted to welcome Nagraj, Sue and Seonaidh to Edinburgh to speak at our event this year.  It’s an amazing opportunity for startups and investors alike to meet and hear from three of the highest calibre of players in the sector. 

“Edinburgh has a vibrant tech scene and ecosystem that is putting Scotland on the map for data-driven innovation, and EIE plays a significant part in that.”

Dr Quentin Cooper, who has hosted the flagship event for the past seven years, said: “At EIE I’m always bowled over by the mix of head-in-the-clouds innovation and feet-firmly-on-the-ground business sense and this year’s companies will be no different. They will be aiming to really push the boundaries in using data and technology to change people’s lives for the better.”

All eyes will be on the 2019 cohort as they take to the stage next month to pitch their ideas to an investor audience and once again highlight Scotland’s capabilities in driving the data-driven revolution.

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