Leading investor champions Scotland’s largest platform for innovative and scalable tech companies
Prominent Scottish tech investor Paul Atkinson of Par Equity sees the EIE investment showcase as a pivotal event connecting the region’s vibrant ecosystem with crucial growth funding
Paul Atkinson knows a thing or two about seeking out ambitious growing technology businesses with innovation at their core. As one of the founding partners of venture capital firm Par Equity and, in his own words, part of the furniture of the investor network in the north of the UK, there are not many up-and-coming tech firms that aren’t already on his radar. Despite this, he is keen to leverage the benefits that EIE24 will deliver for visibility of new technologies, investor networking opportunities and the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and he believes other investors should follow suit.
Par Equity has a long history of engagement with EIE, and prominent companies in its portfolio, like Amiqus, Novosound and Machines with Vision, have benefited from showcasing their technology at EIE and connecting with fellow founders, investors and advisors there. According to Paul, “EIE provides unrivalled visibility for our portfolio companies. The event is the most prominent of its kind in the north of the UK and is a pivotal platform for growth-stage businesses to gain exposure with international investors that can facilitate further fundraising and global expansion.”
A vital opportunity for investors
The value that EIE brings to investors is as important as the platform it gives to the ecosystem and there are a number of reasons that investors from outside Scotland should be keen to attend EIE24. From building a pipeline of cutting edge businesses-to-watch and demonstrating Scotland’s innovative and technological might, to strengthening their own network of co-funders and advisors, EIE24 offers all this to investors looking for growth-stage companies under one roof.
“I can’t think of any other event or technology platform that offers such extensive networking with all the right people in one place,” says Paul. “EIE gives funders like myself an efficient opportunity to hear from many investment prospects. It would take weeks to network with the number of people I meet when at EIE. It’s an opportunity to ask lots of questions, and this jumpstarts the conversations that lead to deal flow and helps us understand precisely what new technologies there are out there. I look forward to renewing old connections and starting new ones at the event.”
Unifying Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
EIE has rapidly emerged as the largest showcase event for Scottish technologies, and international investor interest is growing as a result of its vibrance and scale. EIE24 serves a pivotal role in connecting businesses and the wider technology ecosystem with untapped funding sources. Additionally, the event boosts vital engagement across stakeholders that adds to Scotland’s entrepreneurial momentum. By showcasing high-growth technology companies that are ready for investment, EIE provides investors with exactly what they need to see. And this strength as a showcasing platform helps further cement Scotland’s reputation for building prominent tech companies.
The connections made between founders tackling similar challenges allows for sharing best practices and benchmarking progress through peer learning. This, in turn, supports professional development for the next generation of Scottish entrepreneurs through access to advisors and mentors with a depth of experience and expertise of the technology investor landscape.
Opportunities in 2024
Paul highlights several areas where Scotland has existing strength such as fintech, engineering technologies, and sustainability, and he expects these to continue leading innovation through 2024. He particularly emphasises the success of recent sustainability focused businesses across areas like wind, energy storage and electrification.
Scotland’s core competencies and areas of strength and growth are also particularly noticeable across medtech, renewable energy, and the biotech sector. These are areas that Paul expects to come to the fore at EIE24 and are ones to watch.
Par Equity’s recently launched £67 million scaleup fund targets growth-stage companies across the UK’s northern regions, with plans to expand it to £120 million in committed capital. With a significant proportion of this fund earmarked for Scottish companies, Par Equity has made clear its substantial commitment to the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With EIE24 similarly committed to elevating the profile and investment potential of Scotland’s most innovative tech companies, it’s a great fit. “We look forward to meeting up-and-coming founders from the next tranche of exciting growth stage companies seeking investment at EIE24. Supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland is key and EIE is a really important part of that.”
EIE24 will take place at iconic Edinburgh locations, including Edinburgh Castle, The John McIntyre Conference Centre and Dynamic Earth on 30th April and 1st May 2024. Investors can expect two days of networking opportunities and the ability to meet innovative companies, who are providing globally significant solutions. The event will be hosted by BBC Scotland’s Innovation Correspondent Laura Goodwin.