Bayes Centre

EIE: Reflections on a successful re-launch but why we can’t afford to stand still.

Duncan Martin, Lead Executive for EIE24 and Director of Entrepreneurship at the Bayes Centre, shares his reflections on the reformatted EIE24. Discover how the EIE24 team brought together the Scottish tech ecosystem with investors.

I am very proud of EIE24. We set out to deliver a world-class event and the team did just that. The explosion of positive comment on LinkedIn in the immediate aftermath was overwhelming.


Ne Lwin, from Dow Schofield Watts, posted this.

“This gathering was more than a mere assembly; it served as a pivotal moment in the trajectory of technological innovation….Immersed within the vibrant tech ecosystem of Scotland, attendees were treated to a symphony of ideas and success stories….but what truly distinguished EIE24 was its global perspective……a showcase of Scotland’s innovation prowess.”

We knew we had to evolve EIE. Just as it did for many events, businesses, and individuals, Covid knocked us off course. Even if it hadn’t, however, if you’re not moving forward, you’re just standing still.

We focused on getting the right people in the room for the investor evening and on the quality rather than the quantity of the companies which featured on Showcase Day. We wanted to create an environment and a platform for the Scottish tech ecosystem to connect and show the world just how much potential there is in Scotland.

In planning EIE24 we took advice from contacts from across the tech ecosystem. We spoke to investors, founding companies, and ecosystem builders to hear first-hand what they wanted and what they needed from an event like ours.

Investors told us they wanted a platform to talk to fellow investors as well as find out about innovative new companies. The companies told us they wanted more time to speak to investors, to be able to tell their stories and share their vision in detail.


Paul Atkinson from Par Equity gave us cause for great optimism.

“The availability of capital in Scotland has really never been better, despite the recent slow-down in VC investment,“ he said. “Scotland has one of the most active Angel communities in Europe and at Par Equity we have just launched our new Northern Scale-up Fund. The arrival of the Scottish National Investment Bank is also having a positive impact and is starting to fill the gap for later stage funding.”

We had investors come from around the world, from Hong Kong to the USA, Germany to London, as well as key players within Scotland itself.

Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyacomb which provides digital forensics and online safety software to help law enforcement agencies across the world to find evidence of child abuse and terrorist activity, told us that modern investors have modern expectations and that helped guide our selection of companies to showcase.

“Increasingly, investors are looking for companies that can make a meaningful societal impact. Personally, I've worked on a lot of different projects over the years, but the ones I’ve found most rewarding are the ones that genuinely change people's lives and create new possibilities,” Ian said.

The new look and format of the Showcase Day meant reducing the number of presenting companies to 30 to give them more time to tell their stories. Companies were identified via the ecosystem builder organisation that then introduced them on stage; this meant a wide variety of interesting companies could be showcased from all parts of the Scottish ecosystem, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of activity and the range of sectors represented. From medtech to climatetech, hospitality to cyber security, we had companies presenting cutting-edge solutions to global problems. I’m also proud to say that EIE24 had a well-balanced proportion of companies, with 44% being female founded.

I never expected deals to be done in the room at EIE24, the investment journey is a marathon, not a sprint, but 86% of attendees stated in our post event survey that they had arranged investor/company follow up meetings and 88% reported that EIE24 had facilitated new collaboration opportunities across the ecosystem.

For all those who did make promising connections, Dr Genevieve Patenaude, CEO of Earth Blox, which gives sustainability teams satellite imagery analytics to report on climate and biodiversity impacts, risks, and opportunities, has some great advice.

“When you're starting a company, it’s a bit like being a teenager!” she says. “You might naively trust that your ecosystem will give you all the support you need and have your best interests at heart. But, like anywhere else, there are really wonderful and helpful investors, but there are terrible ones too, so spend time ‘dating’ your investors before you sign term sheets.

“You should try to get a full picture of two sides of the marketplace you are about to be part of. In other words, understand in detail how the VC management ‘sells’ and presents their fund to their clients, the values, and priorities they have and communicate to their clients. Get clarity on their success metrics.”

There were so many highlights over the two days of the event, but I want to say a special thanks to Mark Logan for his support, interest in and engagement with EIE24. His presentation, titled “It’s morning in the Scottish tech ecosystem”, was inspiring and Scotland is lucky to have someone of his calibre at the heart of that ecosystem.

Mark Logan

EIE’s thoughtful relaunch very effectively presented Scotland’s tech ecosystem to investors from all over the world”, Mark told me over coffee the other day. “It demonstrated that, not only does Scotland have many world-class start-ups, but it also has a world-class ecosystem in place to support them. This has led to countless follow-up conversations between investors and Scottish start-ups, and I expect that these new relationships will flourish going forward. It’s also a reminder of what an important role EIE plays in accelerating Scotland’s start-up sector.”

I want to share some of the terrific feedback we’ve received through our post-event survey.


Genna Jodie Masterton, co-founder of start-up Kinoro:

One year ago, I didn’t identify with being a tech founder, nor was I speaking with anyone who was a tech founder….Mark Logan ‘s metaphoric entrance at EIE24 helped me to take comfort in knowing that timing is everything. I feel very lucky to have been in the room on Wednesday….what an act of service to the ecosystem.


Nick Murray, co-founder of Foras:

A great relaunch that highlighted the diversity of businesses that call Scotland home, as well as the credibility and interconnectivity of the support organisations that nurture and champion them.

Gavin Dundas, Partner, Reddie & Grose LLP:

EIE24 showed Scotland's tech ecosystem at its very best.

Gillian MacAulay, of Gabriel Investments Ltd:

EIE has come back from the Virtual World refreshed and re-invigorated, with a new format that allowed engagement of the entrepreneurial and investment world across the board. Well Done.

Paul Williams, of CFO Epipole Limited:

If you are an early-stage company looking for investment, do whatever it takes to be at EIE!

Finally, I want to thank everyone involved in EIE24, including our fantastic host, BBC Scotland’s Laura Goodwin and keynote speaker, Graeme Codrington.

I think it is fair to say that EIE24 came back bigger, better, and stronger. So, what’s next? Well, we’ll take time to reflect, but we already have some exciting ideas. We are part of an ecosystem and I’d invite any and all feedback as we consider EIE25.