University hosts investment showcase

A University event is set to introduce investors to Scotland’s most promising new firms.

Engage|Invest|Exploit 2011 showcases the most promising spinout and start-up companies working across the Informatics and Computer Science departments of Scottish universities.

Hosted by the University’s School of Informatics, the event allows the budding technology firms to make business pitches to leading investors and entrepreneurs.

Around 400 guests are expected to attend the event, which runs from 17-19 May.

Scotland’s universities possess a huge wealth of talented innovators and business acumen. I am hugely supportive of events of this nature because they harness entrepreneurial spirit, bringing together inventors and investors to further technological ingenuity and create new economic opportunities.

John Swinney MSPScottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth

Event details

Events on 17 May are jointly hosted by the School of Informatics and LAUNCH.ed, the University’s student commercialisation initiative.

They include a talk by UC Berkeley Haas Business School’s Professor Henry Chesbrough, who will discuss strategies to restructure global research and development.

On 18 May, Prof Chesbrough and Deborah Magid, Director of Software Strategy at IBM Venture Capital Group, will hold an interactive workshop on corporate venturing.

Finally, on 19 May Scottish spinouts and start-up firms will exhibit their products to invited guest and investors.

Keynote speakers are investment specialists Stuart McKnight of Ascendant Corporate Finance and Sandy Finlayson from Edinburgh-based MBM Commercial LLP.

For details of the conference and a full programme, see:

The University of Edinburgh is in the top tier of UK universities in terms of successfully commercialising our programmes, and we’re showcasing some incredibly exciting ventures who are seeking solid investment to transform their work into successful global businesses.

Dr Stephen EwingSenior Business Development Executive, Informatics Ventures

Company creation

A research and commercialisation group - now known as Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) - was first created at the University in 1969.

Since that time, the University has had great success at turning the business ideas of students and staff into reality. It now plays a key role in allowing new Scottish businesses to develop.

In the past five years, the University has formed 131 companies, which together employ more than 300 staff.

Some 40 firms were created in 2009-2010, the most generated by a Scottish university in a single year.

Long history

The University's achievements include:

  • Developing the first genetically engineered vaccine against Hepatitis B
  • Creating the Smart Wheelchair for children with severe disabilities
  • Pioneering the use of amniotic fluid tests in pregnancy to detect birth defects

Major companies spun out from the University include:

  • Wolfson Microelectronics, a leading supplier of electronic components to Apple
  • MTEM, an oil surveyor - the largest firm created from a Scottish university.
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