The trip to Edinburgh to pitch at the Connect Investment Conference, (www.investmentconference.co.uk/CIC/CIC_home.asp) was just, worth the effort, the last time I was there was to pitch my own company a few years ago, Rosebank technologies, with Callum Norrie, we were looking for a few 100ks, and there was no takers, it was, a couple of million or more, and any less and the VC's were not interested, you were left to the tender mercy of the Angel sharks. This time it was the reverse, there were medium funds present, from a few 100ks to a million, and only a trio of larger VC's. This is not the place to be if you want to raise a lot of cash, it is the place to be if you want to meet SE folks, lawyers, and other service support technologies, the pitches were polished and gave the bones of the stories, but I did come away with some sadness, as there was not a lot of energy in the pitches, or excitement, has the Scottish entrepreneur lost it?
I do wonder where the future of Industry lies in Scotland, there are a lot of intelligent people doing smart things, but they bogged down in Academia snares, SE funding hurdles from the box tickers, and a lack of practical help from the very people who can help them, they are the entrepreneurs that have been successful but either are not allowed to, or have lost the will to because of previous engagements with the same funding bodies,those of you who have read my blog int he past know that I try to give back some of the lessons learned, but the Scottish Executive need to get there heads sorted out and focus on actually doing the old country some good, and hire on board some real talent and not just J.O.B candidates, set up a "flying squad" to support new and emerging technologies, without the constraints of the ole ways.
I do not want to land this all on connect, they a good job, but they are a commercial business so they have to do what they can to bring in funds, and they also have to work with what tools they have at hand. I do believe that the root cause, lies within the political and academic institutions of Scotland, come on guys give the folks a chance, look through the organisations and support the guys who are doing well, support the innovation centers and fund the support teams better and give them a hand with bringing in some more talent to get along side the emerging companies, the future of Scotland, give the old country a chance.