Gaining external investment is essential for high growth companies to realise their ambitions

This is particularly pertinent within the Biotech, MedTech and ICT sectors, where the road to market is usually longer and requires external investment to maintain a healthy cash flow.


This week I had the pleasure of attending the Young Company Finance conference where companies, investors and advisors come together to discuss the evolution of Scotland’s early stage finance market.


The aim of the day was to highlight the rapidly evolving diversity of options open to young companies seeking finance, discussing which financing formats are suitable for companies in different markets and at different stages of development.


Here’s an overview of the key points that were discussed:


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Academia at the Heart of Economic Growth

Stuart Fancey of the Scottish Funding Council was the first speaker and highlighted the academic strengths of Scotland’s universities and explained the various ways that companies can engage with higher education institutions, driving innovation to stimulate economic growth.


Stuart highly encouraged that companies should engage with Interface and its Innovation Voucher Scheme to access expertise and funding.


Tap into a Community of Advisors

Marcus Stuttard, Head of UK Primary Markets, and Head of AIM, London Stock Exchange explained about the ELITE programme.


ELITE is designed to provide essential growth support to companies beyond the startup stage. It offers access to capital, advice via an experienced community and support through a balanced regulatory approach for businesses considering a market listing.


I supported Marcus’ point of view that every IPO begins and ends with the right management, as well as the need to have the right team in place.


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Supporting Scotland’s Early Stage Tech Sector

Dr Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer of Mercia Technologies, oversees the group’s activities.


His responsibilities range from supporting early stage businesses financed through Mercia Fund Management to scaling emerging stars financed via Mercia’s balance sheet.


They have a strict focus on early stage and pre-revenue businesses that specifically operate within the biotech, medtech, electronics, telecom and ICT space, who have received support from 3rd party investment over a 2 to 10 year period.


The firm plans to open an Edinburgh office and has an appetite for working with Scottish companies.


Celebrating Scotland’s Success

Richard Cooper of Cascade Technologies and Dr Margaret Temple of Vitrology shared the stories of their successful trade sales.


My personal favourite talk was from Cally Russell of Mallzee who explained how the move to mobile had driven the success of his business along with a strategic partnership with the Royal Mail.


Young Company Finance showcased the wide ranges of financing options available to support high growth endeavours and offered practical advice of what sort of finance is appropriate for different types of companies at the different stages of their journey.


For companies seeking investment, or considering their options Young Company Finance Scotland’s Guide to Financing for Young Companies is an invaluable source of information.


For companies looking to strengthen their management teams ahead of a financing round, check out TalentSpark or get in touch to discuss your needs directly.


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