Startups to Watch Out For

In our previous article, we discussed what makes Scotland a natural leader in the entrepreneurial space; a highly skilled workforce, support from Scottish universities to student spin-off firms, access to foreign markets, and a network of active investors.

The introduction of new products, strong demand for existing products and services, and changes in market dynamics or regulatory environments are some of the reasons behind the optimism in the Scottish entrepreneurial space. This is evidenced by statistics; 72% of small businesses had a positive outlook for 2019.

Emerging technologies and innovations have led to opportunities in various sectors and entrepreneurs have stepped up to the plate to tap into these. This has resulted in some remarkable ventures which have revolutionised the industries they operate in. A good example is the 2018 Converge Challenge semi-finalists, who have not only broken down gender barriers, but are innovating across multiple industries- ranging from renewable energy to healthcare.

At TalentSpark, we meet with dynamic young businesses every day and would argue that the high growth companies in Scotland are more robust and ambitious than they have ever been. Let’s take a look at some of the ones to watch.


This startup is set to transform the care sector by positioning itself as the ultimate care matching technology in the UK. As the UK’s first comparison and matching site for care, its aim is to bring choice, control and transparency to the care market. Its success is demonstrated by the fact that it has already reduced delayed discharge rates in pilot NHS hospitals by a staggering 40% and has helped thousands of people find the care they need within days – not weeks or months. It also received funding of £8.5 million from venture capital firm Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) in 2018, in its seed round. The firm, which also won a £750,000 contract from NHS Gloucestershire Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in 2017, plans to use the cash to grow its team from 20 to 100 employees by 2020.

Beezer Apps

Serial entrepreneur Brian Smillie came up with the idea of Beezer to combat the slow and expensive process of producing an app. Beezer is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform which aims to bypass the app store and revolutionise the app market. It enables users to set up their own app in a convenient manner, its USP being that it gives users full control of their mobile strategy. As a result, SMEs can create and distribute their mobile app without any technical or development skills. Brian Smillie appeared on Dragons Den in 2018 where he successfully secured £125,000 in investment from Peter Jones. The investment isn’t a lot, but it will be interesting to see where the guidance of Peter Jones might take this business.


Following the phenomenal success of Fanduel, Co-founders Nigel Eccles and Rob Jones are back with a new video game and e-sports ‘social streaming’ platform – Flick – which the founders say will provide a new way for gamers to share and watch gaming content with their friends. The duo has raised $4 million in funding for their new venture from US-based institutional investors. They plan to capitalize on the huge market of e-sports; over two billion gamers and nearly 700 million people regularly watch gaming video content. Currently, they are looking to hire a balanced team of native mobile and platform (Java/C) engineers.


This Aberdeen based biopharmaceutical venture is based on the extraordinary idea of using the body’s own micro-organisms to prevent and treat diseases. James McIlroy, who set up this business whilst completing his medical training at University of Aberdeen, has an impressive array of accolades under his belt and is a force to be reckoned with. In 2017, the startup received funding of £500,000 from Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank, which has been used to further develop the company’s product pipeline and grow its manufacturing and research team. In 2018, EnteroBiotix made history by becoming the first company in the world to obtain a licence from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to produce faecal microbiota for therapeutic applications. The startup has also recently announced the closing of a further £2 million seed extension investment, which highlights the promising success of this firm.


This Edinburgh based software company provides an advertising optimisation platform for holiday rental owners, helping them to maximise their revenue by advertising their property through a centralised platform. Doug Stephenson, the founder of the company, raised a whopping £3 million in 2017 in the seed funding round. Backed by Mark Logan (ex-COO at Skyscanner) who joined the company as a Board member, the company plans to use the capital to expand its engineering team and further develop its product following early customer traction. The company also secured £2.3 million in research and development funds in 2018, which has been put towards the improvement of data flow to its partners and building intelligence to increase the efficiency of user on-boarding. With the growth of the vacation rental market in UK and Europe, this startup aims to create value by matching supply and demand with focus on product development.

We know that at the core of the success of every new business is the team driving new and innovative ideas every day. Getting the right team into young businesses was the driving behind developing TalentSpark. We provide recruitment advice and support for a wide range of technical and high growth businesses, helping them find experienced Non-Exec Directors, strong management teams, and dedicated staff to drive business growth.

Get in touch now to discover how we can start helping your business achieve its talent growth objectives.