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Go west: North and north-east tech founders urged to join Silicon Valley ‘startup grind’

Startup Grind Scotland are seeking tech founders to take part in a global showcase in the startup mecca of Silicon Valley, USA.
Startup Grind Scotland are seeking tech founders to take part in a global showcase in the startup mecca of Silicon Valley, USA.

Ambitious tech entrepreneurs need to “seize the opportunity” to take part in a global showcase in the startup mecca of Silicon Valley, USA.

Startup Grind Scotland, a community with active chapters in Edinburgh and Glasgow, are seeking 20 applicants to attend the 2022 Startup Grind Global Conference in April after having won funding from the £7 million Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund.

The cash pot was launched by the Scottish Government following the 2020 Logan Report, an independent review of the Scottish technology ecosystem.

San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge.

Successful applicants will have flights, accommodation, conference tickets and travel costs covered.

Silicon Valley startup ‘mecca’

Delegates will enjoy a week immersed in the “entrepreneurship mecca”, complimented by visits to leading tech companies and Scottish success stories in the area.

Organisers expect a high number of applications from a diverse group of leaders across a range of business sectors.

Applications are open now and close on 16 February. Successful applicants will fly from Edinburgh to San Francisco on 9 April and return on 15 April.

Dive in to the ecosystem

Startup Grind Scotland director Dec McLaughlin said: “We are so grateful to the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund for providing us with the opportunity to take some of the most promising startup and scale-up leaders from across the country to our global conference.

“It will allow them to dive into the international startup ecosystem, get inspired by industry leaders and create new connections with founders and business leaders from all over the world – all in the startup mecca that is Silicon Valley.

“Taking the first step towards becoming a global business on a bootstrapped budget is no easy task, so this support will be vital for many young businesses.

“We hope that this experience will help showcase Scotland’s world-class startup ecosystem on the international stage.”

Unique opportunity to grow north-east ecosystem

A spokesman added that organisers were “definitely targeting entrepreneurs in north-east and Highlands”.

He added: “With the success that Aberdeen-based startups enjoyed in 2021, this international excursion offers a unique opportunity for local founders.”

Jennifer Craw from ONE.

Jennifer Craw, the chief executive of Opportunity North East which supports the development of tech startups through ONE Codebase, said there were now several early stage firms that would benefit from applying.

She said: “This month we welcomed over 40 ambitious founders and entrepreneurs to the ONE CodeBase Tech Startup Fundamentals programme, demonstrating the level of ambition and innovation of individuals across the north east of Scotland to turn their tech idea into a business.

“I hope to see founders from the region seize the opportunity to apply for Startup Grind and further their learning as part of a global tech entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Reaching a global stage

Startup Grind Global CMO Karlie Krieger Valine said: “So often we know that there are financial barriers to early-stage businesses accessing support.

“It’s incredible to see the Scottish Government helping founders to reach a global stage in this way, enabling them to plug into the power of community that Startup Grind provides.”

Mark Logan

Mark Logan, advisor to the Scottish Government and former Skyscanner chief operating officer (COO), said: “Fostering a greater sense of community and connection amongst our entrepreneurial talent is essential to strengthening Scotland’s tech sector.

“I’m delighted that the new Technology Ecosystem Fund is able to support Startup Grind to  deliver this excellent programme.

“It’s  a great opportunity for a diverse cohort of business leaders to access new networks, opportunities and inspiration on a global stage.”

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