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Scotland’s Fintech Pitching Competition

Posted: 11th December 2018

Monday 29th October saw the 2018 Scottish Fintech event held at The Royal Bank of Scotland Gogarburn Head Quarter. The evening was a collaboration between; The Royal Bank, FWB Park Brown, The Times and Dell Technologies. The event is one of the largest Fintech pitches held in Scotland with a prize fund of £125,000 shared across two award categories; ‘PowerUp’ and ‘Blue Sky’. More than 40 companies entered with 7 finalists pitching live on the evening. There were around 300 guests in attendance including business leaders, tech experts, entrepreneurs, politicians as well as the media. A key partner of the event Scott Black, Managing Director of executive search firm FWB Park Brown; had the following to say “The growth of Fintech is proving to be one of the most remarkable changes in, and opportunities for, the Scottish economy. It has the potential to stretch all of our levels of ambition and the intention behind these awards is both to celebrate as well as stimulate.”

Mike Crow, Head of UK Regional Affairs, Royal Bank of Scotland kicked off the evening with the ‘Blue Sky’ Fintech Award pitching competition. This award was aimed at early-stage financial technology businesses or individuals with new ideas. Open to pre-revenue companies trading for less than a year, entries were judged on originality and innovation and on their potential market impact. The winner, receiving £10,000, was Trade in Space, who digitise agricultural assets using satellite images, which may help farmers access finance. Runner up Scoop Markets received £5,000. Third were Cyborn and fourth, Money Matic.

Up next was a panel Q&A session with: David Ferguson, Chief Executive of Nucleus Finance; Daniel Glazer, Founding Partner of the London office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Kate Forbes, MSP Minister for the Digital Economy, Gerry McCusker, CEO Dog Digital & Chair of BIMA Scotland; and Ana Stewart, Founder of i-design also devised and launched atmAd, now one of the largest outdoor digital media channels in the UK.

After dinner saw the ‘PowerUp’ Fintech competition for financial technology companies trading for less than three years. All pitchers are at minimum viable product (MVP) stage onwards and judging was based on originality and innovation as well as on validation and traction. The winner was Broker Insights, a Dundee-based business connecting insurers and brokers, winning £80,000. Runner up Soar received £20,000 and third place Hatch-AI receiving £10,000. All seven finalists will feature in The Times and have been offered a place on the Accelerator Programme.

Finishing up the evening was keynote speaker Calum Paterson, Manging Partner of Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). SEP is a leading UK provider of venture capital and growth equity for technology and technology-enabled-companies.

The evening was a great success; bringing recognition to the evolving Fintech sector and its up and coming entrepreneurs within Scotland.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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