🏆 Dundee top for spinouts, a new Search Fund, cocktails and water heaters
This week, we hear news from the University of Dundee, Converge Awards, SolarisKit, the Pathways Fund and more.
Here's your Campfire for the 11th of September, 2023.
Before we begin: Please take a few minutes and do two things:
1) Fill out the Founders Survey and share your views about the investment landscape in Scotland.
2) Please post the survey to any founders groups or threads you're in and encourage others to fill it out as well. It's an entirely volunteer-led initiative, so we need the support of the community. You can use this link for sharing.
💼 This issue of Campfire is sponsored by Shepherd and Wedderburn's initiative to supercharge start-ups and scale-ups. Be sure to follow the Start to Scale LinkedIn page for useful videos (like this one on commercial contracts) and posts designed to help founders.
❓ What's valuable?
by Robert Gelb
I had a post about monocultures, virtue signalling, and hypocrisy, but upon reflection, it just isn't ready, so I'll leave it for next week.
We've been running Campfire for a few months now, and I'd like to check in and make sure it's still valuable. Do you find Campfire the newsletter, or some of our resources like Cofounder Curious or the Database of Investor Lists relevant and helpful? What do you like, what don't you like, and what changes you'd like to see?
As a niche publication numbers-wise, we're not doing bad. Each week, we average a 65% open-rate, so chances are you're reading. But are you getting value? Or is it just another useless bit of noise? We'd really love to know.
There's so much useless noise out there, especially in our local ecosystem, and if Campfire was seen as contributing to that, we'd rather stop it altogether.
One area I'm reflecting on that hasn't been very successful is getting a diversity of opinions shared through Campfire. It's been harder than I thought to get contributors with hot takes, interesting opinions, or reflections that they're willing to share, and I've had to default to sharing my own most weeks.
That's not super healthy, and my goal for Campfire is for there to be an expectation for lively conversation and debate.
I want you to read something in Campfire and for it to be thought provoking. Posts like Patrick Clover's piece on the 4 day work week. It was opinionated, and resulted in some great conversations (and Patrick is still alive and well as far as I know).
So take this as an open call: if you have an opinion that you think should be shared and will be thought-provoking, get in touch. Even if you'd rather not author something yourself, let's figure out how to share it and get more conversations going.
Want to write about an aspect of being a founder? Get in touch and suggest a topic!
🤝 Cofounder Curious
New listings this week include:
Learning to be a CEO in order to commercialise an innovative approach to reading that I invented during my doctorate. Looking for a CTO to lead the development of the product.
Want to connect with any of them? Be sure to fill out your profile and join our Scottish-based Cofounder Curious list.
🌊 Updates & Opinions
💰 New local Search Fund: Tinto Hill (Nick Hodgson) announced and looking for businesses with a value of up to £50m. A Search Fund is an investment vehicle that supports entrepreneurs in acquiring businesses to run (and exit). Target metrics of £1 to £5m in revenue, earning margins above 15%, industry agnostic. IN
🏆 The University of Dundee has taken the top spot in VC Octopus Ventures' annual Gateways to Growth report that looks at UK universities performance at generating high-quality spinouts. Edinburgh Napier University also broke the top 10. Read the report here. FS UKTN
👩 The Scottish Government announced another ecosystem fund, the Pathways Pre-Start Fund focusing on developing programmes aimed at closing the gender gap for those thinking of starting a company. It follows the publication of the Pathways report in February. DGT
📣 Asks & Offers
📣 We've launched the Founders Survey! Please fill it out, it takes less time than you spend making that artisanal pour-over coffee in the morning. If you have a mailing list of startup founders, and would be willing to share the survey, let us know!
❓ Who do you know? Community Lab (open innovation platform) is hiring a Proposition Manager ("Imagine a Product Manager has a baby with a Project Manager and that baby was raised by an Account Manager who had an affair with a Community Manager") Know anyone?? Send them this.
👭 Interested in connecting with possible co-founders? Fill in your listing on Cofounder Curious today! Connect with others for possible cofounder matching here.
✍️ Want to write something for Campfire? Have an opinion you'd like to share? get in touch!
🦸 They take time to understand our business.
"Given the infancy and nature of our business, it's critical that we work with legal counsel that gives due consideration to the nuances of our specific business and offers creative and practical solutions for our particular challenges. Shepherd and Wedderburn has provided high-quality, practical and business-minded guidance that has helped contribute to our early successes.
While the entirety of the firm has been a great partner for us, Hannah Bruce in particular has done an excellent job guiding us through a myriad of legal challenges by taking the care and time to understand our business and operations to ensure we are provided the best and most pointed counsel possible. I would strongly recommend Shepherd and Wedderburn as a trusted partner for providing expert advice and support on a wide range of legal and compliance matters." - Kevin Kreuser, Head of Legal, BetDEX Labs, Inc.
Shepherd & Wedderburn's innovative and personable approach helps companies from first incorporation onwards (including through to an exit – if that’s the goal). Their global reach means they can scale and grow with you, like they have with clients like Epic Games, FanDuel, Parsleybox, and TVSquared.
👉 To learn more, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org & set up a chat.
⛓️ 11/09, 17:00 🗺️ Dundee: Monthly Scottish Blockchain Meetup (Dundee): "Can you trust a trustless system? An exploration of the assumptions that underlie the blockchain world" by Peter D. from the Ethereum Foundation and "Can blockchain transform Scotland’s Economy?" by Sarah Forbes, Digital Economy Specialist, Scottish Enterprise. MORE INFO
♻️ 12/09, 11:00 🗺️ Online: Circular Economy Workshop in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland: Workshop designed to bust the jargon of sustainability, provide practical knowledge, tools, and actions for your businesses and allow you to feel confident to plan for a sustainable future. MORE INFO
🎨 12/09, 13:00 🗺️ Stirling: Marketing Meetup with Scunnered Digital - Social Media Strategy: Social media strategy workshop designed for those who feel like they're winging it. MORE INFO
💸 13/09, 10:00 🗺️ Online: Taxation and the EOT: Are you considering the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) as an exit strategy for your business? If so, this webinar will provide you with vital information about the tax implications of this move. MORE INFO
👩 13/09, 12:00 🗺️ Glasgow: Motivation & inspiration with Claire Nelson: Scottish Women in Business Q3 motivation & inspiration event. MORE INFO
☁️ 13/09, 18:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: Cloud Native and Kubernetes Edinburgh September 2023: September's CNKEDI will feature Paula Kennedy & Derik Evangelista from Syntasso, plus one other talk TBC. MORE INFO
🤓 13/09, 18:00 🗺️ Glasgow: Glasgow Tech Social: Awesome evening and a great opportunity to have a drink and meet new people working within the tech industry in Glasgow and its surrounding area. MORE INFO
🔒 14/09, 08:30 🗺️ Glasgow: Scot-Secure West: Scotland's Cyber Security for Business Conference with live keynotes, workshops and exhibition. MORE INFO
🌱 14/09, 10:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: Startup for 10 with Seedrs: An in-person, informal lunch-and-learn style session to find out all about startup fundraising options with Aaron Duke, Seedrs. MORE INFO
💸 14/09, 10:00 🗺️ Online: Selling your business masterclass: Aimed at business owners considering an exit from their company, this session will look at employee ownership as an exit strategy. MORE INFO
👑 14/09, 10:00 🗺️ Glasgow: Startup Leadership Workshop. US Expansion 101: How to get it right: Are you considering US expansion but don't know where to start? Hosted by CMS Scotland who will cover everything you need to know from set up to commercial contracts. MORE INFO
🤝 14/09, 12:00 🗺️ Stirling: AccelerateHER + Techscaler Meetup: Central Scotland: Whether you’re working on a fledgling idea for a startup or already in the thick of scaling your tech enterprise, having a community of folks to connect with, share knowledge with, and generally find support amongst is invaluable. MORE INFO
📯 14/09, 18:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: The Pitch Edinburgh Regional Final 2023: Celebrate Edinburgh's local startup scene and watch the region's top founders compete for a place in The Pitch Final. MORE INFO
🥃 14/09, 12:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: Food and Drink Global Market Insights Event: This event is your chance to meet with food & drink specialists from around the globe and learn about Scottish opportunities in the sector. MORE INFO
🚪 15/09, 09:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: YCF 2023: Exists seen from both sides: Presentations by investors (business angels and VCs), young companies at start-up stage, entrepreneurs who have successfully taken their companies to exit and beyond, and a summary of exits across the UK and USA to illustrate norms and trends. Speakers include Ana Stewart, Doug Lawson (MarkToMarket), John McNicol (Kelvin Capital), Sarah Barber (Jenson Funding Partners), Morag McFarlane (Tissue Solutions), Ben Panter (Blackford Analysis), and Russell Childs (Optoscribe). MORE INFO
🧩 21/09, 13:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: Neurodiversity Meetup: This meetup is for anyone who is neurodivergent or interested in learning about neurodiversity & creating inclusive spaces. Open to everyone. MORE INFO
🤝 21/09, 17:00 🗺️ Aberdeen: SG Aberdeen Relaunch Party: Aberdeen is a hotbed of innovative, creative and high-growth startups and we can't wait to get together to inspire, educate and connect with you. Featuring Beena Sharma - CCU International. MORE INFO
⛓️ 25/09, 16:00 🗺️ Edinburgh: Build reliable financial systems with decentralized identity on blockchain: Join us for an immersive workshop, led by industry experts Jonathan Else and Maciej Zurawski. Bring a laptop to code with if there's time. MORE INFO
🤝 27/09, 18:30 🗺️ Edinburgh: Entrepreneurs Social Club (ESC): The social club for founders and aspiring entrepreneurs - skip the talks, presentations and lectures - and go straight to networking! MORE INFO
🎯 01/10 ♻️ TechX Accelerator: Cleantech at a tech readiness level of 2-6, up to £100k in grant or SAFE note, 15 week programme with 3 weeks expected in Aberdeen. Looking for "diverse, innovative start-ups that will pave the way in clean energy." MORE INFO
🇬🇧 Upcoming Innovate UK deadlines:
UK-Israel Eureka Bilateral Collaborative R&D: Round 2 Applications close 13 September
Innovate UK Smart grants: June 2023 Applications close 27 September 2023
SSPP: Liquid food and beverages in refillable packaging Applications close 25 October
Collaborative AI Solutions to improve productivity in key sectors Applications close 8 November
MyWorld Collaborative Research and Development: Round 2 Applications close 23 November
Are we missing your event or deadline? 👉 Submit it here!
Think someone would like this issue? Forward it to them! Check out previous issues and subscribe here.
That’s all for this week - have a great one!