FutureScot, 28 April, 2016 2 - Page 19

INVESTMENT 28 April 2016 FUTURESCOT 19 Eastern promise adds spice to investment showcase Now in its eighth year EIE has lured Chinese capital to its annual gathering of investors The Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) 2016 event on May 12 is the biggest annual gathering of investors in Scotland; 60 tech companies will get the chance to pitch their ideas to the ‘dragons’ BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN The head of a £500m Chinese venture capitalist fund will be among 250 investors at the annual tech investment showcase EIE in Edinburgh next month. Cocoon Networks, which is backed by China Equity Group and Hanxin Capital, will be represented at the technology investment pitching contest on May 12 in Edinburgh. John Zai, its CEO, launched the fund in London in January and is part of a growing network of Chinese investors with plans to become involved in UK and European start-ups. For EIE it is a major coup at the same time as the organisers themselves consider plans to host an event in China later this year. Gordon Stuart, Director of Operations at Informatics Ventures, which will put on the day-long event at the Assembly Rooms, said: “We are getting more and more people coming from further afield, from Europe, the States and this year we’re looking to get a few more from Asia, particularly from China, which is obviously a new area. And we are considering doing something in China later this year.” SIXTY COMPANIES will get the chance to pitch their ideas to an investment community comprising high net worth individuals, at the lower end of the scale with an average £50,000 investment, to large multi-national venture capitalist funds, who may invest up to £2m or more. Pitches will be limited to just a few minutes, and John Zai, CEO of Cocoon Networks, will attend the EIE firms vying for cash have been offered the chance to learn some stagecraft by Informatics Ventures, which aims to create a slick event. “We want them not only to pitch but to pitch in a way that’s impressive and entertaining and leaves an impression on the audience,” says Stuart. “If we manage to get people to come from far afield it’s very important we put on a bloody good show. That is not only content but also the capability of the people to put over their proposition in a way that grabs the attention of the investors.” AMONG COMPANIES pitching are Ed- inburgh Molecular Imaging Ltd, which has developed technology which scans the body for diseases in real time, and the Glasgow-based makers of Double, an app which allows couples on first dates to find each other in a way that is intended to make dating safer. Stuart believes the EIE, which also runs a smaller event in London, would benefit from larger investment groups setting up in Scotland. “The angel community in Scotland is very strong but what we are missing is the followon finance for companies that want to scale. A typical digital company can get up and running for around half a million pounds but if they really want to scale up around the world and recruit and open up offices outside the “The angel community in Scotland is very strong but what we are missing is the follow-on finance for companies that want to scale” Gordon Stuart, Informatics Ventures UK that’s going to cost a fair amount of money. People with that level of investment are mainly VCs and we just don’t have venture capitalists located in Scotland.” However Birmingham VC firm Mercia Technologies did open an office in Edinburgh in the past six months. Stuart also thinks if FanDuel or Skyscann W"( 2F