A group of Scotland’s budding tech entrepreneurs are to travel to Silicon Valley for a global startup conference after securing funding from a government-backed ‘ecosystem fund’.

Members of the Scottish chapter of worldwide ‘Startup Grind’ movement will fly to California for the two-day gathering in April, where they will get the chance to pitch to potential investors.

Twenty successful yet-to-be-determined applicants to head to the US will comprise the most promising founders, directors and c-suite executives from startups and scale-ups across Scotland.

They will have flights, accommodation, conference tickets and travel costs covered by the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund. Delegates will enjoy a week immersed in the entrepreneurship mecca, complimented by visits to leading tech companies and Scottish success stories in the area. Startup Grind Scotland expects a high number of applications from a diverse group of leaders across a range of business sectors.

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.”

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.”

The Scottish Government’s Technology Ecosystem Fund launched following the 2020 Logan Report, an independent review of the Scottish technology ecosystem. The report provided recommendations on developing a world-class technology sector, calling for greater investment in activities that assist peer learning, networking and more connected, community-led initiatives to support entrepreneurs in Scotland.

Mark Logan, advisor to the Scottish Government, author of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review in 2020, 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.”

Applications are open now and close on Wednesday 16 February. Successful applicants will fly from Edinburgh to San Francisco on April 9th, 2022, and return on April 15th, 2022. Visit https://bit.ly/SGScotSV22 for more information and to apply.