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Survey launched to examine Scottish startup ecosystem’s response to Covid
Credit: Stewart Attwood
Tech

Survey launched to examine Scottish startup ecosystem’s response to Covid 

An industry survey has been launched by an Edinburgh-based tech investor conference to examine how Scottish startups have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) Scottish Startup Survey, which kicked off in 2017, will ask startups across Scotland about the main challenges they faced and their achievements in a year characterised by the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis.

The EIE21 survey will ask startup founders a range of questions, including around whether they have had to pivot in the face of the pandemic, new ways of working, if funding plans have been affected, what kind of government support has been accessed, Brexit impact, hiring strategies, what kind of measures have been put in place to deal with wellbeing, physical and mental health during remote working, and plans to return to the office.

EIE21, which is run by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre in partnership with the Data-Driven Innovation initiative and supported by Scottish Enterprise, is Scotland’s ‘premier’ tech investor conference which will see company founders pitch for investment on 10 June.

Steve Ewing, Director of Entrepreneurship at Bayes Centre and EIE21 lead, said: “The pandemic has been all encompassing for over a year now, and we know our startups have been impacted.  Inherently, running a startup has never been anything short of incredibly hard work, and that has been amped up since the onset of Covid.  We hope the survey will take us under the surface and find out how founders have been coping, while keeping their companies on the path to growth.”

Callum Murray, CEO and founder of Amiqus, an EIE alumni and two-time pitch of the day winner whose company provides a market-leading platform for businesses to securely manage staff and client on boarding compliance, said: “The last year has seen an enormous shift in how people work and we’ve been well placed to help organisations maintain their compliance processes on a fully remote basis.  Yesterday’s R&D or continuity processes have become business as usual and we’ve been fortunate to scale across sectors as a result.”

Rebecca Pick, CEO and founder of Pick Protection, an EIE alumnus startup that provides a range of easy to use lone worker protection solutions, said: “During the pandemic, we’ve seen a massive shift in the ways that employees work.  More people than ever are working from home, shift patterns have changed, staff numbers have been reduced and so on, so at Pick Protection we’ve started to cater to businesses that previously never had a requirement for lone worker solutions.  It’s certainly been an interesting year and we’re excited for the challenge of helping our customers keep safe and remain compliant as we enter the transition phase of returning to the ‘new normal’.”

EIE has supported over 500 tech startups since 2008 who have collectively raised around £750 million from seed through to Series A and later stage funding – with Current Health, FanDuel, Celtic Renewables, Amiqus, Two Big Ears, Speech Graphics, pureLiFi and mLed among EIE alumnus companies.

EIE21 company cohort: https://www.eie-invest.com/2021-company-cohort/

Findings of the Scottish Startup Survey will be released in the run-up to EIE21 in June.

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