The leaders of some of Scotland’s most successful start-ups are going to reveal the secrets of their success at a business event in Edinburgh on Wednesday, 23 September.
Opportunity Knocks, co-hosted by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Entrepreneurial Spark, Harper Macleod, Johnston Carmichael, Angels Den, Haines Watts and Alba Innovation Centre – is aimed at people involved in or interested in supporting Scotland’s start-up, early stage and high growth business sectors.
- Opportunity Knocks will be held at the RBS Gogarburn Conference Centre on Wednesday, September 23, from 9am until 3pm.
- Event will see fledgling start-ups meet with business angels and CEOs from companies including Flavourly and Gett for day of networking, workshops and seminars
- Day will feature a Dragon’s Den Style Competition offering entrepreneurs the chance to create pitch-perfect pitches
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Taking place at Gogarburn in Edinburgh on September 23, the showcase will see the owners of Scottish food delivery firm Flavourly and black taxi app Gett join other successful entrepreneurs who will pass on their advice and offer insight into what they have learned in turning their concept into a reality.
The day long event is also being opened up to potential business mentors who can offer advice and funding for those looking to take the next step.
Delegates will hear from inspirational speakers, see a live pitching competition, hear from a panel of experts and have the opportunity to attend a range of case study led seminars focusing on topics such as crowdfunding, pitching, intellectual property and growth finance.
Paula Skinner, head of the start-up, growth and investment team at Harper Macleod, will be part of the pitching panel on the day. She said: “There are many aspects to creating an environment in Scotland in which young businesses can grow and Opportunity Knocks brings these all together.
“As well as providing tools for individuals to become successful entrepreneurs, improving knowledge about funding and ensuring that successful business people can become mentors or otherwise play their part in supporting the next generation are crucial.”
Kenny Wiggins of the business angel network, Angels Den, is a supporter of Opportunity Knocks and is calling on mentors as to consider attending for the benefit of their own business.
He said: “This event gives start-ups and entrepreneurs the chance to get close to people who can influence their operations at all levels. It also opens your eyes to other ways of doing business and to see how you can learn from other sectors.
“Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from one another and see opportunities that others can't. Events like this aren't only crucial for start-ups, they are crucial for anyone who cares about their sector.
“Opportunity Knocks offers the chance to see the business eco-system at its best, to see what is happening, to see who is leading the start-ups, which high growth companies are relevant to your sector - and to see who you can help and who can help you."
New research from NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland shows that half of people in Scotland would prefer to be self-employed but 60% are held back by fear of failure.
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest hopes events like Opportunity Knocks encourages more people to set up on their own.
He said: "RBS is delighted to be supporting Opportunity Knocks to showcase Scotland's entrepreneurial talent.
“It's exciting to see pioneering events like this emerge when Scotland's entrepreneurial ecosystem partners come together.
“This conference is particularly unique as it gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their businesses as well as providing them with knowledge on the alternative methods of finance available to them.
“Entrepreneurialism and entrepreneurship is key the future success of business in Scotland and here at the Royal Bank of Scotland we are keen to help give new start-ups all the support they need to turn their idea into a reality."
The Opportunity Knocks event coincides with a month-long series of enterprise and entrepreneurial activities taking place across September with Entrepreneurial Spark and Royal Bank of Scotland, including the opening of new hatcheries across England and Wales. Three already exist in Scotland in Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Jim Duffy, Chief Executive Optimist at Entrepreneurial Spark and compere at Opportunity Knocks, added: “The UK start-up scene is booming and it’s exciting to see all the businesses growing in Entrepreneurial Spark but funding is one of the biggest barriers to growth for the entrepreneurs we support.
“Opportunity Knocks will let businesses and the individuals interested in supporting them connect and learn how to work together.”