Johnston Carmichael Continues Support for Scotland’s Top Tech Companies

Shaun Millican

Shaun Millican

Partner, Head of Business Advisory and Technology & Life Sciences

Johnston Carmichael and Foras have signed a long-term partnership to support Scotland’s top tech start-ups and scaleups as they venture out internationally and across the UK. The 12 month agreement will bolster Foras’ plans for a comprehensive set of international trips and UK-wide activities throughout a packed 2024 and early 2025 calendar.

Johnston Carmichael had previously provided funding support for Foras’ excursion to Lisbon, Portugal in November 2023. 34 founders and start-up leaders from across Scotland were the key beneficiaries, with a subsidy offered for female entrepreneurs planning to attend with their children and partners, removing barriers around childcare.

Leading professional services firm Johnston Carmichael offers a wide range of start-up and scaleup support services from chartered accountancy to business advisory. Their Technology & Life Sciences team has experience working with over 300 technology and life sciences companies across Scotland, including local AgriTech scale-up Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS).

As part of the Moore Global network, the firm has colleagues in 113 countries each with significant expertise in their local markets and regulations.

Foras are expert facilitators in immersive international ​experiences for entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders.

Founded in 2022 by Caro Melendez, Dec McLaughlin and Nick Murray, the team brings together 30+ years of ecosystem, start-up, events and community experience to support the development of high-growth potential start-ups and scaleups across Scotland.

The team have managed cohort programmes to San Francisco, Helsinki, New York and Lisbon, where Johnston Carmichael was represented as part of a 48-person delegation, the largest business group to travel together from Scotland to another ecosystem.

Hamish Geddes, Founder & CEO of Edinburgh Transport tech firm Lenz Labs, and Foras programme alumni of their first trip to Silicon Valley in 2022 said: “Of all the initiatives in the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Foras trips are the only ones that founders talk about and that truly change the course of our entrepreneurial journeys.”

Foras’ next stop is Austin, Texas, with a 14-person cohort of high-growth start-ups from across Scotland attending the South by Southwest conference (SXSW) for a week of business visits, networking, and a pitching showcase to an audience of US-based investors.

This will be complemented by a comprehensive programme of events throughout 2024 including multiple ecosystem events at Glasgow Tech Week, and Turing Fest, as well as immersive international cohort programmes.

Shaun Millican, Partner and Head of Technology & Life Sciences at Johnston Carmichael, said: “The Scottish tech sector is approaching an inflection point. With a rapidly changing funding landscape, as well as novel technologies such as AI disrupting markets at scale, we are seeing more evidence than ever that founders need to be thinking globally, even from an early stage.

“Foras fills this gap; providing founders with a platform to build global networks whilst also fostering meaningful connections between cohort participants. Through our previous support for the Web Summit trip to Lisbon, we were able to see this impact first hand and we're delighted to be able to continue that work.

“This long term partnership highlights Johnston Carmichael's commitment to supporting the early stage founder community and we're very excited to be working with the Foras team again.”

Foras Co-Founder Carolina Melendez said: “As we expand our programme of opportunities for our community and the wider ecosystem this year, it’s critical that we have credible, trusted support for our start-ups to cover the wide range of growth challenges that arise for our companies.

“Having worked closely with Johnston Carmichael on our most recent programme to Lisbon, we were able to signpost our cohort to the right support at their stage of journey. We’re delighted to continue this partnership given Johnston Carmichael’s track record and wealth of relevant start-up expertise.”

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