Talking Tech in Dundee – Meet the Tech Investor

Kirsty Irvine

Kirsty Irvine

Business Development Senior Manager

We’ve been in Dundee for nine months – meeting entrepreneurs, working with founders and getting a feel for the tech ecosystem across Tayside. Recently we hosted the first event in our Talking Tech in Dundee series – ‘Meet the Tech Investor’.

The aim of our events is to provide local tech entrepreneurs with bitesize & practical insights and the opportunity to meet likeminded peers in an energetic environment. They are a safe space, with each event inspiring ideas to enhance and drive forward both start-ups and scale-ups.

With over 50 external attendees, the Johnston Carmichael tech team and three of Scotland’s top tech investors lined up, the event was sure to set off some inspirational fireworks. And that was our aim – to put a spotlight on the different types of investment available to entrepreneurs, with attendees encouraged and inspired to engage with investors and have that initial crucial conversation to assist their growth trajectory.  

The seed equity investor – EOS Advisory

First up we had Andrew McNeill from EOS Advisory. Based in St Andrews, EOS focus exclusively on science or technology based companies who are looking for initial seed equity funding – from £100k to £1m. With a passion for MedTech, Andrew was part of a founding team in the MedTech space before becoming managing partner at EOS, so he knows first-hand the challenges faced at the start-up stage.

Resilience is a trait that is so important as the start-up journey isn’t an easy one and social media can play a big part in disguising that fact. So, when the journey becomes challenging, tap into that resilience and keep going.

The private equity investor – Maven Capital

Following on from seed investment, we moved to Ewan MacKinnon from Maven Capital. Their focus is on providing capital investment for businesses at every stage of their growth cycle. Key areas of investment can be taking the business to the next level or supporting a management buyout. Funding levels available range from £1-15m. Find out more on the Maven Capital website.

(L-R) Andrew Holloway of Johnston Carmichael, Andrew McNeill of EOS Advisory, Jenn Stewart of Johnston Carmichael, Dan Halliday of Foresight Group, Ewan MacKinnon of Maven Capital and Shaun Millican of Johnston Carmichael

The private equity investor II – Foresight Group

Dan Halliday from Foresight Group was our final speaker of the evening. They opened a Scottish office in Edinburgh in 2019 as a base to support deployment of their £20m Foresight Scottish Growth Fund. Dan and the team are focused on applying a professional approach to small-cap private equity; working in partnership with management teams to grow their companies and create value for all shareholders. This type of investment from the Scottish Growth Fund is ideal for SMEs who are looking to grow, but be aware that the current funding options end in 2024. Find out more on the Foresight website.

If the quick-fire pitches left anyone with a dry mouth, we also had one of our valued clients, Persie Gin, doing a tasting for our guests. Shout out to the guys for tingling our tastebuds!

If you missed out on the event and would like to find out more about funding options, then please get in touch with me for a chat about taking the next step on your business growth journey. Also, keep your eyes peeled for information about our next event, which is coming in April.