Specialist technology investment bank GB Bullhound has identified 12 Scottish companies which it believes could go on to emulate Skyscanner and FanDuel and attract a $1 billion valuation.

But GP Bullhound co-founder Hugh Campbell has warned entrepreneurs must get out of the mindset of making an exit from their business too early if this country is to see more so-called unicorns emerge.

He said: “The temptation is for British tech entrepreneurs to sell their company when it is worth £15m, which is a huge amount of money for any one individual.

“The problem with doing that is you don’t ever build a global unicorn as the company was sold too early. Selling early is a traditional trait we need to step away from in the UK.”

Mr Campbell will be in Glasgow tomorrow (Tuesday) to talk about the firms, described as foals, which he believes have the potential to be the next big technology unicorn to come out of Scotland.

He said: “Scotland in comparison to other countries in Europe is doing really well.

“When you come from a smaller geography competing on the global stage seems like a hill too hard to climb but the reality is that it is possible.

“When you see Skyscanner and FanDuel in your back yard then of course anything is possible.”

Mr Campbell also pointed out those two companies have reached that valuation with relatively little external funding in comparison to similar technology firms.

He said: “The two unicorns in Scotland have managed to get to that state by raising less money than other unicorns.

“A lot of them have been pumped with hundreds of millions of dollars. What you have managed to achieve with Skyscanner and FanDuel is to get to those sorts of valuations on less than $50m. That is testimony to those entrepreneurs to do a lot with less.”

Mr Campbell said Scotland appears to have a particular expertise in business to business sales areas as well as in financial services.

Among the companies identified as potential unicorns are those already listed on the stock-market such as web hosting firm Iomart and CCTV specialist IndigoVision.

Software firms feature heavily with till system specialist Zonal Retail Data and fleet management provider Fleet Alliance noted along with accounting software business FreeAgent and financial services platform provider Nucleus.

IT services and networking firms Agenor Technology, Inoapps, Qube GB and ECS Europe are others which are on the list.

Daily disposable contact lens manufacturer Daysoft and energy industry electronic learning business Atlas Energy are also cited.

Mr Campbell said: “I think the next 10 years for UK technology companies is going to be incredibly successful.

“What we want to do is start to shine a light on not just two companies but on another 12 businesses that in our personal opinion have tremendous potential.

“These are not overnight success stories, it might be another five or 10 years or longer [for them to become unicorns].

“These are quite different businesses but with a core intellectual property and software at the heart. If you are going to build something that is truly scalable globally then you need a software core to really make the most of it.”

Along with that GP Bullhound has identified 149 companies from around Scotland which have high growth potential and listed them on its northern tech map, which showcases firms from outside London and the south of England.