BUSINESSES thrive as part of a network. They also require support at all stages: from the uncertainty of starting up to the challenges faced during periods of growth. When others in that network share the same ethos in how to conduct business, that support is so much stronger.

It can be challenging for startups to co-ordinate the elements essential to getting an idea off the ground and making it a viable concern, but for aspiring entrepreneurs, there is an event that brings them together and supports them along that path.


On October 30, FutureX, created to empower purpose-driven entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs at every stage of their journey, will host the eighth Startup Summit at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.


This one-day event will bring together 1,000 ambitious entrepreneurs for the tools they need to start, grow and thrive in business, and 30 expert speakers from around the globe. Attendees will learn from carefully curated content, covering all aspects of running a business from marketing to strategy, leadership, sales and investment.

Bruce Walker, co-founder of FutureX, says that Startup Summit is a “festival of entrepreneurship”. He says the event is designed as a celebration of Scottish startups, and as a place to see what Scotland has to offer. “Scottish companies need the resources of world-class information and that, as well as the celebration of what entrepreneurs have achieved in Scotland, is what Startup Summit epitomises.

“You can find someone who will be your next investor, your customer, or a valued advisor. It’s about creating networks which can provide pathways beyond Scotland – to the rest of the UK and the world.

Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest investors is attending, as is Johnston Carmichael, Scottish firm of chartered accountants and business advisers and key partner since 2017.

“It seems that with every subsequent Startup Summit, we manage to attract bigger speakers and names.”


These names include Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK. A successful entrepreneur in her own right, Marta has taken on this role to make sure there is representation outside of the usual London-centric business focus.

Also speaking is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Xero accounting software, Gary Turner. Born in Glasgow, Gary is returning to Scotland to share how Xero has grown from a business turning tens of thousands of pounds to one turning over £50m.

As Bruce explains, there are three main tracks for Startup Summit 2019. “The first is People. A startup is nothing without the right team in place. This track is about building the right culture to take the business forward for everyone concerned. The second is Process. We will look at the fundamentals of growing a company; sales, marketing and recruitment among many others, including how a business communicates its purpose. In the third theme, we look at Performance. This is about evaluation. Looking at the leadership and making sure the company is continuing to perform as it intended to as it scales and grows.”


Even in this erratic political climate, Bruce believes there is potential for creating something that has greater impact than the bottom line.

“The evidence shows that when we are looking at uncertain economic situations, a business that has values at its core and is authentic in its purpose is more resilient.” For Bruce, there has never been a more critical time for businesses to build that network around them, take advice and mentoring from others. This is not a time to be isolated. “With the right values, we can build businesses that oppose the current political climate. We can look at the future of employment as one that looks after people, one that is considerate of supply chains, and one that communicates a purpose.”

Startup Summit is designed to have a festival feel, with three stages for attendees from which to choose. There are also masterclass workshops for those who are looking for more in-depth sessions. There will also be the exhibitor marketplace where Startup Summit partners, including Johnston Carmichael, Business Gateway and Adopt an Intern, are represented.


Scottish Edge and the Scottish Institute for Enterprise are among others who will be on hand: the full range of business support a startup needs in one place. “We have structured Startup Summit so there is something for everyone, no matter what stage they are at – whether the idea is just forming or if they are further down the line in shaping the business,” adds Bruce. "In Scotland, we need to work together – but we can look globally, too. Our thinking should not be confined to our geographical location. We are building a strong startup ecosystem from Scotland to establish a base to do business with the rest of the world.”

Startup Summit takes place at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, on Wednesday, October 30.

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