Scotland’s first pre-seed tech accelerator launches in Edinburgh

Seed Haus unveils high-profile investors and first cohort of start-ups

Scotland’s first dedicated pre-seed tech accelerator has launched in Edinburgh – backed by a stellar line-up of investment partners.
 
Seed Haus, which is being championed by a troupe of serial entrepreneurs and investors, including Alistair Forbes; James Watt of BrewDog; Gavin Dutch; Paul Walton; Judy Wilson; Rob Dobson; Paddy Burns; Chris van der Kuyl; Paul Davidson, and Sir Tom Hunter, says its mission is to trigger Scotland’s next billion-dollar start-up.
The not-for-profit business accelerator, which has been co-founded by CEO Calum Forsyth and Chairman Robin Knox, has been designed to fill a gap in the start-up support system by providing tech start-ups with pre-seed investment, office space, mentorship and infrastructure and says it’s committed to powering innovation and diversity in technology.
 
After launching its first recruitment drive for early-stage startups in April, the number of applications to join the six-month Seed Haus programme peaked at more than 165. Around half of these are said to have been from overseas start-ups across five different continents.
Seed Haus says this is testament to the growing standing of Edinburgh as a leading international technology hub and the pent up demand for a dedicated accelerator of its kind in the city. 

Five successful applicants have been chosen to comprise the first cohort. They are: 
 
SecurityCTRL – cybersecurity for cloud infrastructure
Sansible Wearables – body monitoring IoT technology
Drinkly – on-demand drinks service
Kindaba – collaborative communication platform for families
Taka – Parkinson’s therapeutic symptom management system
 
Calum Forsyth, co-founder and CEO, straddles the worlds of technology and investment owing to his background as both a PhD scientist and time in London as a Risk Consultant with KPMG.

Forsyth, whose background includes being a PhD scientist and risk consultant with KPMG, said: “The founders themselves represent a highly-talented, diverse group with considerable experience and achievements already under their respective belts.”

Knox, who grew his own start-up, IPOS (acquired by iZettle in 2016), to seven-figure revenues in four years without the support of the likes of Seed Haus, said: “We are Scotland’s most selective accelerator and we have big ambitions for the companies we support. We seek out people with the best ideas at a very early stage – we are not looking for business plans.”

“Potential is more important to us than business experience. Seed Haus is providing exactly the sort of support needed by early stage startups to give them the greatest chance of achieving success and securing the next stage of investment.”

Seed Haus start-ups are set to receive guidance and support from a suite of mentors and advisors, as well as access to partner support from MBM Commercial, Johnston Carmichael, Silicon Valley Bank, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Hubspot, SendGrid and other tech partners.

They also receive a pre-seed investment of £18,000 and office space in a brand-new custom-designed facility in Edinburgh created to facilitate collaborative working. They will share workspace with three of Scotland’s other tech entrepreneurs: Callum Murray of Amiqus, Patrick Clover of BLACKBX, and Sarah Stenhouse of Pixey, who will lend peer support alongside designer-in-residence Jeremie Warner.

Seed Haus is already recruiting for cohort two, for which ambitious founders are encouraged to apply.