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Bridging the Gap – the 2nd Event of the EdenTay Founders Community – Jan. 2024

EdenTay networking event - University of St Andrews

The Eden Tay Founders Community was launched last October with the aim to support likeminded entrepreneurs from the Tay Cities Universities. The launch of this vibrant network took place at Dundee’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and on the 24th of January and, with the continued support of TechScaler, we held the second edition at the University of St Andrews’ Entrepreneurship Centre. These are the first editions of a series of bi-monthly events.

Amidst the trials and tribulations of what can sometimes feel like a solitary journey, we aim to provide a communal space where ideas and experiences can be shared and where the support you are looking for can be provided (alongside some pizza and drinks). These events are first and foremost shaped by you; the feedback from the first event revealed that funding and finance is one of the biggest areas of support needed by entrepreneurs, so we made sure to deliver.

Following a first wave of networking, we heard from each University, starting with Keith Millican – Director of Enterprise at the University of St Andrews’ Entrepreneurship Centre – who introduced the centre and the resources it offers. Keith shared how the centre has grown and provides support to entrepreneurs across the University and local community. We were also delighted to be joined by Dr Ross Gillanders – Founder of Lightwater Sensors – who is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Physics and Astronomy. Ross began to commercialise his research a few years back and shared how he took his research surrounding explosives and adapted it to apply it to water quality, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. He shared the ups and downs of his journey, how he participated in the Converge Challenge and the Scottish Edge competitions, and his goals to work to expand even more into the explosives industry and eventually become a household name for sensors.

Next up, Vicky Oziri – Enterprise Educator at the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee – talked about the programmes and services their centre provides. We got to hear from their alumni, Jevin Zac – Founder of Hubble Bubble – who got his masters in Entrepreneurship from Dundee University and worked as a Project Manager before founding his company. Jevin shared how succeeding in his entrepreneurial journey, despite the odds against him, inspired him to help other students find the academic path that best suit their passions. What started as side hustle turned into his full-time job, fuelled by his objective to help others persevere on their journey.

Simon Fraser – Enterprise Officer at Abertay University’s Enterprise Centre – explained how “whether you want to earn a living, a million or even a billion, you’ve got to start somewhere” and how Bell Street Venture’s goal is to be that starting point. We were delighted to be joined by Abertay University graduate, Jamie Allan – Founder of Jamie Allan Fitness. Jamie shared how he started his business with the support of Abertay University’s Enterprise Centre. His business is composed of three main services: Run Club, The Performance Program (in which he helps people get to their idea of what peak performance is for them) and his Football Academy that he’s currently starting back up. Jamie is from Levenmouth which he explains is a strong community he wants to give back to and his business is playing a huge role in doing so.

Event sponsors, Techscaler joined the event and Lara Findlay – Head of Regional Engagement for Dundee & Tayside – explained a bit about the free support Techscaler offers to any and all entrepreneurs in the Tech industry.

To wrap the event up, Keith Millican was joined by Alex Rowe, Co-Founder of Isobel VC and Alumnus of the University of St Andrews, in a fireside chat where they shared their experience on early-stage funding and finance basics. They shared a bit about their own journeys and their advice for entrepreneurs starting out. The conversation was dynamic which led to a lively Q&A session and a bustling second wave of networking. The Entrepreneurship Centre was buzzing with ideas and discussions – with lots of guests staying well past event closing time.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the EdenTay Founders Community.