Scotland’s first dedicated pre-seed tech accelerator, Seed Haus, announced its first cohort today. The Edinburgh based accelerator aims to unlock Scotland’s next billion dollar start-up, working with serial entrepreneurs and investors including Alistair Forbes, BrewDog’s James Watt, Gavin Dutch, Paul Walton, Judy Wilson, Rob Dobson, Paddy Burns, Chris van der Kuyl, Paul Davidson, and Sir Tom Hunter.
Seed Haus is co-founded by Calum Forsyth, CEO, and Robin Knox, chairman, to fill a funding and growth support gap in the Scottish start-up ecosystem, providing founders with pre-seed investment, office space, mentorship, and infrastructure to get rolling. It’s a not-for-profit organisation, and one of its core tenets is to power innovation and diversity in technology.
To this end, Seed Haus opened applications to its inaugural programme in April, attracting over 165 start-ups, half of which had founders based overseas, representing five continents and a number of countries. For Seed Haus, this suggests that Edinburgh is gaining global traction as a hub for entrepreneurship and technological expertise post Skyscanner’s acquisition last year.
Ultimately, less than top three per cent of applications made the cut as five successful founders were chosen for the first cohort. Several of the incoming founders are serial entrepreneurs, four of them hold a PhD, four have completed Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships and one is a Saltire Fellow. Additionally, two of the five teams are gender balanced.
“The founders themselves represent a highly-talented, diverse group with considerable experience and achievements already under their respective belts,” Calum Forsyth, co-founder and CEO said.
The first cohort
- 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
Seed Haus start-ups receive guidance and support from a suite of mentors and advisors and have access to partner support from MBM Commercial, Johnston Carmichael, Silicon Valley Bank, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Hubspot, SendGrid and many more 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 Seed Haus’ entrepreneurs-in-residence: Callum Murray (Amiqus), Patrick Clover (BLACKBX), and Sarah Stenhouse (Pixey) who will lend peer support, alongside designer-in-residence, Jeremie Warner.
“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,” chairman Robin Knox said.
“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 is already recruiting for its second cohort and is inviting ambitious founders to apply online.