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YCF Annual Conference 2022 has ended
On Thursday 1st September, at the Surgeons Quarter in Edinburgh
This year, we focus on the business essentials which are crucial to a young company’s ability to survive and grow. Over the lifespan of a business, founders have a number of critical decisions to make. Some of these, made early in the development of the company, have effects long into the future. Founders starting out need to know the basics (and many founders start with little business experience), but getting the basics right is essential for future-proofing the company’s continuing progress.
Our speakers will be highlighting the issues which they consider basics in a number of different contexts – staffing, marketing, operations, and finance – and explaining how getting these right can accelerate a company’s development, and making the wrong call can create a legacy which takes a long time from which to recover.

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Thursday, September 1
 

9:00am BST

Registration
Thursday September 1, 2022 9:00am - 9:30am BST

9:30am BST

Welcome
Speakers
avatar for Lynne Cadenhead

Lynne Cadenhead

Chair, Women's Enterprise Scotland
With a background in life sciences, entrepreneur Lynne Cadenhead has over 25 years’ management and early-stage equity investment experience in the technology and retail sectors in UK.Lynne has served on over 30 Boards, is past Chair of UNICEF in Scotland, is an Ambassador for Women... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 9:30am - 9:40am BST

9:40am BST

The Past and Future: 25 years of technology commercialisation in Scotland
It has been roughly 25 years since the idea of technology commercialisation became formalised in Scotland, following reports from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise’s ‘Tech Ventures’ initiative. This talk will briefly review the highlights and lessons of these years, and appraise where we have got to in 2022.  Where do we rank in a global context, and what challenges await us over the next 25 years, in an era of climate change, technological advance, and creeping global authoritarianism?

Speakers
avatar for Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker

KKI Associates
Kevin started his career with a bang by blowing up a laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Some 40 years later, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and runs KKI Associates, a training and consultancy company helping start-up companies and individuals achieve... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 9:40am - 10:00am BST

10:00am BST

Protecting your IP rights
Speakers
avatar for Richard Gibbs

Richard Gibbs

Partner Chartered (UK) and European Patent Attorney, Marks and Clerk
With an honours degree in medical microbiology, a doctorate in immunology and microbiology from the University of Edinburgh, and time as a research scientist and university lecturer, Richard joined the patent profession. He has worked with all of Scotland’s major universities, and... Read More →

Sponsors, Exhibitors and Young...
avatar for Marks & Clerk

Marks & Clerk

Founded in 1887, Marks & Clerk has long been recognised as one of the leading patent and trademark attorney firms across the globe, with eight offices in the UK and a further nine worldwide. Our unique offering allows our clients to enjoy a comprehensive service, always tailored to... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 10:00am - 10:15am BST

10:15am BST

Protecting your IP rights
Speakers
avatar for Douglas Thomson

Douglas Thomson

CEO, Pneumagen
Douglas is a founder and the CEO of Pneumagen Ltd. Pneumagen was established in 2016 as a spin-out from the University of St Andrews in Scotland giving the company access to world-class scientific expertise and capabilities in viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) specifically... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 10:15am - 10:30am BST

10:30am BST

To exit and beyond - Calnex
Calnex Solutions designs, produces, and markets test instrumentation and solutions for network synchronisation and network emulation, enabling its customers to validate the performance of the critical infrastructure associated with telecoms networks.
The company was started in Linlithgow in 2006 by Tommy Cook, after spending 23 years with HP and then Agilent Technologies.
In its early years Calnex secured significant investment from the Discovery Investment Fund angel group and from Hearts owner Ann Budge.
The company grew year on year, and just 18 months after launching its Paragon telecoms testing platform, it was able to announce that revenues had already reached £1 million. However, it became difficult to raise the capital needed to fund its growth strategy, which included acquisitions of complementary businesses to strengthen and expand its product range.  One such acquisition was funded by a loan from alternative finance provider ThinCats, but Calnex found that the funding required to drive acquisitions and growth sat somewhere between angel investment and venture capital, and banks were unwilling to lend at the appropriate level. 
Instead, Calnex decided to go for an IPO, and was admitted to the AIM market in October 2020, supported by BGF as a cornerstone investor, with a market capitalisation on admission of £42 million.
Tommy Cook will tell the Calnex story from start-up, and how the company now looks two years after the IPO.

Speakers
avatar for Tommy Cook

Tommy Cook

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Calnex Solutions plc


Thursday September 1, 2022 10:30am - 10:50am BST

10:50am BST

Job ads just won’t cut it – build your brand
Attracting great people to join your business is not easy, especially as a start-up. Posting a job advert just doesn't cut it anymore. Building a brand that will attract the right people and support your growth long-term is crucial, but leaders need to think about that from the start.
 
Eden Scott provides critical insights into going beyond the basics of a job advert and developing an employer brand.

Speakers
avatar for Ewan Anderson

Ewan Anderson

Associate Marketing Director, Eden Scott
Ewan is Associate Marketing Director at Eden Scott, supporting a team of over 40 consultants in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to connect the very best people with inspiring businesses. He has over 15 years of marketing experience working in various markets for corporates and start-ups... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 10:50am - 11:00am BST

11:00am BST

Coffee break
Thursday September 1, 2022 11:00am - 11:30am BST

11:30am BST

To exit and beyond - Spoonfed
Spoonfed is a web-based software service, founded by Willie Biggart and Murray McNicol in 2013.  Previously, they had invested in a business delivering catering to offices.  In the early days, inefficiencies became obvious with manual processes leading to costly errors.  With the help of software entrepreneur Steven Wojciechowski, they created a software solution to resolve these major operational issues.  It worked so well they sold the catering business and the Spoonfed journey began.
In December 2021 Spoonfed was acquired by Michigan-based 365 Retail Markets, which provides a full suite of self-service technologies for food service operators.  The deal provided an exit for the investor base, including main backers Equity Gap and Scottish Enterprise.  Biggart, McNicol and Wojciechowski remain involved in driving the business, with 365 providing the capital, international network, and support for Spoonfed to realise its full potential particularly in the US and European markets as part of the broader 365 product portfolio.
Willie Biggart, who was a founding investor member of Equity Gap back in 2010, will describe how Spoonfed grew from its beginnings, and was able to rise to the challenges presented by Covid and join 365 as part of the next stage of its growth trajectory.

Speakers
avatar for Willie Biggart

Willie Biggart

Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Spoonfed
Following 10 years in senior marketing roles with Bell’s, Baxters and Tennents, Willie founded BD Network. With his team, they built BD into a formidable agency with several blue-chip clients (inc. Orange, McCains, Lurpak, Carling, Tennents, Bacardi, Reebok). He exited via MBO in... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 11:30am - 11:50am BST

11:50am BST

Finance - Start-up and Beyond
Mark & Grant will be discussing the importance of understanding accounting, removing the stigma around accounting and gaining a clear understanding of it is essential to any entrepreneurs journey.

Speakers
avatar for Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod

Senior Manager, Steedman
Mark joined the Steedman team in September 2020 through the merger with Scotia Accounting.A member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Mark’s responsibilities lie mainly in the delivery of client service, including tax and business advice, accounts preparation... Read More →

Sponsors, Exhibitors and Young...
avatar for Steedman

Steedman

Steedman Accountants are a chartered practice with offices in Edinburgh & North England.  We work directly with companies of all sizes as advisors at early stage, to assist with venture capital and funding.  With a solid network of stakeholders, we are in a strong position to assist... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 11:50am - 12:05pm BST

12:05pm BST

Finance - Start-up and Beyond
Mark & Grant will be discussing the importance of understanding accounting, removing the stigma around accounting and gaining a clear understanding of it is essential to any entrepreneurs journey.

Speakers
avatar for Grant McCusker

Grant McCusker

CEO, Letting Cloud Limited
Grant has been involved with property for many years. Starting his own letting agency back in 2009, after receiving poor customer service from the various letting agents he used for his own properties. Within three years the agency was an established brand and it was up there with... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 12:05pm - 12:20pm BST

12:20pm BST

Marketing early stage growth companies: Getting the basics right
Brand and marketing for early stage growth companies is more than just a logo and a website. Svein Clouston and Rowan Morrison from Rationale, a strategic brand and communications agency, will explore how a minimum viable brand (MVB) is crucial for not just attracting the attention of consumers, but also the support, and financial backing, of investors.

Speakers
avatar for Svein Clouston

Svein Clouston

Strategy Director, Rationale
Svein is an accomplished brand and content strategist. He has devised and delivered creative campaigns for a range of blue chip clients from LinkedIn to Lloyds Banking Group, Mizuho, the University of Edinburgh and the International Rugby Board.Svein marries a passion for supporting... Read More →
avatar for Rowan Morrison

Rowan Morrison

Managing Director, Rationale
Rowan is a highly experienced agency leader, brand and marketing consultant and writer. She has led campaigns and consulted for a wide-range of senior client stakeholders across global organisations including the University of Edinburgh, HSBC, KPMG, Toray, and many more.An Ambassador... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 12:20pm - 12:45pm BST

12:45pm BST

Prepare for funding – what is right for your business?
Do you know what is required when considering applying for external funding for your business? What steps should you take and how should you present it? What is the best funding package for your business?

Speakers
avatar for Gary Torbett

Gary Torbett

Team Leader Financial Readiness, Scottish Enterprise
Gary heads up the Financial Readiness team within Scottish Enterprise (SE).With over 25 years business, commercial and corporate banking experience with RBS and Bank of Scotland, he first worked with SE on a consultancy basis in 2010 with a focus on portfolio management, fund analysis... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 12:45pm - 1:00pm BST

1:00pm BST

Lunch
Thursday September 1, 2022 1:00pm - 2:00pm BST

2:00pm BST

Afternoon session starts
Chair comments

Speakers
avatar for Lynne Cadenhead

Lynne Cadenhead

Chair, Women's Enterprise Scotland
With a background in life sciences, entrepreneur Lynne Cadenhead has over 25 years’ management and early-stage equity investment experience in the technology and retail sectors in UK.Lynne has served on over 30 Boards, is past Chair of UNICEF in Scotland, is an Ambassador for Women... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 2:00pm - 2:10pm BST

2:10pm BST

Crossing the chasm: the view from America
Speakers
avatar for Allan Boyd

Allan Boyd

GlobalScot
Ally is an entrepreneur and investor. He has raised angel, strategic and venture capital in the UK and the US. He has just closed his latest seed round with all three types participating. He is also an LP at a number of US-based venture funds, primarily in cleantech. He now splits... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 2:10pm - 2:30pm BST

2:30pm BST

Preparing for investment - - the key elements to make it a success
Securing investment for young companies can be both an exciting and daunting process. Katie Carter from Burges Salmon LLP will explore the process of equity investment, highlighting the formula for a smooth and successful investment, what legal matters you need to consider and get right from the outset, and what investors will be looking for. Chris Clark, Chief Financial Officer at Curadh MTR, will also share his insights and experience as well as what he has learned from being involved in many investment processes.

Speakers
avatar for Katie Carter

Katie Carter

Senior Associate, Burges Salmon LLP
Katie is a senior associate in the corporate finance team of Burges Salmon LLP, based in the Edinburgh office and has experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, venture capital and corporate restructuring. Katie has acted for companies, entrepreneurs... Read More →

Sponsors, Exhibitors and Young...
avatar for Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon is an award-winning independent UK law firm which delivers the best mix of advice, service and value. In the three years since Burges Salmon opened its Edinburgh office, we have firmly cemented our reputation in Scotland, not only for our trusted expertise in providing... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 2:30pm - 2:45pm BST

2:45pm BST

Preparing for investment - the key elements to make it a success
Securing investment for young companies can be both an exciting and daunting process. Katie Carter from Burges Salmon LLP will explore the process of equity investment, highlighting the formula for a smooth and successful investment, what legal matters you need to consider and get right from the outset, and what investors will be looking for. Chris Clark, Chief Financial Officer at Curadh MTR, will also share his insights and experience as well as what he has learned from being involved in many investment processes.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Clark

Chris Clark

Chief Financial Officer, Curadh MTR
A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Chris is now based in the USA.  He has a track record in building expert teams and companies, and is a global CFO with extensive cross border M&A, turnaround, IPO and operational experience, specifically, within oncology clinical research... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 2:45pm - 3:00pm BST

3:00pm BST

To exit and beyond - Exterity
Exterity, founded in November 2001 and based in Dunfermline, is a provider of integrated IPTV, digital signage and user engagement technologies.
In April last year VITEC, an end-to-end video streaming solutions provider based in Paris serving markets including broadcast, military, government, enterprise, sports and entertainment venues, announced its acquisition of Exterity for an undisclosed sum.
Exterity had its first funding round in August 2002, when Zonal Retail Data Systems and Nick Felisiak invested in the business.  Subsequent investors included SAIL (Syndicated Angel Investments Ltd), Sigma Innovation Fund, TRICAPITAL, SE’s Business Growth Fund and Scottish Co-investment Fund, LINC Scotland, and other individuals.
Mike Allan, co-founder of Exterity, will recount the company’s journey from start-up to exit and beyond, and how the acquisition has enabled Exterity to offer a wider range of best-in-class products, solutions and services to its customers.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Allan

Mike Allan

Co-founder, Exterity
Educated back in the early 80's when the DEC PDP 11 was a really neat thing, I worked as a hardware guy, but mainly leading software and hardware teams through four decades of technology evolution as well as seemingly frequent financial and social upheaval.  My early experience was... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 3:00pm - 3:20pm BST

3:20pm BST

Then and now
Adrian, who jointly produced the first YCF annual conference in 2002, will talk about how the landscape has changed since then, and will add a few anecdotes about raising money for entrepreneurial companies in 1993 in Scotland almost 30 years ago

Speakers
avatar for Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith

Ecometrica Ambassador and Former Group CFO, Ecometrica Group
Adrian Smith  MSc (Fin & Inv). FCMA BSc. (Mech Eng)Adrian began his finance career training in Chartered Accountancy with Deloitte before being drawn into owner managed businesses. 32 years ago, he made his first unquoted investment in a private company and found himself an entrepreneur... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 3:20pm - 3:40pm BST

3:40pm BST

Closing remarks
Chair to wind up conference

Speakers
avatar for Lynne Cadenhead

Lynne Cadenhead

Chair, Women's Enterprise Scotland
With a background in life sciences, entrepreneur Lynne Cadenhead has over 25 years’ management and early-stage equity investment experience in the technology and retail sectors in UK.Lynne has served on over 30 Boards, is past Chair of UNICEF in Scotland, is an Ambassador for Women... Read More →


Thursday September 1, 2022 3:40pm - 3:50pm BST

3:50pm BST

Networking
Thursday September 1, 2022 3:50pm - 4:30pm BST
 
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