Scottish Start-Up Summit in San Francisco

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19 year old young entrepreneur takes 5 Scottish start-up businesses to San Francisco for a week long entrepreneurial experience, through his social enterprise We Are The Future.

We Are The Future Team

This is an opportunity to engage some of Scotland’s most innovative start-ups with their American counterparts.

Young Scottish entrepreneurs are to be given the chance to win an expenses-paid business trip to California to attend the Scottish Start-up Summit in San Francisco in July.

The project is the brainchild of 19-year-old Scottish businessman Bruce Walker. His not-for-profit company, We Are The Future, last year organised Britain’s biggest-ever national event for young entrepreneurs – the Scottish Start-up Summit 2013.

“We are putting together a week long entrepreneurial programme, culminating in the Scottish Start-up Summit in San Francisco in July to inspire young Scottish and American start-up entrepreneurs. The competition winners will have opportunities to engage with the US entrepreneurial community, improve their contacts and expand their international ambitions.”

John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth offered his support. He said: “There is a growing appetite for entrepreneurship amongst young people in Scotland. The San Francisco Scottish Start-Up Summit initiative set up by We Are The Future is a great opportunity for our enterprising young people to be exposed to the international market.

“Programmes like this strengthen our shared vision of becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation as set out in Scotland CAN DO.”

Applicants will first be asked to submit a 30-second video, explaining how their business would benefit from the trip. Shortlisted entrants will then be interviewed. Five entrepreneurs will be chosen to make the week-long trip.

Bruce Walker said: “San Francisco is home to Silicon Valley - which is perhaps one of the worlds greatest entrepreneurial hubs. This is an opportunity to engage some of Scotland’s most innovative start ups with their American counterparts.”

The young entrepreneurs will have their flight and accommodation provided by We Are The Future and will take part in a week-long programme of events and meet-ups. The precise schedule is to be confirmed next month and will include meetings with business leaders and venture capitalists as well as with start-up businesses in San Francisco.

The Summit plans have also received support from the wider Scottish business community. Russell Dalgleish of the investment company Exolta Capital Partners said: “This is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. The vision to organise such an event shows the grandeur of ambition that We Are The Future hopes to inspire in young entrepreneurs.”

The competition is to be launched formally next month. Among the supporters of the Scottish Start-up Summit in San Francisco are Scottish Development International, StartupBasecamp and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Gordon Merrylees – the bank’s Regional Managing Director of Business Banking said: “RBS is delighted to be able to support the Scottish Start-Up Summit in San Francisco. Whilst Scotland is a small country, our success as a trading nation and in particular our ability to export is vital to the prosperity of the nation. This is the kind of event that could transform the fortunes of the entrepreneurs who get to take part and RBS, along with our ecosystem partners are fully committed to support Scotland’s existing and future exporters and see international representation and overseas trade relationships as a key factor behind economic growth.”

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