Entrepreneurs in Glasgow have attracted tech and business brains from across the globe to take part in an internationally-renowned start-up scheme.
Nearly 100 entrepreneurial enthusiasts descended on Glasgow last week to participate in Scotland’s first Startup Weekend, which saw entrants compete to build a working business idea in just 54 hours.
The Startup Weekend model has been adopted by organisers in the USA, China, Brazil, and Egypt as well as across Europe and the UK, but Glasgow’s attempt marked only the second time a Weekend has been held outside London.
Ideas developed at the event – which was held at Entrepreneurial Spark’s Caledonia House - included an app to help vegans track down quality food, a tool to locate the perfect gift, and a voice recognition app activated by a scream and intended to alert police to street attacks.
Organised by Scots Allan Lloyds, founder of online learning platform Insight Arcade, and Michael Hayes of Scottish tech start-up blog RookieOven - alongside local entrepreneurial experts - the event saw participants from as far as Spain and Finland attend.
Michael, 24, from Barrhead, said he decided to arrange the Glasgow event out of frustration at the city’s lack of an entrepreneurial scene.
He said: “Scotland as a whole has so much talent and a history of innovation, and that talent isn't being well utilised. Being an international event it was great to put Scotland on the map - we were doing our Weekend at the same time as Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Kosovo and Abu Dhabi.
“The weekend was a huge success and in true Glaswegian style it ended in a brewery – the first Startup Weekend to do so I think. 11 new companies launching is a fantastic result and all the teams are looking to continue working on their projects.”
Glaswegian David McNaught, 27, from Rutherglen was among the winning team, Postpod - despite it only being his first Startup Weekend.
The group of five was awarded ‘most ambitious entrepreneurial idea’ and its members named ‘most likely to make a million’ for their solution to unexpected excess luggage. They received iPads and a six-month membership to Entrepreneurial Spark’s Glasgow ‘hatchery’, where they will receive office space and resources as well as expert advice.
David said: “By the end of the weekend I knew that the concept had huge potential, so was very pleased when the judges agreed and awarded the Postpod team the two top prizes.
“It was a lot of fun, and we've ended up with a project with lots of potential that we'd like to move forward with. I hope as a team we can create a real success.”
Startup Weekend Facilitator Howard Kingston added:
“People always come up with really amazing ideas, but I would definitely say Glasgow was above the normal standard. There were some great ideas and if they keep going with them I’m sure they’ll do really well.”
Jim Duffy, chief executive optimist at Entrepreneurial Spark, said he was delighted to host Scotland’s first event. “The standard was high, the range of ideas that were pitched was good, and I thought the teams that got together and the way they worked – the determination they showed over the weekend – was phenomenal," he said.