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Foreword by John Waddell FRSE

John Waddell is one of the most experienced early-stage investment managers in Scotland and was the CEO of Archangel Inverstors Ltd from 2005 to 2015.…

Foreword by John Waddell FRSE

It is a privilege to have been asked to be the guest editor of Science Scotland for a second time. I have to thank Peter Barr who does all the hard work of interviewing, writing and editing the magazine. I have very much enjoyed working with him. After the last edition went to press, we looked at each other and realised there was so much going on that we should do it again. And this is the result.

I hope you will agree that the diversity of businesses and people covered is inspiring and a testament to what we had earlier found; that there is a vibrant and supportive start-up culture in Scotland – and that the RSE is very much part of that. All the young entrepreneurs interviewed have been part of the RSE’s Unlocking Ambition programme, with individuals coming from countries all over the world – including Estonia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Malta, India and Iran – to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in Scotland.

My experience in early-stage investing has taught me, as is the case in many walks of life, that there is much erroneous conventional wisdom which is often challenged by the facts and it is therefore important to take note of expert research. As Paul Hopkins’ thought-provoking article shows, we cannot rest on our laurels. The start-up thrust tends to be geographically centralised and the rate of business births is, in fact, falling. Furthermore, not enough start-ups are making it to the scale-up stage of turning over £4–10 million. There are, of course, examples of start-ups scaling to substantial success in Scotland, but not enough to create the growth we need in our economy.

It is to be hoped, therefore, that the recent creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank will lead to a better understanding of the challenges of growing businesses in Scotland and the introduction of policies and initiatives to improve and build on success.



"Foreword by John Waddell FRSE". Science Scotland (Issue Twenty-three)
Printed from on 27/05/20 09:47:53 PM

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