The EdenTay Founders Community launch: A Night of Connection and Innovation

Published on 12 December 2023

The EdenTay Founders Community is all about creating a vibrant network of entrepreneurs, this blog post covers their launch event.

On this page

Hey there, fellow entrepreneurs! If you're wondering what it's like to be a part of the EdenTay Founders Community, look no further and read this blog about what we are building and what our launch event was like (including some feedback stats!). On the 26th of October, we had our launch night at the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee.

The EdenTay Founders Community is all about creating a vibrant network of entrepreneurs. We understand that the entrepreneurial path can sometimes be a solitary one, and the lack of a support system can hinder the growth of brilliant ideas. That's where our community steps in, bringing people together to foster innovation, share experiences, and provide valuable support to prospective entrepreneurs and founders.

Therefore, this event marked the beginning of a fantastic collaboration between three renowned universities in the region: Abertay (Bell Street Ventures), St. Andrews (St Andrews Innovation), and Dundee (Centre for Entrepreneurship). Our name “EdenTay” comes from the two rivers that pass these 3 universities entrepreneurial campuses. With the generous support of TechScaler, we kicked off a series of bi-monthly events designed to supercharge your entrepreneurial journey. The future line-up includes industry-leaders visits, soft skills training, pitch-practicing nights, sounding board sessions, and more. The result? A dynamic platform to boost your entrepreneurial spirit.

At EdenTay's launch event, attendees were treated to a relaxed atmosphere and drinks upon reception. Presentations by our founders followed, which sparked a lot of vivid conversations afterwards. Finally, we enjoyed some delectable food by Beirut. The highlight of the evening was the networking and discussion session after the presentation of the community by its founders.

The event was attended by a diverse mix of budding entrepreneurs, students (71%), staff members (5%), and recent graduates (19%) from the University of Dundee, Abertay, and St. Andrews.

A pie chart showing 5% eco0system, 19% graduate, 5% staff and 71% student.

As for the presentations from the founder members of each of the Universities:

Brian McNicoll - Head of Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee- started off introducing the project as one of its main leads. On top of his job at university as an entrepreneurial enabler, Brian has a background in the video games industry and also design innovation. We also had the pleasure to learn more about Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros and his start-up GenProte-X. Ricardo is a scientist developing a pioneering biotechnology platform to validate targets for disease treatments. His journey started this year when he participated in the Venture 2023 new ideas competition securing the School of Life Sciences Award and the prestigious McGhee Award. Recently, he was awarded first prize in the Kickstart category at the highly competitive;Converge Challenge. He is also part ofConceptionX, the biggest PhD business accelerator in the UK. He is working diligently to become our first PhD student at the School of Life Sciences to spinout of the University.

Next down the line, Simon Fraser attended representing Bell Street Ventures from Abertay University as their Enterprise Officer accompanied by Ben Gatt and Sean Borg representing their institution as graduate entrepreneurs. Both from Malta, they graduated from Abertay with a Masters in Games Development, and went on to become founders of Merill Studios, a game dev start-up based in Dundee. They are very passionate about creating new and unique games. Therefore, they are currently working on their first title, Gummy Paradise, a casual endless runner mobile game with a retro art style.

St. Andrews was represented by Jake Bill and Alex Type, entrepreneurs and students currently doing their last year. Out of their own experience as musicians, they found that there is a gap between music bands and the possibility to get hired for new gigs. To solve this problem, they are developing a mobile app calledKlank, a brand new company dedicated to connecting rising performers with hosts who crave live music.

Finally, Lara Findlay - Head of Regional Engagement for Dundee & Tayside fromTechscaler- also attended the event to support the EdenTay initiative and also encourage any entrepreneurs in the Tech industry to reach out to their institution for all the free available support they offer.

Attending the EdenTay Founders Community event wasn't just about networking; it was about building connections that can change the course of your entrepreneurial journey. It's a chance to contribute to the growth of the Tay Cities region's entrepreneurial ecosystem and elevate your own path. It's about finding support, sharing ideas, and creating opportunities for collaboration and growth. In this sense, 17% of our attendees indicated they were entrepreneurial eco-system supporters, while the remainder 83% where university related founders or prospective founders looking to get support from the community. As per the feedback form attendees completed, we can conclude that the top three needs of the group of founders in order to pull their start-up forwards are funding (31%), mentoring (22.2%), and marketing (13.3%). 

A bar chart, red background with blue bars, with data on "what do founders need?"

In a nutshell, the launch event was a lively, inspiring, and inclusive gathering of individuals passionate about entrepreneurship. It's a community that's not only about business but also about building lasting connections that should boost everyone’s entrepreneurial journey (rather than allowing it to be a lonely one!). If you missed out on this event, don't worry – there are more exciting gatherings in the pipeline. The next event will take place St. Andrews Innovation, at their Eden Campus, information on tickets coming soon.

Stay tuned, and let's continue this journey together!

Story category Academic collaboration