Shoosmiths' Role in Elevating Glasgow's Innovation Landscape
On November 7, 2023 Shoosmiths sponsored the CAN DO Innovation Summit and hosted a Legal Lounge, where experts from the firm shared insights into various markets such as Raising Capital, Real Estate, Technology and Energy & Infrastructure.
The summit featured a thought-provoking fireside chat, moderated by Kimberley Goh. Kim is legal director in the corporate team at Shoosmiths and dedicated member of our spHERe initiative which aims to support the ecosystem around female founders seeking investment. She was joined by Claire Cramm an Investment Manager at Par Equity, John Cushing CEO/Founder of mnAi and Donne Burrows co-founder and COO at Engine B.
The discussion revolved around the challenges female founders face when seeking investment, highlighting the importance of supporting and promoting gender diversity in the investment world. Despite various reports and recommendations to address the funding gap for female-led businesses, it was revealed that, in the last 12 months, only 1.5% of overall investment capital in Scotland had gone to female-led businesses.
The panel emphasised the need for female entrepreneurs to be bolder when seeking investment, and for investors to recognise the need to create more diverse investment committees to level the playing field. Moreover, the data mentioned during the chat recognised that regions that incorporate entrepreneurial education into their curriculum produce more enterprising individuals and better gender parity in business. For example, Generation Z in Scotland and Wales, where business education is integrated into the curriculum, exhibit a more balanced entrepreneurial landscape.
In another session, James Haikney, principal associate in the Energy & Infrastructure sector, participated in a panel session focussed on Scotland's Green Energy Industrial Transformation, and the significant growth opportunities it presents for businesses. With a spotlight on wind power, green heat, decarbonisation of transport, and hydrogen, the panel explored how businesses can capitalise on these opportunities and leverage Scotland's world-leading advanced manufacturing innovation support.
The complex and integrated nature of net-zero challenges drew the focus of the panel, who discussed the difficulties of taking the long-term decisions needed to scale up and meet current net-zero targets, often without a clear picture of what a future net-zero energy and industrial landscape will look like and without knowing that the supporting infrastructure will be developed alongside their own solutions (or at all).
The importance of data was also discussed, which can both support companies in understanding what their net-zero pathway is and create local solutions like microgrids. This localised, bottom-up approach to achieving net-zero pathway was noted by the panel to be an interesting inversion of the traditional, top-down approach to addressing national challenges.
Shoosmiths support for the CAN DO Innovation Summit confirmed its position as a firm dedicated to advancing innovation, sustainability, and diversity. Through our expertise and commitment to our community, we are contributing to Glasgow's journey towards becoming a global epicentre of research and innovation. Once again this underscores our proactive approach to driving positive change, supporting female founders, and nurturing the innovation landscape in Glasgow and beyond. As we continue to lead by example, we will demonstrate our commitment to a future where innovation knows no bounds.
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