Scotland’s oldest University, St Andrews, has a rich entrepreneurial history spanning across the globe.
Edinburgh based husband and wife duo, Lesley and Nigel Eccles co-founded fantasy sports giant, FanDuel.
London based, Damian Kimmelman, co-founded DueDil and was named International Entrepreneur of Year at the inaugural Tech City News Hall of Fame awards in June 2014.
Additionally, San Francisco based, Japser Platz is a founder with fintech start up Tally, which closed a $15million series A round in May 2016, led by Sasha Ventures.
St Andrews has also produced a rich collection of innovative spin out companies. One such example, Xelect Ltd, provides specialist genetics support to the aquaculture industry and is led by world renowned Professor Ian Johnston.
In March of this year Xelect closed a £170k seed round, led by EOS Technology Investment Syndicate. EOS itself was founded by serial entrepreneurs and St Andrews alumnus Kevin Grainger.
EOS Syndicate Manager and University of St Andrews student, Matthew Leonard, is also Co-founder of the St Andrews Angels. Matthew was recognized in SBNN’s 40 Under 40 2016 cohort. This further compounds the enterprising caliber of the University and its wider community.
October 2016 saw the launch of the newest addition to this vibrant entrepreneurial community, the St Andrews Angels in New York City. Comprising a group of seasoned entrepreneurs, business leaders, alumni and faculty within the New York area, the St Andrews Angels provide investment capital, strategic advice and mentoring to early-stage companies.
The group seeks deal flow in verticals unique to the University of St Andrews’ global network, specifically advanced technologies.
Whilst the Angels endeavor to grow the economic base of the University of St Andrews community and New York based investors, they also seek to support early stage ventures as they gain US access and market share, providing the opportunity for members to achieve an above average financial return on their investments.
Interim-Chairman and Co-founder of the St Andrews Angels, Andrew Romero along with a seasoned board of directors and staff, have worked over the past year to put together the angel network and are optimistic that it will become a significant contribution to the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Autumn Launch Event for the St Andrews Angels in New York took place on Tuesday 18 October in the Upper East Side at event partner, Tiger 21’s Manhattan townhouse.
Tiger21 is a peer-to-peer learning network for high-net-worth investors who collectively manage approximately $40 billion in investable assets.
The event was received with much enthusiasm, and within a short period of advertising was heavily oversubscribed. The launch also featured Gust CEO, New York Times Bestselling author and ‘super angel’ David Rose as a guest speaker, providing an excellent opportunity for investors and new start-ups to connect, especially amidst such high profile companies and individuals.
Beyond those connected to the University of St Andrews, the group wishes to serve as a conduit for broader Scottish based ventures seeking access to US based investors. St Andrews Angels believe their NYC chapter represents an exciting prospect for Scotland’s early stage ecosystem.
Relevant early stage ventures situated within the technology and science sectors are encouraged to apply for funding.
Deals are expected to range between $100k and $2mn, but may be larger through syndication.