At Morton Fraser, we believe that investing in Scotland's future innovators is the best way to foster new business talent. That is why we work with SIE and SEN to provide free legal support. It helps to ensure that Scotland's University entrepreneurs set off on the right business footing and head towards success.
The Scottish Institute for Enterprise's business and innovation team works closely with students and new graduates in Scotland's Universities and Colleges who are committed to developing strong and sustainable businesses. SIE exists as a pathway for university and research institute entrepreneurs, which means that the innovators of the future receive the right support at the right time to ensure profitable businesses for Scotland.
The Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN) based at the University of Strathclyde gives Strathclyde’s entrepreneurial alumni an opportunity to support the next generation of Strathclyde entrepreneurs. The Rising Stars Programme is SEN’s flagship accelerator programme for growth orientated start-ups emerging from the Strathclyde community. The six-month programme is designed to give early-stage start-ups the skills they need to prepare for investment, with participants receiving more than £10,000 in monetary and in-kind support.
As legal sponsors, Morton Fraser provides bespoke guidance and training through 1-2-1 clinics and workshops for the 2018 cohort. This cohort, which was inducted on 21 March 2018, will run for a period of six months and includes seven SEN-supported companies.
Here are just four of the reasons we're proud to be associated with SIE and SEN.
1. We see the potential in start-ups
Scotland's universities and research institutes are rich in innovative intellectual property (IP). Innovative research can also provide new commercial opportunities. Being part of a new spin-out can be challenging, but ultimately very rewarding. We see spin-out companies as a valuable source of new disruptive technologies, and a way of boosting the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem to new levels of excellence.
2. We are committed to getting young companies and entrepreneurs off on the right footing to succeed
Morton Fraser doesn't just provide excellent legal advice (although we think this is important!). We believe in providing extra added value to our entrepreneurial clients by using our extensive network of angel investors, VCs, mentors and other professional advisers to make introductions. We host a number of events throughout the year which are not only legally informative but also provide excellent networking opportunities. Entrepreneurs can be trying to source investment, trying to build the right team for their company, and trying market their product all at the same time, so it is important that Morton Fraser provides as much support as possible, like advising businesses through our free monthly legal "clinic" held at our Edinburgh office. Making sure young companies are "investor ready" is vital, from ensuring that proper company secretarial procedures have been complied with through to ensuring that IP is properly secured.
3. We know how important it is to develop home-grown talent - we are a Scottish firm.
Morton Fraser's history can be traced back 400 years and we can lay claim to being the oldest law firm in Scotland following our merger with Macdonalds in February 2013. We are proud of our heritage, and delighted to have the opportunity to provide clear, informative and pragmatic advice to spin-outs participating in SIE programmes.
4. From little things, big things grow. We want to be a part of the programme to nurture talent and great ideas.
At Morton Fraser we have highlighted clarity as our guiding principle. This means clarity on advice, costs and communication which we believe leads to a successful partnership with our clients. We aim to provide support to our entrepreneurial clients from incorporation of their company through to company exit. Success breeds success, and with professional advisers, investors, and Scotland's universities and research institutes all part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a successful spin out company can have a beneficial effect for everyone. We want to nurture academic entrepreneurs, so Scottish Universities and research institutes can show that they can translate their excellence in research into commercial opportunities.