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CAN DO Innovation Summit Launches Scottish SME Showcase Competition

Ross Kelly


CAN DO Innovation Summit

Scottish SMEs can win a five-minute slot on the CAN DO Innovation Summit’s virtual #SMEstage on 3 February 2021.

Scotland’s national summit for innovation has launched the #SMEstage competition, offering small and medium sized Scottish businesses the opportunity to win invaluable exposure to a global audience of over 800 investors, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators.

A headline event of the VentureFest Scotland festival of innovation, the CAN DO Innovation Summit is being held virtually on 3 February 2021.

The summit is designed to help SMEs adopt new technologies, build progressive working cultures and access the right support to enable innovation-led recovery and growth.

As part of the summit, the competition will offer a number of SMEs the chance to win a slot at the virtual #SMEStage, which showcases the best examples of innovation from businesses across Scotland

Each participant will be allocated five minutes to showcase their business to an international audience. Winners will also win two days of support with an innovation specialist from Scottish Enterprise.

To be in with the chance of securing a slot, entrants must submit a 30 to 90 second film to by midnight on 17 December, demonstrating how their business is driving innovation through at least one of the following routes:

  • Adopting new technologies or processes
  • Building innovative workplace practices
  • Forming transformational collaborations

A panel of judges has been allocated to review applicant videos and select the winning SMEs, including Evelyn McDonald, CEO at Scottish Edge; Bob Martin, Manager for Scotland at Innovate UK and Alison Munro, Head of Business Services & Advice at Scottish Enterprise.

Dr Laura Bell of the CAN DO Innovation Summit said: “We are really excited to hear from SMEs across all sectors, from healthcare and advanced manufacturing to renewables, finance, construction and the creative sectors and see how they are using innovation to unlock opportunities – and to help them make it through this incredibly difficult time.

“Covid-19 is the defining economic and social challenge of our time and innovation, adaptation and collaboration will be central to business survival and recovery.

“The SMEstage can provide a much-needed boost to small businesses and startups by giving them a great platform – and profile with innovation leaders across Scotland and the UK. I wish all applicants the best of luck with your entries, we have an excellent panel of judges who I don’t doubt will select some fantastic businesses.”

Bell added: “For the best chance of success, keep in mind this year’s key themes; Journey to a Sustainable Future, Recovery and Resilience, Workplace Innovation, Advance Manufacturing and Digitisation and MedTech/Health Innovation. The more relevant your entries to any of these the better!

“For those of you who aren’t selected, we hope that you will book a free ticket to join the summit where you can make the right connections and hear from our world-class speakers on how innovation can help you survive and thrive after the global impact of COVID-19.”

The CAN DO Innovation Summit will showcase local and international leaders and SMEs at the forefront of innovation. It will connect SMEs with leading innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and investors to help them maximise their potential and tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time.

This is the second summit, following a successful inaugural event in Glasgow, and is the first time it has been held virtually.

For competition terms and conditions, more information, or to submit a video clip entry, please visit:

For more information on the event please visit:

Delegates can register for free here:

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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