The MIT REAP team from Scotland initially included six representatives, of which two team members represented the government and economic development sector. The team also included entrepreneurial and corporate perspectives, risk capital, and university and education. Each person had a public commitment to accelerating the country’s ecosystem and framework. To learn more about the team’s strategy please visit the “Team Strategy” tabs below.
Innovation Ecosystem Stakeholder Model
Champion Regional Head of Sectors, Innovation and Programmes - Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Chief Executive - AWS Ocean Energy Ltd.
Director - LINC Scotland
Chairman - Iomart Group plc
Innovation and Commercialisation - Scottish Enterprise
Professor - University of Strathclyde
Challenge & Opportunity
Strategy & Action
Historically, Scotland has been a community of SMEs with relatively low research and development investment. The issue is not lack of startups, but lack of growth.
The team’s challenge was to identify programs that were not contributing to the creation of an Innovation Driven-Entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystem.
“Scotland has for many years been a place of great invention and social progress, but we are not shifting the dial in terms of business growth through innovation.” says Donna Chisholm, the Scottish MIT REAP team champion.
The team launched a three-year Entrepreneurship Support Program.
Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise—the two major economic development agencies in the region—have invested several million pounds into enabling entrepreneurs in Scotland to think more globally and work more effectively through networking and education.
The program conducts 12 workshops over the course of a year delivered by industry experts and leading thinkers from all over the world.
Team Scotland used the MIT REAP program to establish a collaborative strategy for multi-sector action to drive innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Scotland’s participation in MIT REAP also resulted in a series of targeted interventions that work alongside each other such as:
Scottish Edge – competition to address the shortage of seed capital; 15 prizes awarded between £10,000 and £50,000 cash, with up to a £50,000 loan to businesses up to 5 years old; provided around £1.5 million of additional cash to early stage businesses. scottishedge.com
Scotland Can Do SCALE – Mass democratisation of entrepreneurship in Scotland; bringing disciplined entrepreneurship teaching to 2,000 people in a few years. cando.scot/scale/
More recently, three public agencies in Scotland teamed up with leading entrepreneurial teachers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Business School to run the Scotland SCALE program, the first of its kind in Scotland. The SCALE program is an initiative that will offer high impact, internationally focused training for both start up and scale up entrepreneurship. Experienced Scottish entrepreneurs and world-leading academics will also be invited to deliver parts of the program, sharing their knowledge of the challenges and routes to success for growing a global business from Scotland. The program will boost Scotland’s status as a dynamic business location, resulting in an increase in the number and range of high growth businesses and enhance attractiveness to international investors.