In this year's inaugural Scottish Startup Survey, 95 per cent of respondents said they were looking to secure additional growth funding over the following twelve months. A more recent survey by one of the UK's top venture capitalists found that the next funding roundwas the single most stressful thing for founders when it comes to life leading a startup.
These findings confirmed what many already knew - when you're running a startup, it can be a hand to mouth existence and it takes certain types of individuals and teams to tough it out. You've got to spend the cash in the company account from the last funding round astutely on product and people, have the ability to deal with high levels of stress on a daily basis and all the time you need to be eying that next funding round.
As you start to scale your startup, the pressure only intensifies with more investors to keep happy, a growing workforce who need to be motivated and looked after, key partners and intermediaries and let's not forget the customer base.
The Scottish Startup Survey identified investment from angels and high net worths, the Scottish Investment Bank and venture capital or corporate venture funding as the most popular routes to funding, some way ahead of equity and debt crowdfunding.
While Glasgow-headquartered Scottish Equity Partners is the main exception to the rule when it comes to Scotland lacking critical mass in all things venture capital, Scotland gets high marks on the angel investor front and there are startups in other countries around the world that would kill to get the kind of support our startups get from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Investment Bank.
For this reason, recent reports of a dip in Scottish Enterprise funding for Scotland's early stage technology companies sent shockwaves through the tech scene. In addition to funding organisations like Scottish EDGE and Informatics Ventures, both integral moving parts in the success of Scotland's tech ecosystem in recent years, Scottish Enterprise via the Scottish Investment Bank, backs hundreds of our most promising young tech companies by co-investing with early stage commercial and private investors including our most prominent angel firms.
Thankfully, it appears that news of a funding decline may have been somewhat exaggerated and a Scottish Enterprise spokesperson went on the record fairly soon after reports broke with a reasonably punchy response that will allay concerns from tech founders across the the country.
My reading of the situation is that there will be something of a shortfall in funding but it won't be excessive. In current economic times, perhaps it shouldn't be such a surprise that government-backed funding schemes are subject to the occasional trough like this anyway.
According to one tech startup CEO I spoke to last week, the Brexit effect on Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) funding, which brings so much private investor money to the table, is a real and looming concern for the tech scene in Scotland; never mind what Brexit is going to mean for our future workforce.
Equity crowdfunding remains in vogue in 2017 - 20 per cent of tech founders are going down this route according to the Scottish Startup Survey - and it's been encouraging to see the recent success of Edinburgh fintech player Money Dashboard who got a £1 million plus crowd fund over the line with Crowdcube.
StoriiCare, the health tech startup founded by Cameron Graham and described as a "Facebook for the Care Sector", is also in train with a crowd fund of its own, in StoriiCare's case with Seedrs. StoriiCare illustrates the earlier point about fundraising never being far away from a CEO's thinking - as well as looking to raise around £300,000 with Seedrs this year, StoriiCare in already on track for a possible multi-million dollar series A round next year backed by Silicon Valley-based VCs.