Macdonald Holyrood Hotel – where to stay while you’re at BIOS!

Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh is situated in the city’s historic and beautiful old town, a stones throw away from Dynamic Earth and just a couple of minutes’ walk from the world famous Royal Mile and the Scottish Parliament building. The hotel’s convenient location in the city Centre also means that you’re within easy walking distance of Waverley Railway station and the bustle of the city’s main thoroughfare, Princes Street. Macdonald Holyrood Hotel is the ideal base for exploring this fascinating and unique city.

The hotel features 156 elegant en-suite bedrooms – the perfect place to relax. Pamper yourself at our luxurious spa, enjoy a meal in luxurious surroundings at our brand new Acanthus Restaurant or sample a cocktail or two in our stylish bar.

Why do companies want to come to the BIOS Import / Export conference?

The YummyMummy Box 

We are very keen to showcase our new YummyMummy Box at the Business In & Out of Scotland (BIOS) Conference in Edinburgh this month because we see this as an amazing opportunity to increase our reach and connect with other businesses.

We are launching the Box at the conference in Scotland’s capital and are looking forward to being part of such a large and important event. We hope not only to market our product but also get involved with networking and making new alliances as we begin to grow our business. Elaine Hunter, Founder of the YummyMummy Box and webmag said “This is a great chance for us to see what kind of market there is for product abroad. We are very excited about exhibiting at the conference.”


Holiday Essentials 

The timing of the BIOS conference for our business could not be better. We are preparing to export as we have already had requests for our product in Europe and the rest of the world however as an entrepreneur finding credible information on exporting your product is very difficult as I have been given some conflicting advice from individuals, however attending an event such as this will ensure I am listening to people who have actually been in my exact position!  The quality of the speakers and the mixture of products and services is excellent I am very much looking forward to the day!  Knowledge is key to success, we have a wealth of expertise in one room willing and wishing businesses like yours to do well, so, whats stopping you? Book your ticket now and I will see you there!


Whisky Frames

“Whisky Frames are very keen to enter the exporting market and the BIOS exhibition gives us a wonderful opportunity to validate our product in an export focused market. This would be an exciting discovery and invaluable market research for us. The conference would provide us with a wealth of knowledge on how we can grow our company outside of Scotland from a range and depth of experts. Our product represents Scotland’s creativity, its industrial past and innovative present.  We strive to impress and represent Scotland as a thriving place for design and entrepreneurship.”



“Veloeye is an innovative bike security and rider safety product harnessing the power of social media to deter and reduce bike theft. Developed by two cyclists, Veloeye fills the gap in the market where tracking and retrieval of stolen bikes is left largely to chance. Bike theft is a global problem and Veloeye are currently developing a GPS tracker to monitor both bicycle and rider providing complete protection.

Attending BIOS would allow us to gain a better grasp of the challenges in trading internationally from Scotland and to network with those who can assist us with the routes to the global market. ”


Reinvent Life Sciences 

“Export has always been an engine for growth for the Scottish food and drink sector with exports reaching £5.1bn in 2014. We are a functional health drinks business with huge export potential. We have received interest from consumers in the US, Germany and India.

Whilst we are expanding our national presence, we intend to start collaborating with international distributors to extend our reach in the US and Asia. Our goal is to build our knowledge and network to execute this opportunity. Participating in BIOS will kick start our journey to achieve that goal and our dream of becoming a global brand from Scotland. ” 



“We think OTAQ would benefit enormously from attending this.  Our main opportunities for growth are in export markets.  Whilst we know where these markets are, I believe there are always ways we could be approaching them better.   Many of the topics being discussed such as protecting your brand and export finance are areas where we have little experience and could be very valuable.”


Prickly Thistle 

  1. “Brand Protection – to listen and speak with experts who have hands on experience on this topic would allow us to ensure the core IP of the business is fully prepared for pushing forward with international reach.  Currently the business has only engaged with a few North American clients with the prime purpose of building case studies and a start-up track record.  Before the business enters its full export strategy into this region in a specific sector, speaking to those who have the war wounds would be invaluable opposed to theory based advice.
  2. International Finance – Bridge of Weir in many ways operates how I envisage this business, luxury product to OEM’s and completion centres.  Insight as to how they finance and structure contracts with their clients will allow me to gain first-hand experience on the best working capital tips and tools for this type of supply.”



“Cutitronics services international customers all of whom are global brand names. We have been asked to be a full turnkey supplier designing our technology specifically for their needs supplying internationally. Attending this conference would allow us to gain a better grasp of the challenges in trading internationally from Scotland and to network with those who can assist us on this path. The other area covered that is of particular interest is that of international finance as this will be a key focus for us in the near future.”


Cargo Seat 

“CarGo seat is in the final manufacturing process and our sales strategy covers European and International export. We are primed to crash test in EU USA and Canada and feel this seminar would be very beneficial as there will be cultural differences as well as economic.”


Windair Systems Limited

“Windair Systems Limited has developed an integrated off-grid cooling solution for buildings especially in hot countries, which will completely remove the need for energy-hungry air-conditioners in building using a combination of windows and solar heat absorption chillers. The company are currently in discussion with Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, a Government-owned university in India to install our product in the Institute with a view to encouraging both government and commercial buildings to be fitted with our system. We also have interests from building contractors in Nigeria (Africa’s largest economy)”



As a new business the BIOS Exhibition offers an invaluable source of information.  The 3 speakers at the event are world class and, in particular , I am excited to learn how Fiona Houston, Co-founder of Mara Seaweed, made such a large market impact in such a short time. Also, the seminars running, during the day, are vital for any business who are considering trading overseas. Combine these opportunities with the chance to network with other businesses and the BIOS Exhibition is a must! More-2-Explore offers an innovative solution to parents concerned about their child’s safety out of the home.

Scottish Edge

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.

Scottish EDGE is made up of four categories; Scottish EDGE, for companies of all sectors and stages; Higgs EDGE, a special technology award aimed at entrepreneurs who have an engineering, science or technology based business and have a product, or product under development, which is scalable and capable of globalisation; Young EDGE, for companies where all directors are under the age of 30; and WildCard EDGE, for companies who are currently pre-trading.

Historically the Scottish EDGE was run by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise alongside various partners, however, in August 2014, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Sir Tom Hunter agreed to extend the success of the fund and lead in its delivery going forward.

David Shearer chairs the Scottish EDGE board with directors from The Hunter Foundation and Royal Bank of Scotland, alongside an Advisory Board drawn from our partners in Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Social Investment Scotland and Prince’s Trust.

Britain’s biggest business competition in terms of cash prizes, Scottish EDGE, is offering Scotland’s entrepreneurial businesses the chance to pitch for up to £150,000 in funding and support. A total prize fund of £1.3 million is available for the current Round 9. To date, 205 businesses have received the coveted Scottish EDGE award, generating 641 Scottish jobs, producing an additional £31.80 million in turnover, and receiving £28.36 million in external investment as a result of the fund’s support.

Winning businesses must demonstrate innovation, business growth potential and that their product or service is capable of being sold out with their local area. Many Scottish EDGE businesses go on to export and often the prize funding is used to facilitate this. The BIOS Conference will provide a forum in which SMES including Scottish EDGE winners interested in exporting are able to collaborate, knowledge share, and interact with companies who have been through (or are going through) the process.

Scotland Food & Drink

Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D) is the industry’s leadership organisation. Its mission is grow the value of the nation’s food and drink sector to £16.5bn by 2017 and build Scotland’s reputation at home and abroad as a Land of Food and Drink.

Scotland Food & Drink brings all the industry associations in the food and sector – from farmers and fishermen to manufacturers – together with the key public sector agencies. They work in a spirit of collaboration and partnership to develop the economic growth strategy for the industry, which Government and public sector agencies align their support behind.

The Scotland Food & Drink partnership is increasingly recognised across the rest of the UK and internationally as a model to follow. The partnership between industry and government forged through SF&D has been integral to success and is recognised as key to food and drink moving from being a sector of static growth in 2007 to one of the best performing sectors of the Scottish economy.

Scotland Food & Drink is a membership organisation, working with food and drink businesses in Scotland to support their growth. It has 360 companies and organisations within its membership, ranging from small artisan producers to multinational manufacturers, as well as most of the major retailers and catering companies.

The Scottish food and drink industry is buoyant and growing, contributing more than £14bn to the Scottish economy, with sales growing in the UK and internationally. Overseas exports account for £5bn of the £14bn total, £3.9bn of this export value is Scotch Whisky alone, of the £1.1bn of food exports, salmon and seafood account for over half. The main market for food exports is Europe, but the new Scotland Food & Drink Partnership Export Strategy also focusses on North America, the Middle East and Far East.

SDI is the lead delivery partner on food and drink exports, they execute the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership Export Strategy. This is an excellent example of collaboration in action, with a team of 10 new food and drink trade specialists now appointed in 10 key cities around the world. These posts are jointly funded by the partnership and they exist to unlock new opportunities for export sales.

Find out more

Clydesdale Bank – International Trade

Smooth running businesses rely on administrative efficiency and healthy productivity to keep them ticking along. At Clydesdale Bank, they understand how important it is to keep your financial management tight. They have many years of experience in dealing with businesses over a wide range of sectors, and have the contacts and services which can help you to manage your finances for the current business climate, and that of the future.

Developing your business overseas can be challenging, Clydesdale help to identify and tailor solutions to address these challenges. They work with you to establish your business goals and map the best development routes to help you achieve them.

Clydesdale’s international solutions can help businesses to manage their finances abroad. This could help you work with companies to find the most effective processes to develop your business and trade overseas.

Clydesdale Bank work with companies large and small and have the knowledge and experience to provide guidance on the appropriate financial track for your deals and negotiations.

Clydesdale Bank believe that if you are thinking of exporting, then preparation is key. Here are five simple things they think you should know to help you on your way to overseas success.

  1. Choose your markets intelligently 

Research and preparation are essential. Look at all the markets that you think will be suitable for your business and identify where you think there is a strong localised demand for your product or service.

  1. How are you going to sell?

Remember to be flexible. Take local customs and preferences into account – remain open minded and look at all your options. For example; opening a branch is the most high-impact option but it is also the most expensive, while selling online is cheap but it has a number of challenges and competition is fierce.

  1. How are you going to get paid?

The way you actually receive payment will almost certainly be different for exports, especially the time it takes to come through.

  1. How will you get there?

Transporting your goods may have unique logistical challenges in certain countries. Local laws, the local climate and the sheer distance are some issues that may arise. It is also your responsibility to operate within the law. Expect something of a learning curve and always assume you have missed something.

  1. How well do you know your customer?

To establish a successful relationship with overseas customers you need to know what they need and how they think. Making an effort to understand different cultures can’t guarantee you success, but not doing so ensures failure. Everything from learning the language to reading the local news can help you get it right first time.

John Brown, Head of Trade and Invoice Finance for Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank will be doing a workshop at BIOS in International Finance. He will be joined by 2 case study speakers, Paul Bodger and Stephen Heslop.

Paul Bodger, Director @ Origin Fitness Ltd 

Origin Fitness specialises in providing the best in fitness equipment along with an expert gym design and installation service to customer spanning across all sectors from performance sports facilities, local authorities, colleges and universities to health clubs, and the personal training sector. Key customers include Team GB Tae Kwon-Do and the Scottish Rugby Union.

Origin Fitness is the core brand of Anytime Leisure  Limited which was founded in 2008 by Paul Bodger and Josh Bicknell. Origin Fitness is Scotland’s only commercial equipment specialist, and in turn one of the largest independent UK suppliers in the industry with a turnover currently in excess of £8 million.

Managing Director of Anytime Leisure, Paul Bodger, has over 20 years in the fitness and leisure equipment industry. Paul studied for a degree in Finance & Economics in New Zealand before working in sales for various equipment providers, representing some of the fitness industry’s top brands.

Stephen Heslop, COO @ Hutchison Networks Ltd 

A proven business leader having had a very successful career in FMCG previously as CEO of the Real Good Food Plc, a £240 m turnover food manufacturing group.
His skills and experience span a number of core disciplines from operational and commercial management to strategic planning. During his 27 years in industry his specialist areas have focused around business development, rationalization and turnaround scenarios.
Stephen has a Diploma in Management Studies with Strategic Marketing. He is also a graduate of Warwick Business School Executive programme and attended Templeton College Oxford studying corporate finance.
Stephen is now COO of Hutchinson Networks Ltd an Edinburgh based IT Networks provider delivering  services Internationally across many sectors  delivering for both SMB and Blue Chip clients in over 100 countries worldwide.

The Digital Agenda

The BIOS conference would like to introduce it’s latest exciting speaker: Penny Heyes, Director @ The Digital Agenda

The Digital Agenda is a written report, without the jargon, that provides insight into what is happening in the world of digital and mobile, and how it could affect you and your company.
The Quarterly “Digital Innovation Agenda” investigates and reports on the most important mobile and digital trends that will impact your business, sector and markets worldwide.
Every quarter, the innovation and insight team will give their informed view on changing consumer behaviours, social data and new tech innovations, the current state of the digital and mobile market and a forecast of emerging developments.
The Digital Agenda identifies the latest and future global and sector-specific trends relevant for your organisation, examining the impact they will have on consumers and business.
Reports are underpinned by rigorous research and robust data. We present our research findings in an engaging report, providing clear direction and recommendations for you and your business.

Why attend a Digital in the Boardroom Seminar/ Workshop

Ultimately, The Digital Agenda helps the attendees to foresee, react and move ahead of tomorrow’s disruptive technology forces to ensure they remain creatively, culturally and commercially relevant and successful. This is done by helping them to:
• Understand new and emerging consumer behaviours
• Anticipate future market trends
• Assess existing and potential competitors
• Make sense of game-changing technology
• Kick-start innovation and new ideas
• Seize the opportunities presented by the hyper-connected world

Click here for more information on The Digital Agenda