Spring 2019

“Scotland’s Spring festival of impactful entrepreneurship.”


Scotland has an ambition of building a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation- a place where growth and innovation go hand in hand, with wider benefits for all.

The CAN DO Fest brings this ambition to life!

What is CAN DO Fest?

CAN DO Fest is a vibrant programme of events that takes place across Scotland every April and May to celebrate and supercharge entrepreneurship. This festival brings together leading enterprise and skills support organisations with bold citizens, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to help them develop opportunities and ideas into sustained business growth and impact.

Festivals that spark change

CAN DO Fest and its autumn sister festival VentureFest Scotland represent focal points for collaboration and for showcasing to Scotland and the world what our ecosystem has to offer. Together our ambition is to celebrate and nurture a cycle of innovation and realisation for Scottish-based businesses of all shapes and sizes, while also encouraging the longer-term cultural changes that will help bring the CAN DO vision to life.

Full Events Programme

CAN DO Fest is a unique platform that showcases the very best of Scotland’s entrepreneurial scene.

Discover our exciting programme of events now!

AccelerateHER 2019 Conference - The Sky's No Longer the Limit

Tues 23rd April 2019

Join Investing Women for the AccelerateHER 2019 Annual Conference and hear global trailblazers like Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Company on creating a culture of innovation and self-confidence; building a world class team; encouraging more women in tech and getting investment-ready. This year AccelerateHER will also be trailing their 2019 AccelerateHER Award Finalists ahead of the live finals – you saw them here first!

Event Location:
Informatics Forum, Edinburgh

Signature Event

EIE 2019

Wed 24 April 2019

Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) occupies a unique place in the data-driven technology ecosystem in Scotland and its reputation for excellence spreads far beyond. It’s the longest-running and largest programme of its kind outside London, attracting start-ups, scale-ups and technology investors from all over the UK and internationally. EIE was at the genesis of the technology entrepreneur ecosystem here in Scotland and remains very much at the heart of it and, since 2008, companies exhibiting at EIE have gone on to raise in excess of £650 million in seed and later stage funding. Event Location: McEwan Hall, Edinburgh

Creative Toolkit Masterclass

Wed 24 April 2019

Calling start-ups and small businesses! Join speaker Marion Morrison, a coach, trainer and motivational speaker who uses self leadership tools, time management techniques, confidence building and emotional resilience to help you clarify your goals, achieve development objectives and to unlock potential!

Event Location:
InCube, Paisley

Signature Event

The Entrepreneurial Scotland Annual Summit

Thurs 25 April 2019

Entrepreneurial Scotland is inspiring, developing and connecting Scotland's current and future leaders to build the most entrepreneurial society in the world. Returning to Gleneagles, Entrepreneurial Scotland is hosting their acclaimed annual conference, on Thursday the 25th April 2019.   Entrepreneur Mike Souter, co-founder of Shortlist Media and a regular on BBC’s, The Apprentice, as well as Jo Fairley, founder of chocolate brand, Green and Blacks, are amongst the speakers who will take to the stage to share their entrepreneurial expertise at the annual ES Summit 2019. This premier networking event, and its programme of international speakers, is a truly captivating experience, that will challenge you to take your ambitions to new heights. Interested? Click 'find out more'!       Event Location: The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder

Event Location:
The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder

Signature Event

Entrepreneurial Academy in Argyll

Thurs 25 April, Thurs 2 May & Wed 15 May 2019

The Entrepreneurial Academy provides one-day, practice-based workshops delivered by experts with hands-on experience of running a business. The Academy’s purpose is to help entrepreneurs develop critical skills and equip them with the structures, tools and techniques to help them grow their business.  25th April - Deliver a Digital Strategy 2nd May - Brand Development 15th May - Pitching Skills    Book into them all! They are free and teach essential skills to all ambitious entrepreneurs. Follow the link below for more information. Event Location: Royal Hotel, Oban

Being Meaningfully Unique Workshop - Dundee

Fri 26 April 2019

Innovation Engineering transforms innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system and is a new field of academic study and leadership science. Helen will explain in this workshop what Innovation Engineering is and how, at its heart, is the notion of Meaningfully Unique ™. Helen will explain the power of Meaningfully Unique ™ and how it can be measured to understand the probability of success of an idea. This is an interactive half-day workshop where participants will get to practise measurement and so leave with a deep understanding of a tool that they can go on to use to validate their own ideas.

Event Location:
Abertay University, Dundee

Innovate with Strathclyde

Mon 29 April 2019

The University of Strathclyde offers a wide range of expertise, support and partnerships to assist industry stakeholders and academics in developing innovations with significant economic and social impact. The recent launch of the Glasgow City Innovation District (GCID) has expanded Strathclyde’s scope for industry engagement across all areas, opening doors to new and exciting opportunities. Join us to hear from companies, academic partners and support organisations who have worked collaboratively within GCID to achieve tangible outcomes for growth. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with potential partners and receive accurate signposting to support mechanisms within Strathclyde and the wider GCID. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Event Location:
The Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow

Finding Funding - Tips & 1:1 Support

Mon 29 April 2019

Finding Funding is often the main barrier between a good idea and a thriving business. Head along to this talk and Q&A with Max from PNO Group and learn about the grant funding landscape. There are also a limited number of 1:1 sessions – tailored, practical advise to help you get to grips with your funding needs.

Event Location:
The Melting Pot, Edinburgh

Signature Event

Strategic Negotiations Masterclass

Tues 30 April - Wed 1 May

Negotiation is a daily part of business – with customers, partners, suppliers, colleagues or employees and successful negotiation requires self-awareness, preparation and practice. This Masterclass will equip entrepreneurs with the tools and techniques to deal with differences, resolve conflict and handle difficult conversations. Open to all ambitious entrepreneurs based in the Highlands and Islands region. Delivered by Derek Arden, Achieve Training Ltd. Event Location: Jurys Inn, Inverness

ASB Conference 2019 - Unstoppable Women

Tues 30 April 2019

Our inspirational keynote speakers and panellists will be sharing their own experiences - helping us to make sure our voice is heard, our brand is seen and our products and services are reaching the right demographic. With a choice of practical workshops for business owners and women at every stage in their career, the conference will give each delegate the opportunity and confidence to find their voice, both personally and professionally - in their life and their business activities. There will be opportunities for business showcases and networking and to hear from real women about their experiences in this historic Glasgow conference setting.

Event Location:
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow

Company Creation Conference

Wed 01 May

Open to Strathclyde students, staff and alumni, The Company Creation Conference, delivered by Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network, is a one-day conference designed to give you the tools you need to turn your ideas into successful companies. This event is ideal for Strathclyders who are looking to launch new business ventures, commercialise university research or access support for early-stage companies.  The Conference is free and open to the entire Strathclyde community, including: Students - Undergraduate, Masters and PhD Staff - Research, Academic and Professional Services Alumni - from all years of graduation

Event Location:
The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Make Change in Glasgow

Wed 01 May

Calling all budding social entrepreneurs, innovators and those with good ideas to change the world! Creating a new social venture can be a daunting prospect but Good Ideas is on hand to help you test out your idea, turn it into action and make a real, long-term difference to society. Do you have an innovative idea you would like to test out? Join us to generate, share and test your idea at this energising workshop. If you have an idea to start a social venture and want to explore how to make it happen, this workshop is for you. The workshop will feature: - Interactive activities - No pressure to have a perfect idea! - Lots of post-it-notes, bluetak and even a little bit of lego This workshop is being run in partnership with The Melting Pot and Glasgow Caledonian University through Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange

Event Location:
Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow

Costing & Pricing Masterclass

Wed 1 May 2019

Are you an early stage business searching for support with costing and pricing your products or services? Learn from speaker Fiona Chautard, a qualified business coach, experienced mentor and adviser to the creative industries and a specialist in fashion, textiles and design. She is the industry adviser for fashion, textiles and retail at Textiles Scotland, Cultural Enterprise Office and Fashion Foundry where she advises & mentors creative businesses and individuals. She is a mentor for the Craft Council and Fashion Foundry and serves on advisory boards at Caledonian University and Textiles Scotland.

Event Location:
InCube, Paisley

What Comes Next? Future of Work

Thurs 2 May 2019

The world of work has transformed rapidly over the past few decades. From the introduction of mobile phones and the personal computer to the advent of coworking the way we work has completely changed. But what comes next? Join us at this event to explore the Future of Work.

Event Location:
The Melting Pot, Edinburgh

Aberdeenshire’s Festival of Youth Enterprise Copy

Fri 03 May

Young Enterprise Scotland has been working to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise in Scotland since 1992 - our annual Festival of Youth Enterprise means we can bring #EnterpriseForAll. We're taking our #FoYE19 north to promote #EnterpriseForAll!  So this year, we'll be celebrating in Aberdeenshire too for the first time with the Aberdeenshire Festival of Youth Enterprise Event taking place at the Fraserburgh campus of North East Scotland College. The full-day event will see more than 100 S1-S3 students have the opportunity to hear from inspiring local entrepreneurs, meet with the local entrepreneurial support network and see what opportunities are available at the college

Event Location:
North East Scotland College, Fraserburgh

Business Support Open Day

Tues 07 May

Join us to find out how our newly launched Business & IP Centre Glasgow can help you start and grow your business. There will be trade stands with representatives from Business Gateway, Princes Trust, British Standards and People Plus with more to be announced. One-to-ones with Business & IP Centre staff will be available throughout the day plus the following workshops: People Plus: Link Up Start Up, Mint UK: How to create targeted sales and marketing lists, Santander: Finance for Business, Beginners Guide to Intellectual Property, and Resources for Business Start Up.   

Event Location:
The Mitchell Library, Glasgow

UnFound Roadshow

Tue 7 May 2019

UnFound supports tech founders and start-ups looking for a different way to set-up and run platform businesses, championing a specific model – platform co-operatives. UnFound are off on the road, delivering events in tech and innovation hubs around the UK. They’re bringing the UnFound Roadshow to The Melting Pot for their Edinburgh stop!

Event Location:
The Melting Pot, Edinburgh

Signature Event

AI & Blockchain Accelerator Demo Day

Wed 8 May 2019

Register your interest for the Wayra UK and The University of Edinburgh's Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain Demo Day, CAN DO Festival. The event will mark the end of the inaugural programme, the first to launch in Scotland, and will highlight the companies that have participated over the past six months. The event will include Keynote Speeches; Pitches; a panel discussion on 'The Future of AI and Blockchain'; and Networking. The Accelerator was launched to support high-growth potential pre-incorporated and incorporated start-ups that help drive GDP growth, job creation and new investment in innovation primarily within Scotland but also across the wider UK. Operating on the frontiers of AI and Blockchain development, participating businesses have been supported by Telefónica, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies; the University of Edinburgh, home to the largest centres for computing science and informatics in Europe; Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's national economic development agency; and Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT and networking.

Event Location:

Made In Scotland Awards

Thurs 9th May 2019

Back for its fourth year, the Business Insider Made in Scotland Awards in partnership with the University of Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre champions all aspects of transformational discoveries and developments made in Scotland. In an ever more crowded marketplace organisations must introduce new products and processes to stand out. Scottish Business Insider celebrates innovative companies and individuals that have found success both domestically and internationally and have their contribution recognised.

Event Location:
Glasgow Science Centre

Being Meaningfully Unique Workshop - Edinburgh

Fri 10 May 2019

Innovation Engineering transforms innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system and is a new field of academic study and leadership science. Helen will explain in this workshop what Innovation Engineering is and how, at its heart, is the notion of Meaningfully Unique ™. Helen will explain the power of Meaningfully Unique ™ and how it can be measured to understand the probability of success of an idea. This is an interactive half-day workshop where participants will get to practise measurement and so leave with a deep understanding of a tool that they can go on to use to validate their own ideas.

Event Location:
BIG Partnership, Edinburgh

Signature Event

Impact Summit

Wed 15 May 2019

Impact Summit inspires entrepreneurs to think about the long-term purpose business. Over the course of the event, sector-leading pioneers will share their stories, expertise and advice. Impact Summit provides a platform for an honest, inclusive discussion about the role business will play in changing society for the better. Impact Summit 2019 will take place in SWG3, a converted warehouse in the West End of Glasgow. This unique, historic location will also host a full exhibitor hall of values-led businesses. "Impact Summit is a movement that puts the individuals and communities in Scotland at the forefront of our thinking. Only by casting aside what we have always done can we change what we as a nation will become." Sir Tom Hunter, The Hunter Foundation Event Location: SWG3, Glasgow  

Website in A Day Masterclass

Wed 15 May 2019

This fun but practical one-day free workshop will help you create and launch a website! Delivered by Mary Philip, a highly enthusiastic and experienced website designer and Squarespace Authorised Trainer. Her mission is to help businesses take control back of their website and time with an easy-to-use content management system that shows off their business and produces results. Mary has worked with businesses in varying industries, including interior design, property, telecommunications, surveyors, digital marketing agencies, film & animation, fitness and more.

Event Location:
InCube, Paisley

#FoYE19: Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs, Today

Thurs 23 May 2019

This full-day event will see more than 200 S1-S3 students have the opportunity to engage with industry experts and take part in motivating and inspiring workshops. The Market Place will be bursting with potential employers, Further & Higher education establishments and partner organisations for young people to interact and learn from. Be inspired by the guest speakers and hear from some of Scotland's top young entrepreneurs and brightest young people from the business world. Every young person attending on the day will receive an Enterprise Passport and will have the opportunity to take home a top prize! Event Location: RBS HQ Gogarburn, Edinburgh    

Event Location:
RBS HQ Gogarburn, Edinburgh

WeDO Scotland 2019 Business Awards

Fri 24th May 2019

Now in their ninth year, the WeDO Awards Dinner is a highly respected and recognised fixture in the Scottish business events calendar and celebrates the success of Scottish entrepreneurs & business leaders in 9 Awards categories - Rising Star, New Start Business of the Year, Scottish Product of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, High Growth Company of the Year, Inspiring Leader of the Year, International Entrepreneur of the Year & Entrepreneur of the Year.  Our Awards are open to both members of WeDO as well as non-members and nominations can be made as well as direct applications.  The deadline for entries is the 29th of March.

Event Location:
The Principal Hotel, Edinburgh

Scottish EDGE Live Final

28th and 30th May 2019

After awarding just under £2 Million to almost 40 Scottish startups in Dec last year, Scottish EDGE returns to identify and support the next wave of innovative Scottish businesses. The Scottish EDGE Round 14 Final will see up to 40 Finalists try to pitch their way to up to £150,000 funding to a panel of expert judges. The Two-day event, which will also feature keynote talks, networking and food, takes place on 28th and 30th May in Glasgow (Day 1) and Edinburgh (Day 2). Visit scottishedge.com for full details when tickets are available.

Event Location:
Glasgow & Edinburgh

Flexible Working Culture Drives Business Performance

Wed 29 May 2019

We are living in a period of rapid change. Social, economic, technological and global change which demands a level of agility from businesses which is unprecedented. Employers need people with a willingness to adapt to changing work environments and demands while remaining positive in the face of challenge. How can they achieve that? We think we know the answer. BARCLAYS in partnership with Family Friendly Working Scotland are delighted to bring you this interactive event exploring the link between a flexible working culture and business performance. Delegates will hear from members of BARCLAYS leadership team, including Judith Currie, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Scotland on why flexibility has become a core facet of BARCLAYS business strategy. This event is ideal for HR, D&I and people professionals and business leaders interested in flexible working and workplace innovation.

Event Location:
Barclays Bank, Glasgow

Glasgow Maker Faire

Sat 8th and Sun 9th June 2019

Glasgow Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these "makers" to show hobbies, experiments and projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. Glasgow Maker Faire is a free event and the call for makers is now open! Apply today!

Event Location:
Riverside Museum and The Tall Ship, Glasgow

Elevator Challenge 2019

Fri 14 June - Sun 16 June 2019

On the Elevator Challenge 2019, your team building and leadership skills will be tested and developed through participation in physical and mental activities. You'll be tasked with problem-solving and idea development - using your communication skills and initiative to motivate yourself and team members through demanding and unfamiliar situations. The aim is to get you out of your comfort zone - as you often will be in business. We will stretch your skills to the limit and inspire you to go the extra mile to achieve great results - not only on the Challenge but also throughout your career. It will take place from Friday 14th June to Sunday 16th June 2019, and we are looking for 30 driven people to seize this unique opportunity. Do you have an early stage business? Are you thinking of starting a business? Does the life of a freelancer or being your own boss appeal to you now, or could it in the future? This opportunity is free of charge - with 30 fully funded places available.  Transport (pickups from Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth), accommodation, food and activities are all covered.

Event Location:
Dounans Scottish Outdoor Activity Centre, Aberfoyle


Host a CAN DO Fest Event

If you’d like your organisation or network to be part of CAN DO Fest you can nominate yourself as an Event Host by registering HERE. Nominations close on Friday 1st March 2019!


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