Morgan Stanley is targeting Scotland for its Inclusive Ventures Lab, an accelerator programme that invests in and works closely with start-ups led by women and ethnically diverse company founders.  

The MSIVL aims to identify 10 early-stage businesses from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), who will be invited to participate in a bespoke five-month programme designed to accelerate the business growth of each start-up. This is twice the number who went through the programme last year.   

Scotland is being specifically targeted as a source of applications to the accelerator programme. 

To be considered for this opportunity, startups must submit their Online Application on the Online Portal latest by 3rd March and specify “Scotland Pitch Days”, as outlined below:

Section: Supporting Documents
Question:How did you find out about the Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Lab?’
Required Answer: Select “Morgan Stanley Employee”
Write “Scotland Pitch Days”

Finalists will be invited to pitch at one of the Scotland Pitch Days, held in Glasgow on 16th March and Edinburgh on 17th March. 

Vida Rudkin, head of Morgan Stanley Glasgow, said: “Having been here for over 20 years, Morgan Stanley knows that right across Scotland there are determined and inspirational people with great business ideas.” 

Applications for this year’s EMEA MSIVL, formerly known as the Multicultural Innovation Lab, are now open for six weeks.

Businesses looking to take part in the initiative should demonstrate strong growth prospects in the development of innovative technology solutions which promote a more inclusive, sustainable future.  

The Lab started in 2017 in response to critical research showing that multicultural and female business founders faced systemic disadvantages, particularly in access to capital.

Over the last ten years, less than 3% of venture capital funds invested in the UK went to teams of all-female founders and less than 2% to teams of all-multicultural founders. 

The Lab aims to address these disparities, not only through the bank’s equity investments in these early-stage high growth companies but also supporting their growth and development needs through the intensive five-month programme involving Morgan Stanley mentors and advisers alongside external industry experts.

The programme culminates in a Demo Day, where all participants get the opportunity to present to a network of investors brought together from across Morgan Stanley’s global networks. These investors can help provide further capital and cultivate strategic partnerships, to transform the development trajectory of the businesses.  

In the past five years, 69 companies from the US and EMEA have participated in the programme, going on to raise over $150 million in additional funding. 

Sanghamitra Karra, managing director and head of MSIVL in EMEA added: “The experience of this programme to date has been inspirational in demonstrating the strong pipeline of women and minority entrepreneurs and the critical importance of dedicated growth capital and access to strategic advice and mentorship.

“Following the success of the 2022 programme, we are very excited to double our efforts in the region and invest in up to ten high growth companies founded by entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.”