Saltire USA

The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation (USA) is a 501c(3) tax-exempt organization (IRS EIN 26-2247462) incorporated in the state of Delaware.

The US presents a uniquely attractive opportunity because of the sheer scale of companies who operate globally, including operations in Scotland and wider UK, where identifying top talent is a competitive advantage.

We have expanded our US operations to tap into a deeply experienced and diverse network of Senior Executives with close ties to Scotland from companies large and small and across all industries, including life sciences, engineering, tech, marketing, renewables, food & drink and business.

Our programs help play a profound role in the continuing growth and influence of the Scottish-American business and cultural relationship, which is ever more important in helping each other emerge from a changed world. The US is Scotland’s largest overseas market for trade, investment and tourism - indeed, more than 100,000 people in Scotland are employed by US companies - so is uniquely positioned to help instil a global and entrepreneurial mindset in the young people who are starting their careers. ES is a vehicle to achieve this.

The Entrepreneurial Scotland USA presence is an active part of the wider diaspora, all working to achieve Scotland’s ambition to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.


Finding Our Scholars

We work with all of Scotland’s Universities which allows us to reach a significant talent pool, including specialist skill sets and study areas, which saves you the time to access the skills.


We work with all of Scotland’s Universities which allows us to reach a significant talent pool of penultimate year, Undergraduate Students.

Candidates who meet our qualifying criteria, and then complete our first stage competency-based application form, will have a minimum of 3 years academic experience in a variety of study areas.

Applicants invited for interview will have to fully comprehend our Program and understand the skills that they can bring to an employer before being admitted to the Candidate Pool.

After reviewing their tailored Resumes and Cover letters, we shortlist students from the highly competitive Candidate Pool for a further interview with a host company.

Saltire Scholar Interns
The strongest talent of the Cohort will secure an internship and the final decision always lies with the Host Company.

Our Impact


Since 2007, US-based supporters like you have been making a difference in Scotland by enabling “life changing” experiences for more than 300 Saltire Scholars and 100 Saltire Fellows in the US alone, some of whom have progressed quickly into Executive positions and others have built and sustained their own companies.

Interns in 2019

The scale of the program in the US has grown from 6 interns in 2007 to 60 last year, with plans to grow even more as companies seek to identify and nurture the best talent in the world. Ours are the top Scholars in a multitude of industries, from engineering, data science and biotechnology to international business and renewable technologies.


We continue to adapt our Program to meet the needs of a changing world, most recently working with companies to design hybrid internships that offer flexibility yet still deliver key projects and utilise the expertise of our Scholars.

Ways to Support ES in USA

We are at the forefront of developing the entrepreneurial community throughout Scotland with our Programmes designed to equip leaders, current and future with the skills, mindset and connections to go forward and create value.

Your expertise can help make a difference to our community's journey:

  • Help individuals grow? become a mentor
  • Great story to tell? become one of our key note speakers
  • Offer Proactive, practical advice? run a masterclass
  • Support the next generation? host or sponsor a scholar

Our rigorous learning experiences covering a variety of subjects from navigating volatility to building resilience. Virtually or in person you have the opportunity to create direct impact by getting involved in the work we do.

If you would like to know more about our foundation in the US, get in touch.

Our Saltire Scholars Internship Program matches high-potential undergraduates from Scottish Universities with summer internships in leading global and entrepreneurial companies, like yours. Saltire Scholars Internship Program attracts diverse students and hosts. Internships range from medical device development in a Silicon Valley startup to working in risk control at FTSE100s in London. These are life-defining opportunities for students which deliver tangible value to our hosts.

Sponsoring a Scholar is a unique opportunity to support a Saltire Scholar throughout their time with the programme.

Our scholars are the leaders of tomorrow. By offering new challenges, opportunities and connections, we give them the best possible start in their future careers.

Now in its 15th year, the Saltire Scholars Programme, was established to increase the confidence, ambition and global mindset of Scotland’s next generation of business leaders.

It matches high-potential undergraduates from all Scottish universities with summer internships in leading global and entrepreneurial companies. Students are in their penultimate year of university and come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds including business, economics, engineering, computer science, marketing and humanities.

To find out more, get in touch.

By making a gift to support our Foundation you will be supporting us to develop Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and contribute to Scotland’s success. You can:

  • Donate online using our First giving account
  • Donate by check: The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation, 155 E 44th Street, 6th floor, Suite 34, New York NY 10017

Following receipt of your gift, we will issue you an acknowledgment letter which may serve as your tax receipt. The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation (USA) is a 501c(3) tax-exempt organization (IRS EIN 26-2247462) incorporated in the state of Delaware. Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law

Please click on the video to see how our mission will transform those who will, in turn, transform Scotland’s businesses and communities.

Scholar Host Case Studies



Wood Plc, is a multinational energy services company with its headquarters in Aberdeen

They are a global leader in engineering, project and technical services to industrial, energy, process and utility markets and have a global network of skilled professionals, delivering on their reputation for integrity and assurance.

Wood operate in more than 60 countries, employing around 55,000 people, with revenues of around $10 billion. They provide performance-driven solutions throughout the asset life cycle, from concept to decommissioning across a broad range of industrial markets, including upstream, midstream and downstream oil & gas, chemicals, environment and infrastructure, power & process, clean energy, mining, nuclear, and general industrial sectors.

The are previous Scholar hosts having hosted in both 2014 (4 Scholars) and in 2019 when they hosted 2 Scholars one in Houston and the other in Calgary, Canada.

Wood were so impressed by their 2019 Houston Scholar Laura Ong that they offered her a graduate job before she had even finished her internship.



GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer.

The Company has 3 global businesses that research, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products with the goal to being one of the world’s most innovative, best performing and trusted healthcare companies.

GSK’s values and expectations help to define their culture - so that they can deliver extraordinary things for their patients and consumers and make GSK a brilliant place to work.

GlaxoSmithKIine has been a Host Company partner of the Saltire Scholar Programme since 2009 when they hosted their first Saltire Scholar at their Montrose site in Scotland. Since then, GSK has hosted 101 Scholars across 13 sites Globally in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. In addition to offering opportunities in Biopharmaceutical Engineering and Research, previous Saltire Scholars have undertaken roles in Supply Chain Development, Logistics and Technical Digital Innovation.

"Speaking with Eilidh Dillon, the sponsor for the GSK Scholars, and realising just how much my contributions, initiative and ability have been noticed over the time I spent at GSK. Also, understanding that I have the ability to do far more than I thought possible and developing an understanding within myself that I have the potential to do extremely well in somewhere like my host company. "Jack McGirr, 2019 Scholar, GSK, Worthing, UK.

Envision Solar

Envision Solar

Envision Solar International, Inc. is a San Diego based sustainable technology innovation company. Envision distinguishes itself with unique and advanced renewably energized electric vehicle (EV) charging, media and branding and energy security systems.

At Envision Solar, we create unique products that bring value to three specific verticals, electric vehicle (EV) charging, media and branding systems and energy security. We chose these verticals because they are each experiencing rapid growth, have massive opportunities for scale and can benefit significantly from the introduction of intelligently engineered solar powered products. We’ve ensured that our products can simultaneously be rapidly deployed, offer meaningful financial returns and improve the environment.

We invent, engineer and manufacture products in our San Diego facility where our team of combat veterans, disabled workers and other valuable team members proudly integrate the highest quality components into our Made in America products. Our vision, experience and commitment to the environment and design has made us the market leader.

Envision Solar have hosted 27 Saltire Scholars since 2011 and they are planning to host a further 2 Scholars in 2021.

Our USA Board

Helen Sayles CBE

Helen Sayles CBE


Helen Sayles CBE is a retired senior vice president and manager for Liberty Mutual Group.

She was presented with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Leading Women Award and asked to preside over the 38th Annual New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival.

Helen was inducted into the GlobalScot Hall of Fame, awarded a CBE and holds numerous global chairs.

Forbes Alexander

Forbes Alexander

Former CFO & EVP, Jabil Circuit Inc

Forbes Alexander is a retired CFO and EVP, following a 27-year career at Jabil Circuit Inc.

He joined as Controller of Scottish Manufacturing Operations, previously holding financial positions within numerous high-profile companies, such as Hewlett Packard.

He is a Founding Partner of Steadfast Partners, a Fellow of CIMA and served on the Board of Directors for CB&I and McDermott International.

Mark Bamforth

Mark Bamforth

Executive Chairman & CEO, Arranta Bio

Mark Bamforth is the founder of Arranta Bio and prior to this, Brammer Bio and Gallus Bio Pharmaceuticals.

He spent 22 years in the UK and USA running a global manufacturing operation and pharmaceutical CDMO business for Genzyme, before which, his career began as a petroleum engineer for Britoil and a chemical engineer for Whitbread.

Mark also serves on the boards of of Continuus Pharma, Pneumagen, Enterobiotix and Inceptor Bio.

He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Derek Blackwood OBE

Derek Blackwood OBE

Former MD, Wood Group

Derek Blackwood OBE is a retired MD of Wood Group, previously working as MD of APG/Salamis JV Ltd.

He sits on numerous boards, is founder and Hall of Fame member of the Globalscot network and former president of the BABC in Houston.

Derek is actively involved in the Saltire Scholars programme and the Scottish Space School at NASA.

Chris Cooper

Chris Cooper

CEO, Cadre Energy

Chris Cooper is CEO of Cadre Energy, a Houston based oil and gas start-up.

He previously worked as COO for Amplify Energy / Memorial Production Partners and for over 24 years at Marathon Oil in a variety of leadership, engineering, and project management roles.

Chris has experience in developing and operating offshore, onshore, conventional, and unconventional oil and gas assets.

Don Macleod

Don Macleod

Former CEO of National Semiconductor

Don Macleod was CEO of National Semiconductor, prior to its acquisition by Texas Instruments.

He has served as Chairman of both National Semiconductor and Intersil and is currently Chairman of Chicago based Knowles, having retired from the board of Broadcom.

Don is an active angel investor for start-up companies in Scotland and sits on a variety of Scottish boards.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith


Mike Smith is currently Head of Business Development for PNC Wealth Management and Hawthorn, The Family Office division of PNC Bank, for the Mid Atlantic Region. Prior to joining PNC in 2019, Mike held similar roles with Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Private Bank following his return to the United States in 2013.

Mike spent the majority of his career based in Edinburgh and London UK working for major European Private Banking operations, Société Générale Private Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. He founded both the Kleinwort and SG Hambros Office in the Scottish Capital where they previously had no presence, and developed the business North of the Border and in Northern Ireland, recruiting teams and establishing relationships with the Scottish Business Community and Professional Intermediary Sector.

David Young

David Young


David Young is President & CEO of Physicians Endoscopy, Inc. a Gastrointestinal investment and management services solutions provider for independent GI providers with over 600 gastroenterologists. Prior to this, David was Chief Operating Officer of Privia Health, Inc., a national physician practice management and medical group with over 2,000 providers. In previous roles David was Chief Financial Officer and Interim President of Smile Brands, Inc., Senior Vice President of Operations for McKesson Specialty Health, and Chief Financial Officer of US Oncology, Inc.

David is originally from Scotland, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting (Hons) and received his MBA from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Accountant and Corporate Treasurer.