Contract awarded

Codebase secures £42m to roll-out tech scalers

Stephen Coleman
Stephen Coleman: helping businesses to scale (pic: Terry Murden)

A contract worth up to £42 million has been awarded to Edinburgh-based incubator Codebase to set up seven “tech scaler” hubs across Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today announce the contract which is one of the biggest financial commitments by the Scottish Government into building an entrepreneurial nation.

The investment will support start ups to expand their businesses by accessing advice and mentorship from industry experts at the hubs.

Partners include Google for Start-ups UK, Barclays Eagle Labs and Reforge, a San Francisco-based membership programme that teaches start-ups how to grow using Silicon Valley founders’ best practice.

The First Minister will say: “Scottish tech start-ups and scale-ups are already a very significant success story and the Scottish Government wants to do even more to build on the sector’s current strength.

Codebase is home to a community of startups (pic: Terry Murden)

“Tech start-ups right across Scotland will have access to world-class education and mentoring and opportunities for peer learning and networking through the tech scalers. For new companies at all stages of their development, Scotland will provide one of the most supportive environments in Europe.”

CEO and co-founder of Codebase, Stephen Coleman, says: “We will continue to work closely with our partners – old and new, local and global – to make Scotland one of the most tech start-up friendly places in the world.

“We will be helping founders of all shapes and sizes from all backgrounds turns their ideas into businesses via education programmes, community building and networking. We will help to build more start-ups in Scotland and help them scale and access customers and investment globally.”

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes will tell a launch gathering in Scotland: “Scotland’s tech industry is already a dynamic and entrepreneurial community and is forecast to be the second-fastest growing sector in Scotland by 2029.

“Our investment in the industry supercharges that growth by helping fledgling businesses get the confidence and momentum to be catapulted onto the world stage.”

Codebase is a tech ecosystem support organisation active in 27 hubs across the UK which uses worldwide start-up best practice to accelerate tech innovation.

The creation of the Tech Scalers network delivers a commitment of the Programme for Government 2021-22 and a key recommendation from the 2020 Scottish Tech Ecosystem Review, carried out by former Skyscanner chief operating officer and recently-appointed chief entrepreneur, Mark Logan.

Mr Logan said: “Tech Scalers provide Scottish start-ups with a world-class start-up environment in which to learn, grow and succeed. I’m looking forward to working with the Tech Scalers team, to continue to develop Scotland’s technology capability into the future.”

Courses will be hosted by Barclays Eagle Labs, Opportunity North East, a number of Scottish universities and Stirling Council. Upon reaching the advanced level, businesses will receive free access to Reforge – Silicon Valley’s most prestigious provider of education on scaling-up.

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Barclays Eagle Labs director Jon Hope said: “Barclays shares the government’s ambition to develop the infrastructure required to support business growth, which is why we are launching our latest Eagle Lab in Glasgow, in August.

“The Glasgow Eagle Lab will be home to the city’s tech start-up community and will work with public and private partners to support their growth and develop skills in new emerging tech, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The event at Barclays Eagle Lab Campus is hosted by Startup Grind Scotland.

Comment: Launching the new scalers is the easy bit, changing government thinking is another matter

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