RMS research

Number of Scottish tech startups rises by a fifth

Napier has a lab to encourage startups

The number of new technology companies incorporated in Scotland jumped by more than a fifth (21%) last year to 1,553.

This puts Scotland’s tech sector just behind the UK national average of 22% and suggests the Scottish tech sector remains resilient despite broader economic challenges.

Ross Stupart, Edinburgh office managing partner for audit, tax and consulting firm RSM which produced the data, said: “This demonstrates that Scotland continues to be a place that creates a good volume of tech start-ups.

“The key challenge for the tech sector in Scotland, however, remains the ability to scale in Scotland. By creating an environment that provides businesses with ready access to capital for rapid upscaling, and encourages their ambition for internationalisation and growth, we should see many of Scotland’s tech start up entrepreneurs fulfilling their huge potential.  

“This could help create lots of economic value from Scotland’s tech sector. Some policy changes will be required within the Scottish Government to get us on that track.”

Ross Stupart
Ross Stupart: ability to scale remains a challenge

The national data shows a total of 51,017 tech companies were incorporated in the UK last year, up from 41,972 the year before. Key sub-sectors that saw significant growth included software developers, data businesses and IT consultancies.

All regions in the UK saw an increase on the previous year, except for Wales which incorporated 1,150 businesses, a small decrease from 2022. Tech incorporations in London rose by more than a quarter (26%) on the previous year’s figure to 26,060. 

Ben Bilsland, partner and technology industry senior analyst at RSM UK, cautioned that the sector “has, and continues to be, marked by layoffs, so it may be that these members of the workforce have been confident enough to go it alone, thereby fuelling incorporation growth.”

Tech company incorporations

Region20222023% change
East Midlands1,3581,62720%
East of England2,8533,73031%
North East60570416%
North West3,1673,60214%
Northern Ireland3733771%
South East4,6145,16012%
South West2,0722,42217%
West Midlands2,2302,79725%
Yorkshire and The Humber1,5361,83519%

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