Scotland’s leading governmental tech programme helps founders raise £52 million in first year

29/03/2024

STARTUP entrepreneurs who participated in the Scottish Government’s primary tech development initiative have collectively raised £52 million in its inaugural year, recent data reveals.

Individuals within the nationwide Techscaler network, overseen by CodeBase, secured this funding subsequent to joining the £42 million Scottish Government initiative.

At the launch of the programme’s first annual report in Edinburgh’s YOTEL venue on Queen Street, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Mairi McAllan commended the founders and the programme. She stated, “By empowering startups, we are creating a robust economy rooted in entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable growth. The Techscaler programme remains one of our most ambitious economic endeavors. Indeed, there is no equivalent programme elsewhere in Europe.”

She added, “Entrepreneurship is central to our National Strategy for Economic Transformation. We are establishing one of the finest state-funded entrepreneurial systems globally, dedicated to fostering high-growth businesses, and the first annual report indicates that we are already witnessing returns on our investment.”

McAllan continued, “Scotland has the potential to emerge as a leading startup nation, and this government is steadfast in its aim to unleash innovation and entrepreneurial talent from all sectors and regions of the country. The fact that Techscaler participants have collectively raised £301 million in lifetime capital thus far underscores the vast economic potential of our startup community, and we remain committed to aiding them in capitalizing on this success.”

Mark Logan, author of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, which played a pivotal role in establishing the Techscaler programme, delivered a prerecorded video message to the event. He commended the founders’ success and emphasized their contribution to a programme that has evolved into a “fantastic and internationally recognized” tech ecosystem. He also celebrated Techscaler’s formation of over 50 partnerships with other organizations to amplify the impact of technology in the broader economy.

He added, “In its inaugural year, Techscaler has already cemented itself as a crucial component of Scotland’s entrepreneurial support infrastructure, and this is just the beginning. Expect significant developments in 2024 as the Techscaler platform continues to solidify, integrate, and evolve. In the meantime, I commend the CodeBase team for its outstanding progress thus far.”

Techscaler was established to assist budding companies and entrepreneurs in launching and scaling their businesses through educational programs, expert mentoring, and an expanding network of physical hubs. The report noted that more than a third of those enrolling in the program’s educational courses were women, compared to the startup industry average of 20 percent.

Key figures from the annual report include:

  • 643 individual members
  • £52.12 million raised in capital investment
  • 369 members enrolled in education programs
  • 517 startup and scale-up companies
  • 9,696 Techscaler event attendees
  • 56 formal Techscaler partners
  • 304 members mentored
  • 2,403 Techscaler digital community members
  • 11 Techscaler hubs launched

Stephen Coleman OBE, CEO of CodeBase, remarked, “At its core, Techscaler aims to make Scotland the premier destination globally for founders to launch and grow a tech startup. At CodeBase, we’ve had the privilege of spearheading this groundbreaking ecosystem-building initiative for the Scottish Government. We eagerly anticipate building on this foundation in the program’s second year.”

The event also featured discussions about the recent launch of a Techscaler hub in Silicon Valley, San Francisco. This initiative aims to support Scottish tech firms seeking to expand into the world’s largest technology market.

Alex Gordon-Furse, CEO and founder of Playmaker, commented, “The support provided by Techscaler to startups at all stages of their journey has been profoundly influential in the ecosystem over the past year. I was part of the cohort of founders who traveled to San Francisco in February as part of Techscaler Silicon Valley, and the experience was precisely what I needed, at precisely the right time.

“It has facilitated a step-change in how I’m developing my product and brought me together with a group of ambitious founders who I know will provide valuable peer support throughout my startup journey.”

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