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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
13 July 2022
First Minister awards £42m contract to create ‘cutting-edge’ network for start-ups

Nicola Sturgeon pictured at the Hay-on-Wye festival. Credit: Sam Hardwick/Alamy

First Minister awards £42m contract to create ‘cutting-edge’ network for start-ups

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the awarding of a contract worth up to £42m to Edinburgh-based company Codebase.  

The new investment will create seven hubs to support the scaling-up of tech start-ups in Scotland.  

The tech-ecosystem support organisation is currently active in 27 hubs in the UK, teaching start-up best practices. Tech founders will be able to access advice and mentorship from industry experts at the Scottish-based hubs with the hope that it will help scale up their businesses.  

Partners of the hubs include Google for Start-ups UK, Barclays Eagle Labs, and Reforge, a San Francisco-based programme.  

The courses will be hosted at the Barclays Eagle Labs, Opportunity North East, several Scottish universities and Stirling Council. Once start-ups have reached the advanced level, they will receive free access to Reforge, which is considered Silicon Valley’s most prestigious provider of education on scaling up.  

The First Minister said: “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.  

“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.”  

Chief executive and co-founder of Codebase, Stephen Coleman OBE, said: “Codebase is delighted to have been awarded the Tech Scaler contract. 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 said: “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.”  

Barclays Eagle Labs director Jon Hope said: “We are delighted to support the launch of the Scottish Government’s Tech Scaler programme. 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.  

Scotland’s newly appointed chief entrepreneur, Professor Mark Logan carried out a review of Scotland’s tech ecosystem in 2020. The Scottish Government accepted his recommendation for the creation of a Tech Scalers network, putting it in their Programme for Government for 2021-22.  

Logan said: “I’m delighted that this contract has now been awarded so that we can deliver Scotland’s innovative Tech Scalers network, a key recommendation in the Scottish Tech Ecosystem Review. 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.”

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