Scotland. It’s known and loved for many things, from shortbread to whisky to kilts, the list goes on … But in recent years, something else has been courting the limelight – its digital startup scene.
We know this from personal experience having launched and successfully exited our own startup Intelligent Point of Sale (IPOS) in Edinburgh a few years ago.
Back then we were like most entrepreneurs just starting out and were thankful to have Scotland’s burgeoning digital ecosystem there to lean on when we needed it most.
So when we decided to launch our latest venture Boundary we didn’t even consider going elsewhere. We knew what Scotland’s tech scene had to offer and quite frankly, we couldn’t get enough of it. Here’s why …
Learning is key in the early stages and fortunately, Scotland’s digital scene provides ample opportunity for entrepreneurs to do exactly this. A high concentration of startups in all sizes and stages have created valuable peer mentoring opportunities and the chance to share knowledge and learnings.
What’s great is that there’s a definite reinvestment of talent back into Scotland’s digital community as it grows and matures. Many experienced individuals are getting back into the startup saddle and are sharing their experience and knowledge to a new wave of entrepreneurs.
Our former COO at IPOS Graeme Horsfall is a fantastic example of this. Now at Travel Nest, a high growth scaleup that recently secured £7 million investment, Graeme boasts a wealth of valuable experience that his colleagues can benefit from.
Scotland is full to the brim with networking events, from weekly tech meetups to annual industry events like Turing Festival and Startup Summit. As well as providing a great opportunity to meet new people, major events such as these are attracting world-class business and digital talent who aim to engage and inspire those in attendance by sharing their own powerful story – another great chance to learn!
One of the things we like most about our digital scene is that it is also full of investment opportunity. Angel syndicates and lone investors have spotted the potential of tech in Scotland and are on the hunt for the next ‘big thing’.
What’s encouraging is that many of those who have seen success within their own business are recycling their money straight back into the digital economy by investing in local companies to help them move to the next stage in their journey. We are two examples of this, having made several investments into innovative and promising young companies that we believe have the potential to make it big.
Last but certainly not least is support. Startups in Scotland are incredibly lucky – support is available in bucket loads. Accelerator programmes like Seedhaus (thanks to Robin!) offer young companies the hothouse environment they need in the early stages of their startup venture.
And it’s not just Seedhaus. Tech incubators like Codebase and TechCube have successfully created a close-knit digital community for startups where collaboration and support lies at their core.
What’s certain is that Scotland is a nation that ‘gets’ digital and it has shown time and again that it can compete globally. Just look at Skyscanner and FreeAgent. Our digital sector has experienced exponential growth – and is showing no signs of slowing down. So when it came to launching Boundary, we knew that there was nowhere better to do this than right here in Scotland.