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Techscaler catalyses £52m startup investment surge in Scotland



Startup companies being supported by the Scottish Government’s Techscaler programme attracted investment of more than £52 million in 2023, according to the project’s first annual report.

The initiative supported more than 500 companies in its first year, and now has nearly 2,500 members.

Techscaler is delivered by tech incubator Codebase. It was launched to help fledgling companies and entrepreneurs start and scale-up their businesses through education programmes, expert mentoring and a growing network of physical hubs. More than a third of those enrolling in one of the programme’s education courses were women, compared to the startup industry average of 20%.

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Màiri McAllan visited YOTEL in Edinburgh to speak to Techscaler founders, including those who spent time at the programme’s first overseas hub in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley.

Techscaler catalyses £52m startup investment surge in Scotland

She said: “By empowering startups, we are creating a strong economy built on entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable growth. The Techscaler programme continues to be one of our most ambitious economic initiatives. Indeed, there is no other programme of its kind in Europe.

“Entrepreneurship is at the heart of our National Strategy for Economic Transformation. We are creating one of the finest state-funded entrepreneurial systems in the world dedicated to the creation of high-growth businesses and the first annual report shows we are already seeing a return on our investment.

“Scotland has the potential to become a leading start-up nation and this government’s clear aim is to unleash innovation and entrepreneurial talent from all walks of life and in all parts of the country. That Techscaler participants have raised a combined £301 million in lifetime capital so far shows the enormous economic potential of our startup community, and we will continue to help them capitalise on this success.”

CodeBase CEO Stephen Coleman OBE said: “At its heart, Techscaler aims to make Scotland the best place in the world for founders to launch and grow a tech startup. At CodeBase, we’ve been privileged to propel this groundbreaking ecosystem-building programme into existence for the Scottish Government. We can’t wait to build on this foundation in year two.”

CEO and founder of Playmaker Alex Gordon-Furse said: “The support that Techscaler provides to startups at all stages of their journey has been really influential in the ecosystem over the last year. I was part of the cohort of founders who went out to San Francisco in February as part of Techscaler Silicon Valley, and the experience was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time.

“It’s helped bring about a step-change in how I’m developing my product, and brought me together with a group of ambitious founders that I know will provide valuable peer support throughout my startup journey.”

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