Start-ups continue to invest in Scotland

Start-ups continue to invest in Scotland

The number of businesses launching in Edinburgh and Glasgow increased by 13% in 2015 as almost 12,000 businesses were launched throughout the year.

New research by StartUp Britain, using information from Companies House, shows the two cities occupied the fifth and sixth spots in the UK wide table for the number of start-ups during the year.

The figures have been significantly boosted by a rise in universities, banks and governing bodies choosing to invest in the nation’s wealth of entrepreneurial talent.

A prime example of this is the LAUNCH.ed initiative headed by The University of Edinburgh to help budding entrepreneurs in the capital launch and grow enterprises.

Over the past five years, the university has supported the formation of 184 businesses, employing a total of 343 people.

Alison Gee, enterprise development manager at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The LAUNCH.ed program has helped to stimulate and nurture an entrepreneurial environment at the University of Edinburgh working alongside other key organisations such as Scottish Enterprise.

“The program helps build a community of experienced student entrepreneurs who in turn inspire their peers and future generations to build on their success.”

One business to benefit from this is Shot Scope, a sporting technology company launched by entrepreneur David Hunter.

Shot Scope is a smart wearable piece of technology which allows golfers to automatically collect performance data without interrupting their game.

The programme provided Hunter with a mentor as well as funding, which helped him with his business plan and other topics he was uncertain of. 

Speaking on the support he received, he told BQ: “I had a number of ideas however didn’t know where to start with funding and business.

“I received support from LAUNCH.ed at Edinburgh University which provided the initial knowledge and skills to take the jump and start a business.

“I applied and secured funding from a number of sources; LAUNCH.ed, SIE, Converge Challenge, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise.

“The funding on offer in Scotland for an early stage start-up is excellent and all of the funding comes with training and support. As the business progresses this initial support has been key to the success of the business.

“The initial funding received through business competitions allowed Shot Scope to develop the first working prototype, prove the market need and build a network in the golf market. Therefore establishing solid business foundations and progress prior to applying for more funding.

“Applications for funding requires significant effort, however the funding can make a tremendous impact on your business both financially and through feedback.

“I would advise anyone starting a business to consider entering business competitions.”