Tech accelerator launched in Edinburgh to help nurture ‘unicorns’

Published: 17 April 2017

A new tech accelerator has been launched in Edinburgh to help nurture Scotland’s next generation of billion-dollar ‘unicorns’. Seed Haus co-founder and chief executive Calum Forsyth explains more...

What is Seed Haus?

Seed Haus is a pre-seed tech accelerator based in Edinburgh. We provide founders with capital investment, software access at reduced or zero cost – with platforms like Amazon Web Services, IBM Bluemix, Xero, SendGrid  – and mentorship with top-tier tech founders/professionals.

We did scope out a variety of locations across the UK, but Edinburgh came out top after crunching the data.

Calum Forsyth, co-founder and chief executive, Seed Haus

 

This support package is geared towards customer acquisition, online marketing, distribution, and sales. More specifically, we are interested in market-driven opportunities as opposed to ‘nice ideas’. Our engagement package is designed to grant founders enough runway to drive their startup to their next milestone. 

The business was founded by myself and my business partner and chairman, Robin Knox. Robin has first-hand experience of building a startup (IntelligentPOS) from a small team of two, through to a team of 50+, and ultimately leading the organisation through a successful trade exit to iZettle. Robin is especially keen to give back to the next wave of entrepreneurs and has philanthropically allocated significant portions of his own money to realise Seed Haus. Our founding team is rounded out by our strategic advisor, Alisdair Gunn who is a well respected figure in the UK tech scene. The investors we are collaborating with are also hands-on tech investors and we very much consider them part of the Seed Haus team.  

What kind of businesses are you targeting? 

We are keen to hear from founders across industries and are relatively agnostic in terms of which verticals we align with. Our selection process involves mapping founders to forthcoming market opportunities. To this end, we perform in-house data analysis using a suite of tools and complement this with insight from thought leaders in our network. This allows us to marry up founders with real market needs. 

Seed Haus is a new pre-seed tech accelerator based in Edinburgh.

Why is Edinburgh the right place to set up?

This was driven through both data analysis and our own insight. The founding team have a fantastic network across the UK, but we feel we are especially well connected within Scotland. We did scope out a variety of locations across the UK, but Edinburgh came out top after crunching the data.

More specifically, we mapped the location of tech developers (obtained via networking platforms) against data from Nesta/Tech City - Edinburgh compared favourably with London and Oxbridge. Couple this with the investment ecosystem, access to talent, and the fact that Robin launched a successful tech startup in the city – and Edinburgh emerges as an excellent hub from which to launch a tech venture. 

What's the vision for your business? Can you find Scotland's next tech 'unicorn'?

Seed Haus is in the very fortunate position of being extremely adaptable to market opportunities. We have ambitious plans for the future, but I would rather focus on cementing our reputation as the leading source of pre-seed investment and building out our collaborative community.  

In terms of Scotland's next unicorn – we definitely have the ambition, drive, and (importantly) network to support founders in realising this. What is especially encouraging within Scotland is that we have witnessed a successful unicorn exit (not just a unicorn birth).

Going forward, we are especially interested in exploring equity models where we mitigate the issues associated with power law distribution in birthing unicorns. We have built a few models that are very exciting and we look forward to exploring these with the wider investment community.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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