In recent years, Edinburgh has scooped numerous awards for its ability to nurture and support start-ups. A thriving entrepreneurial culture is helping position Edinburgh as one of Europe’s leading tech hubs, supported by dedicated incubators such as CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech accelerator and world-class academic strengths, especially in data analytics.
Business mentoring support comes in many forms, including the accelerator programmes delivered through organisations such as Entrepreneurial Spark. It operates one of its 12 UK hatcheries here as well as a dedicated FinTech hatchery based at the global headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, to the west of the city centre.
It’s one of many accelerators run across the city, which also includes Business Gateway Edinburgh and their Gateway to Investment programme and Informatics Ventures’ Engage Invest Exploit (EIE), a high profile international showcase for some of Scotland’s most exciting start-ups.
The city is also home to a variety of flexible incubator spaces, designed to support early stage companies as they seek to secure funding, investment and achieve scale-up. The number and mix of incubator provision continues to evolve and grow across the city.
With its world-class academic offer, Edinburgh generates a wealth of successful spin outs every year: The University of Edinburgh alone has established 189 new spinout/start-up businesses in the past five years. Edinburgh Napier University’s own incubator, Bright Red Triangle has supported more than 350 businesses since opening its doors in 2004.
In addition to CodeBase, Edinburgh is home to Seed Haus – a dedicated tech accelerator supported by a network of successful entrepreneurs including Sir Tom Hunter.
The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation exists to help connect low carbon innovator and clean tech businesses together with finance and the public sector together to turn good ideas into reality and drive today’s vital sustainable agenda.
Edinburgh BioQuarter is home to NINE, a life sciences focused facility designed specifically for rapidly growing companies and inward investors wishing to engage with what will soon be the largest concentration of stem cell researchers in Europe.
The newly completed Higgs Centre for Innovation opened its own incubator in March 2018 – part of the European Space Agency UK (ESA), CERN, and UK Space Agency (UKSA) Business Incubation Centre networks – focused on big data and space technologies.
Social enterprises can also access incubator and co-working space through The Melting Pot, Scotland's Centre for Social Innovation, giving them access to The Good Ideas Academy, a unique accelerator programme designed to help refine ideas into tangible enterprises capable of delivering social change.