Why Edinburgh is great for startups

Starting up

6 March 2017

Edinburgh has long been regarded as one of the UK’s top destinations for the arts. However, it’s recently been developing a reputation as an exciting technological hub, too.

Here’s why Edinburgh is becoming the city for tech startups.

Edinburgh’s recent success stories

Skyscanner, a website that compares flight, hotel and car rental prices, began life in Edinburgh in 2003 as a small startup. It’s now valued at $1bn. Successful tech companies as diverse as fantasy football website FanDuel and accounting software provider FreeAgent are also Edinburgh startups.

A supportive community

Edinburgh has a mutually supportive community of tech startups. Regular events give budding entrepreneurs the chance to network. Skyscanner co-founder Gareth Williams told The Guardian that he welcomes other Edinburgh startups, explaining that the more there are, the "better it is for us all of us", which is why Skyscanner hosts numerous community events and meetups.

Affordable incubators

The city’s first incubator, TechCube, opened in 2013. As well as providing new companies with much-needed desk space, it also helps to create the collaborative climate that allows startups to flourish. Other co-working spaces have since launched, offering a choice of affordable offices. Before moving into any new premises, shared or otherwise, have a look at our professional indemnity insurance to give your business the best chance of being protected.

Access to funding

One of Edinburgh’s most innovative approaches to funding is the annual Engage Invest Exploit conference, where startups meet with potential investors and showcase their ideas. Other local sources include the investment and mentoring syndicate Archangels, which works with Scottish start-up companies in the technology and life sciences sectors.

Finding the skills

There's no denying that Edinburgh nurtures young talent. As well as the University of Edinburgh, there’s Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and Queen Margaret University. And with the high level of support and investment available for new businesses in the city, Edinburgh retains its graduate talent. If you’re looking to expand your business, this is a great city in which to recruit new team members.

It’s simply a lovely city

The Scottish capital is a diverse and lively city with a vibrant arts scene, excellent transport links and easy access to the gorgeous countryside. Those who want a welcoming base for their business, as well as somewhere they enjoy a good quality of life outside work, would do well to consider Edinburgh.

If you’re about to launch your first startup, in Edinburgh or elsewhere, check out our professional indemnity insurance for business to ensure you're protected.