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Tech start-up community thrives in Scotland

Kathleen Hall

A high turnout of IT SMEs is expected to attend Scotland's first Startup Weekend in Glasgow next month.

The organiser hopes to attract more than 100 hopefuls to the 48-hour start-up event, with most of the business ideas expected to come from the IT sector.

Teams of between four and 10 people made up of technical and non-technical individuals will spend the weekend of the 27 August getting advice from professional mentors and peers, while building proof of concepts, demos and finished products.

Joe O'Brien, co-founder of software company EdgeCase and organiser of the event, said, "The start-up scene in Scotland remains buoyant, despite the financial turbulence of recent years, and we are still seeing a steady flow of great IT products and services brought to market."

Sam Collins, owner of mobile app company Getbloop and mentor at the event, said, "When you are doing something quite innovative, you never get it right the first time, as it involves combining your vision with what the market actually wants. So getting lots of people together creates a wealth of experience and knowledge to help early-stage businesses."

Collins believes there is a booming tech start-up community. "I think that is partly due to the success of companies such as Last.fm and Spotify. People are getting inspired to launch their own businesses and that is spreading across our culture," he said.

But innovative high-tech start-ups still face major challenges in terms of attracting investment. Government body the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts said fundraising is considerably lower than levels seen after the dotcom crash and is currently at its lowest level for a decade.

More information on Startup Weekend >>


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