Putting Edinburgh Tech Scene on the World Map

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StartEDIN launches to promote the Edinburgh Tech Ecosystem

Edinburgh needs to create a strong brand that, as a community, we can all get behind and help promote what is simply a fantastic place to live, work and develop your tech business potential.

StartEDIN launched last night to provide the Edinburgh technology sector with a collective voice on the international stage. Brought together by founding partners and supported by Edinburgh City Council and leading technology companies, StartEDIN, as a not for profit, will bring together and promote the local technology ecosystem.

Edinburgh is a leading tech city that has an impressive, dynamic and successful tech community and a proven track record in innovation, disruption and global success. The number of global success stories continues to increase each year particularly the case in areas of technology, bioTech and finTech. Edinburgh can boast a wealth of resources from world leading research and academ-ia, a strong local investment network through to a strong support body and infrastructure, all buzzing with a vibrant assortment of startup and established tech companies. But this, until now, has been internationally a well-kept secret.

The launch event last night saw an impressive turn out at the National Museum of Scotland for the start of this strong collective and support and involvement from small to large companies.

“When I told people in London I was moving to Edinburgh, everyone asked me if I was leaving tech to go into finance - or farming,” said the new CTO of Fan Duel Robin Spira, who spoke at the launch last night. Fan Duel, owns 65% of the daily fantasy sports market in the US and has its engi-neering roots in Edinburgh.

“This is precisely the image we have to counteract,” said James Varga, a founding partner of StartEDIN and head of the online identity company miiCard. “This isn’t about you or me or our indi-vidual businesses, it's about the thriving tech and digital community that we all belong to. It’s about getting the world presence the Edinburgh tech scene deserves.”

Get Started in Edinburgh

The function of the collective is to promote the city’s thriving and vibrant community and launch it on a national and international stage. A much needed “cheerleader for Edinburgh tech,” tweeted Leah Hutcheson, Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland. StartEDIN will bring together all of those involved in this flourishing technical ecosystem under one umbrella and with the weight and investment of its membership and Edinburgh City Council, it will lead the marketing and future growth of this dynamic economy. Philip Lockwood-Holmes, founder of the creative agency Whitespace, presented a powerful advertising and profile raising campaign which would benefit all of the Edinburgh tech community.

“Edinburgh needs to create a strong brand that, as a community, we can all get behind and help promote what is simply a fantastic place to live, work and develop your tech business potential,” said James Varga of miiCard, a founding partner of StartEDIN and speaking at the event. “Edinburgh is uniquely positioned as one of the best startup destinations - that includes strong research, serious investment, cultural heritage, and a fantastic lifestyle with an outdoor environment on your door step.”

The UK Office of National Statistics recently ranked Edinburgh as the “Happiest City in the UK” and MoneySuperMarket’s Quality of living Index ranked it as the second best place to live. The city is recognised as having the strongest economy in Britain after London and The Financial Times fDi Magazine voted Edinburgh the top Medium Sized European City for Foreign Direct Investment.

Overcast Labs, an early stage startup developing highly efficient data centre infrastructure, is one tech company which sees the great benefits of being in Edinburgh. “After exploring cities including Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, London and Stockholm, we found the best mix of talent, culture and lifestyle in Edinburgh,” said Tyler Foster, Co-Founder and CEO who also spoke at the launch. “Since deciding to base the company here, we've found the tech and business communities in Edinburgh to be remarkably supportive.”

A meeting of minds

A number of organisations involved in tech have already backed the collective, signing up to support and promote Edinburgh. Nigel Douglas, CEO of Global Surface Intelligence, who have developed a powerful software platform to provide Big Data predictive analytics and received con-siderable funding from local investors, says, “Edinburgh is a village small enough to know everyone but a city big enough to be heard internationally. We need to make more noise about it, though, to ensure we attract top quality players and keep the momentum going and the only way to do that is for the community to come together, and work together to raise credibility and profile.”

Lynchpin data analysts and consultants have also given their backing as have Attacat, Whitespace, Kotikan, Red61 and various others, while Skyscanner and ScotlandIS are both founding members of the collective and the list grows daily. http://www.startedin.com/members

For centuries, Scotland and Edinburgh have been at the forefront of innovation and technology and this continues today in what is one the most contemporary and cosmopolitan cities in Europe to live.

StartEDIN is a collective of those who want to make a difference. For more information, go to http://www.startedin.co.uk or email info(at)startedin(dot)co(dot)uk

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James Varga
StartEDIN
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