5 benefits of basing your startup in Scotland

September 05, 2012
Michael Hayes
Michael Hayes

Co-Founder of RookieOven and Add Jam

Being a blog focusing on the Scottish startup community I thought it would be wise to remind ourselves why Scotland is the ideal place to base your tech startup. So here are my top 5 benefits of basing your startup in Scotland:

Being based in Scotland


Scotland has traditionally been a country of innovators; linked no doubt to Scotland having a long history of providing excellent education, from primary through to further education. Take Glasgow as an example, within a 7 mile area it has the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of West of Scotland and Glasgow University (and I include in that the Glasgow School of Art).

Glasgow alone is churning out talent, this is replicated in all of Scotland’s major cities with each one having 2-3 Universities and of course there are a ton of colleges around Scotland as well providing excellent courses relevant to tech startups.

Community Spirit

While I do like to moan Scotland is lacking a cohesive community across the country there are excellent communities within our cities. The likes of Edinburgh and Glasgow have groups and activities bringing together the various tech startups and enthusiasts within the cities.

These communities are always welcoming and keen to integrate new people. It really is one of our strength that we are not as inward looking as some other tech hubs in, if not in Europe, certainly the UK.


There are some amazing success stories from Scotland in recent years and the people involved are more than willing to give back to the community. Take the recent CEO to CEO event in Edinburgh, Nigel Eccels of FanDuel, Bonamy Grimes of SkyScanner, Ed Molyneux of FreeAgent and Gordon Guthrie of Vixo were all immensely open and very giving of their time to young startups. Having that access to experience and knowledge is a great strength for Scottish based startups.

Also I believe success breeds success, when you have someone operating at a higher level to you it’s human nature to drag up your game to be on the same level (or better).


Scotland as a country has a great pull on people for many reasons, I assume the likes of our quirky food, beautiful scenery and fascinating history are some of the reasons (it’s certainly not our weather). This pull works on many levels, for example some of the most interesting startups I’ve seen in based in Scotland are founded by a settler in Scotland. Whatever the pull it’s capable of bringing in more talent that can bolster our startups and provide a fresh perspective.

Another way in which the pull works is it brings interesting folk over for events. Recently Turing Festival, Startup Weekend Glasgow, Edinburgh Tech Week all pulled in a crowd from across the world. This pull can be aided by the community as seen recently with Turing Town.


We might have a pull that attracts folk to Scotland, yet Scots aren’t put off leaving ourselves. There are Scots spread throughout the world and one thing common among them is they don’t forget ‘home’. In recent years there have been Scots in 500 Startups and YCombinator flying the flag for Scotland and showing just what we can achieve. First hand I can say the guys who have been left for the like of California are hugely giving of their time to young Scottish based businesses and are more than willing to provide advice and insight.

So there are my 5 reasons Scotland is a good place to base your tech startup, what do you think I’ve missed or that Scotland is missing?

Join in the discussion on HackerNews - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4478326

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