ONE Tech Hub hosts a meetup and fireside chat for would be tech product founders to hear about the upcoming Tech Startup Fundamentals programme
A key ingredient for a successful tech ecosystem is the degree of “connectedness” across the community, businesses and organisations within it. Co-location environments for start-ups and the social infrastructure such as knowledge sharing, networking, meetups and education need to exist in both physical and virtual forms to support a vibrant technology ecosystem.
This is a strong theme in the Scottish Government review of the Scottish tech ecosystem, led by Mark Logan, which highlights the huge potential for North east Scotland to play a crucial role in enabling country-wide participation in Scotland’s digital economy.
“The review’s recommendations align with Opportunity North East’s activity of to stimulate and accelerate the growth of a well-connected tech ecosystem in the north east of Scotland, with a focus on supporting and nurturing technology businesses from the early start-up phase through to fully scaled maturity,” said Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive, Opportunity North East.
At the heart of this activity is ONE Tech Hub – a place for founders to connect with practical know-how and expert advice relevant to their stage of company growth, access the best foundation start-up education and be part of a community with a shared ambition. Connecting founders with the right expert advice, mentoring, and a supportive peer community is vital to increase the number and success rate of start-ups and accelerate business scale ups.
Incubation and accelerated growth support for early stage companies is delivered by ONE Codebase, a partnership between ONE and CodeBase, the largest technology incubator in the UK. ONE Codebase brings together leading tech business incubation expertise with an international network of connections and investors focused on helping tech companies grow.
“When we opened ONE Tech Hub in 2019, we recognised the huge potential for the digital tech sector in the region and ONE Tech Hub fast became a focal point for the growing tech start-up community in Aberdeen and the go to place for both regional and national support organisations, including CodeBase, RGU, Barclays Eagle Lab, the Datalab and Censis, to meet, work and share ideas.
“The opportunity to build connections and attend meetups proved hugely popular not just with the tech community but also the region’s other key sectors who welcomed the opportunity to connect with the tech sector to explore ideas and put themselves at the forefront of digital and technology developments,” explained Ms. Craw.
“Fast forward eight months and the introduction of COVID restrictions led us to temporarily close ONE Tech Hub and stop in person events. Far from being the end of activity, the coronavirus pandemic proved the importance of community support and being part of a connected ecosystem. We pursued our ambition to be the heart of the tech community and working closely with partners, quickly adapted to offer a virtual model to continue to provide mentoring, educational programmes and meet-ups and much welcomed peer network support. The pandemic removed geographical barriers and we were able to ramp up our mentoring through the extensive CodeBase and Barclays Eagle Lab network and increase access to mentors across the UK”
Opportunity North East launched and delivered two new programmes for the digital sector during lockdown with 30 participating companies. EnergyTech, delivered in partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs and Codebase connects emerging digital tech companies with major players from across the energy industry to drive digital transformation and culture change.
Jim Lenton, Senior Vice President, Worley said. “Through EnergyTech we’ve met people we wouldn’t have otherwise met, been introduced to types of skills we probably would have sailed past. It’s really opened our eyes and we’re very enthusiastic about what this has created for us and really believe we’re going to get some long, special relationships that will help us and other companies.”
Also launched in 2021 The ONE Digital Business Growth Programme is designed to accelerate growth among established high potential, scalable businesses digital tech businesses.
Kevin Coll, Solab Managing Director, said: "The concept of encouraging growth amongst strong, established tech companies is long overdue as their success directly results in quality job creation that attracts and retains people in the region. With limited opportunities for business leaders to meet up, the creation of a virtual community with a strong supportive peer group of companies has been a key outcome and we are now connecting and working together beyond the programme."
Following 18 months of virtual activity and support ONE Tech Hub opened again in November offering hot desking, co-working and access to onsite and a virtual network of expertise with a full programme of events, meet ups planned for 2022.
Upcoming activity will include the launch of two new programmes for early stage tech start-ups supported by the Scottish Government’s North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF). ONE CodeBase Tech Startup Fundamentals will introduce individuals at the pre start-up stage to the key concepts in tech product development and support new business founders to move forward, while Tech Startup Next Steps will run for people who have made a start on their tech product idea and want to learn how to get to the next stage of progress and growth, and secure investment. For the duration of the programme participants will have access to hotdesking in ONE Tech Hub – joining a physical and virtual community and safe incubation space.
Ms Craw concluded: “The tech ecosystem in the north east of Scotland continues to thrive and grow. It connects founders, entrepreneurs and leaders of start-ups, established digital tech businesses and businesses in other key sectors to each other, to an international network of mentors and support, and to world-class tech talent.
“With a vibrant home at ONE Tech Hub and big ambitions for the future north east Scotland’s digital tech sector can look to the future with confidence – growing and succeeding together.”
Your privacy matters to us so if you want to find out more on how we keep your data safe, view our Privacy Notice or talk to ONE direct.