Scotland’s tech startups working in the govtech sector will be able to access founder education services thanks to a new partnership.

Techscaler, the nationwide tech startup support scheme, is to work with CivTech, the pioneering innovation accelerator set up by Scottish Government.

The CodeBase-run service, unveiled last year as part of a £42m drive to boost the tech ecosystem in Scotland, will allow CivTech alumni companies to access Techscaler membership, ‘maximising cross-ecosystem support for govtech startups, while contributing to the growth of the growing govtech sector in Scotland’.

Steven Drost, CSO of CodeBase, said: “Innovation is already transforming the delivery of government and public sector-related services to citizens worldwide, the speed of transformation is only going to pick up pace globally, and the Techscaler-CivTech partnership is designed to provide an even stronger support system and playbook in Scotland for our most exciting and ambitious govtech startups.” 

CivTech’s challenge programme brings entrepreneurial tech innovation and citizen engagement to public procurement, improving public service delivery, generating economic development opportunities and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset within government.

For tech founders and executives, CivTech’s 15-week accelerator programme prepares startups for working with and winning business from the public sector. To date, CivTech companies have secured over £67m of investment, creating over 320 jobs, and in February the Scottish Government announced £46m of funding for CivTech over the next four years.

Mark Logan, chief entrepreneurial advisor to the Scottish Government, said: “ The CivTech-Techscaler partnership is an important element in our strategy to create a world-class start-up ecosystem here in Scotland. Connecting the services offered across all of our key start-up ecosystem enabling assets results in a powerful support network for start-ups that is greater than the sum of its parts. This accelerates both our rate of start-up creation and the subsequent success rate of these businesses.”

Through the partnership, companies participating in CivTech programmes and cohorts, as well as CivTech programme leaders and the organisations sponsoring the challenges themselves, will be afforded the opportunity to develop skills that will ‘fast-track ideation and growth of innovative solutions for public services’.

They will also be able to access a variety of Techscaler support and resources, including via  the seven Techscaler regional hubs across Scotland – in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen, Dumfries, and Inverness – as well as tailored mentorship, expert educational courses, and a community network of fellow innovators.

Richard Lochhead, minister for small business, trade and innovation, attended the latest CivTech Demo Day last week. He said: “The world-class CivTech programme is enabling the Scottish public sector to work with the most innovative businesses on solving the greatest problems we face. The demonstrations show how successful these ideas can be.”

He added: “This alliance  with Techscaler can help inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and create a cutting edge network for start-ups. This is another example of Scotland’s tech ecosystem being strengthened by partnership. It is exactly the kind of creative thinking we want to encourage through our National Innovation Strategy, which sets out our vision to become one of the most innovative small nations in the world over the next decade.” 

Alumni companies to have come through CivTech include early-stage or scaling start-ups like Amiqus, Trickle, GearedApp, Volunteero, and The Routing Company; established companies including Sweco, AECOM, and Buro Happold; and companies  like Symphonic Software and Homelync where the founders went on to achieve a successful exit.