Scotland’s flagship startup programme has joined forces with the nation’s biggest business funding competition, it can be revealed.

Techscaler, the Scottish Government’s £42 million tech education and mentoring programme, will work with Scottish EDGE – which is backed by Scottish business mogul Sir Tom Hunter.

The aim of the partnership is to drive Scotland’s ‘maturing entrepreneurial ecosystem’ – allowing businesses that receive EDGE funding to also access Techscaler support.

Run by CodeBase, Techscaler provides courses on Startup Basics, Startup First Steps, Startup Next Steps, and world-class tech education from Silicon Valley-based Reforge.

Under the deal, early stage startups engaged with Techscaler will also get the mutual benefit of being able to receive support from Scottish EDGE, which was launched in 2013.

In the 11 years since its founding, EDGE has supported over 630 early-stage Scottish businesses with over £26.5 million of funding, and is itself funded by the Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government, and Scottish Enterprise.

It has helped Scottish tech success stories including TV advertising analytics firm TV Squared, which was bought by Innovid for $100million in 2022. Other tech companies that have gone on to bigger things include Ooni – the Edinburgh-based pizza oven firm founded by husband-and-wife team Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland and Amiqus, the compliance platform rated as one of the fastest scaling companies in Europe.

Mark Logan, chief entrepreneurial adviser to the Scottish Government, said: “By combining two of our more effective assets within Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we significantly increase the value of both.

“Alumni startups from Scottish EDGE can now access an ongoing development path within Techscaler, while Techscaler’s network of startup founding teams is strengthened further by these dynamic businesses curated by EDGE.  Relationships like this make Scotland’s network of startup support much more than the sum of its already strong parts, to the considerable benefit of our startups and the economy.” 

Barry McDonald, VP of Community at CodeBase, said: “EDGE has built a world-class reputation for supporting high-potential businesses and founders at the early stage, when the right kind of support can be make or break for ventures. We think we make a great fit for each other, with the overall aim of giving our startups and scaleups the best chance of success.” 

Evelyn McDonald, Scottish EDGE’s CEO said: “Techscaler has been adding real value to the EDGE applicants and winners through their range of training programmes, including Reforge for scaling businesses, and their highly-rated mentorship offer.  We look forward to strengthening our relationship to ensure we are jointly providing the best possible support for the businesses we work with to build a stronger Scotland.” 

After winning a Scottish EDGE award at EDGE8 in 2016, Edinburgh-based technology company Robotical has received additional support from Techscaler over the last twelve months, with marketing director Natalya Ratner and chief commercial officer Ben Henderson-Palmer both joining the Reforge programme for scale-ups.  

Dr Alexander Enoch, CEO and founder of Robotical, whose award-winning walking robot Marty is used to teach STEM subjects in classrooms around the world, said: “Being able to use funding from EDGE to recruit talented personnel created more time which, at all stages in the startup and scale-up journey, remains the most valuable asset.”

Electric vehicles startup, whose mission is to make electric motoring more affordable and accessible, won a Scottish EDGE award at EDGE18 in 2022, with communications manager Anna Brow and three of her colleagues completing the Reforge programme last year. CEO and Co-founder Steve Tigar said: “Being part of the community as we grow together is what I believe makes Scotland the best place to start and build a business.” 

Techscaler members Tax Torch, a Hamilton-based tax planning platform leveraging AI, and Looper Tech, a startup that develops software that helps manufacturers generate climate certifications for their products, were among the latest round of Scottish EDGE award winners announced earlier this week.  ANDMunch was also an EDGE23 winner in the Scottish Government-backed Pathways category, winning £75,000 for its online catering marketplace, as well as £100,000 being awarded to Edinburgh-based whisky startup Tailored Spirits Co.