Government to invest in Silicon Valley training model as part of new network of ‘tech scalers’

Mark Logan, former Chief Operating Officer of Skyscanner, was commissioned by The Scottish Government to review the tech sector

A Silicon Valley training manual will underpin the education offer of a new network of nationwide ‘tech scalers’ for start-ups, according to government sources.

The materials – which help budding tech entrepreneurs in the US – will form part of the ‘world-class’ training resource to help Scotland’s tech start-ups develop rapidly into globally competitive businesses.

Five tech scalers will be established across Scotland, including one in Inverness, with the aim of creating at least 300 high-quality start-ups over the next five years. Kate Forbes, Finance Secretary, made the announcement following the Programme for Government (PfG) policy commitments outlined in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, and in the wake of Mark Logan’s, former Skyscanner Chief Operating Officer, review of the Scottish technology sector.

The Finance Secretary said: “Mark Logan’s review of our tech sector has attracted universal acclaim, having been described as potentially transformational by key figures across business, technology and academia.  

“The tech scaler network is the report’s centrepiece and I am pleased to be putting this recommendation into action to dramatically increase the quality and intensity of support available to Scottish start-ups. 

“Today’s announcement is just the start of our response to Mr Logan’s report and I look forward to working closely with technology companies to create a Scotland where start-ups can thrive.”

The tech scalers will deliver world-class training and mentoring for technology entrepreneurs while providing opportunities to network and share ideas. It is understood that the Silicon Valley training resources can sell for up £200 for just two presentation slides, and the government is looking at investing in ‘entire courses’ from the training provider concerned.

Mr Logan – who made 34 policy recommendations in his Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, has been given the green light to set up a new government-industry body to oversee the implementation of his proposals.

Ms Forbes is expected to flesh out some of the proposals in spending terms tomorrow when she announces details of a new ‘Ecosystem Fund’, which will make strategic investments in the Scottish tech sector with plans to establish a formal partnership with the technology industry to drive forward Mr Logan’s longer-term recommendations.