Scottish start-ups join government-backed land and property data accelerator programme

From left, Jamie Henderson, Sarah Morrison, Oscar Van Heek and Martin Warne are the first entrepreneurs to join the Geovation Scotland Accelerator Programme

Three Scottish start-ups have joined a year-long accelerator programme aimed at creating economic and social value from Scotland’s land and property data.

The companies are to join the first Scottish iteration of the ‘Geovation’ programme, which is designed to support the development of new products and services using geospatial, property registration and mapping data.

The firms were selected from a cohort of 30 companies from across Scotland whose “high quality” applications went through a competitive process to demonstrate that their solutions would solve a specific problem, that they were innovative, sustainable and scalable.

Registers of Scotland (RoS) and Ordnance Survey (OS) teamed up to announce the first businesses joining the Geovation Scotland Accelerator Programme, a funded initiative that provides start-ups with support, mentorship and access to high quality data and office space. In London, it has been running since 2009 and is supported by HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey.

The inaugural ‘PropTech’ and ‘GeoTech’ programme will be based at RoS’ headquarters, Meadowbank House in Edinburgh and will support:

  • Folarity – Founder Martin Warne is looking at tools that will help forest managers plan and monitor their woodlands quickly and more effectively.
  • AboveBoard – Founders Sarah Morrison and Jamie Henderson are looking to solve the many issues that arise from the Scottish factoring market, providing digital tools to those in new developments, tenements and flats.
  • Walks and Waterfalls – Founder Oscar Van Heek is utilising Scotland’s unique waterfalls and wild swimming areas through the creation of a treasure hunt app.

Jennifer Henderson, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first group of ambitious entrepreneurs into the Geovation Scotland Accelerator Programme. This initiative will provide an environment for fostering innovation and creativity. It represents our ongoing commitment to finding new uses for RoS data that can benefit the people of Scotland and the Scottish economy.”

Minister for Digital Economy Kate Forbes said: “This marks another milestone for the Geovation Scotland Accelerator programme which is helping Scotland’s tech entrepreneurs reach their full potential. The quality and passion of the companies taking part is a testament to Scotland as a centre of innovation and leadership in technology and I look forward to seeing their projects flourish over the weeks and months ahead.”

Geovation accelerators have been running in London since 2015, creating more than 200 new jobs and raising £23.3 million in investment funding. There are no specific targets for the initial Geovation Scotland although it is hoped the companies involved go on to make a ‘significant contribution’ to the Scottish economy, but above all improve the lives of people in Scotland.

Alex Wrottesley, head of Geovation, said: “We’re very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to bring what we do to Edinburgh to work more closely with Scottish start-ups. The diversity and quality of the applications to the Geovation Scotland Accelerator Programme were very strong and this bodes well for the future.”