Jobs in digital tech increased over 3 times UK average 2014 to 2017

£1.14 bnDigital tech business turnover (2017)
BalancedDominant distribution of businesses by age (2017)
£118 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
213Digital tech business births (2016)
£1.3 bnGVA
9,704Jobs in digital tech
38,414Digital tech jobs


The city has a history in asset management and investment, but its real strength lies in its people. Edinburgh’s thriving digital tech scene is conspicuously collaborative, with a strong sense of camaraderie. CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech incubator sits at the heart of Edinburgh’s tech scene, offering invaluable knowledge to local startups. It is also home to CivTech, the Scotland-wide initiative, helping startups engage with, and solve, public sector challenges.

  • The city’s universities are furthering its ambition to become the data capital of Europe. Heriot-Watt University’s new Discovery and Innovation Centre is focused on computer science and technology.
  • Barclays and CodeBase have announced the launch of Scotland’s first Eagle Lab. Located in CodeBase’s Edinburgh facility, it will combine the innovative Eagle Lab model with CodeBase’s incubator expertise. The makerspace will offer rapid prototyping of hardware and IoT products, allowing startups to iterate as quickly with hardware, as they do with software.

Andrew McGinley

CEO, Care Sourcer

About Care Sourcer
Care Sourcer is the UK’s first care comparison and matching site for both Care Home and home care services. Care Sourcer takes the stress out of finding care and empowers care seekers to choose the best provider to meet their needs.

Why Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is an amazing city with lots going on. It has a thriving tech ecosystem that attracts some of worlds best talent. We are based in CodeBase, one of the UK’s largest tech incubators, with over 90 companies, which enables quick access to other founders and fosters fantastic peer to peer development.

National & International focus
I am a big believer in learning from people that have been through a similar journey and can share experiences. I try to maximise the network our VCs have and this had led to insight and learnings for me as a CEO and for the growth of Care Sourcer.

Founded: 2015

Raised: £500 k

Julie Grieve

CEO, Criton Apps

About Criton Apps
Criton allows operators to digitise their guest information by turning it into an app, operators can then integrate their guest facing tech, creating a guest portal through which they can also up-sell services.

Why Edinburgh?
Edinburgh was my first choice because of the talent coming out of the universities and the current pool of tech staff. CodeBase has also been very useful, particularly the network of other tech CEOs where we regularly share knowledge.

National & International focus
We now have customers across the globe and we carry out support generally by chat or email. Our sales team are based in London and again we communicate through various channels. I am in London weekly and I meet our investor regularly there.

Founded: 2015

Raised: £5m

Popular meetups in Edinburgh

We have clustered Edinburgh meetups according to their topics. Meetups with similar topics are attracted, whilst meetups with different subjects are repelled.  A full screen version can be found here. Click on a node, or search for a topic in the full screen version.

We have clustered Edinburgh meetups according to their topics. Meetups with similar topics are attracted, whilst meetups with different subjects are repelled. Please view this page on desktop to use this visualisation interactively.

Edinburgh meetup clusters: Web Design Linux Emerging Technology Cloud Computing Open Source

Source: Tech Nation, 2018; Meetup.com, 2018. Thanks to the Oxford Internet Institute and JSIC

The size of each node is determined by the number of connections it has with others. A large node signifies a highly connected meetup with many topics shared with other groups.

Community perceptions survey findings

The Tech Nation 2018 Survey was conducted between January 2018 and February 2018, in partnership with Streetbees. This year’s survey received the largest response yet from members of the UK tech community. In a total of 3,428 submissions, people told us about the opportunities and challenges their local ecosystems face, and the digital tech leaders they admire. The majority of respondents (33%) were founders and CEOs.

What Edinburgh startups say is a strength

1Helpful tech community
2Appealing area
3Proximity of a university

What Edinburgh startups say is a challenge

1Access to funding
2Access to talent
3Lack of awareness of local tech community

Who Edinburgh startups say is influential

Gareth Williams

CEO, SkyScanner

About you
I like the phrase tactically impatient, strategically patient.  I help by keeping us aware we are only complete on 1% of what we could become.

Unique to Edinburgh?
The initial tech community was based around Edinburgh University informatics department and much of the collegiate atmosphere has been retained.

Strengths & challenges
We started in Leith after the dot-com bust – so we learnt from Silicon Valley blogs and articles. That’s still important as well as leveraging a now vibrant local scene.  We also need to attract more senior leaders from US and Chinese tech hubs.

Tech Nation 2018 is now open!

Great news. All data featured in the 2018 Tech Nation Report is available online for non-commercial use by third parties.  The data can be accessed through the data.world platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work.

If you'd like know why we are doing this, check out our blog.

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