What are the opportunities and challenges for digital tech founders in Dundee?

Kane Fulton, May 10, 2019 2 min read

What does Dundee have to offer ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs? We asked the following stakeholders and business leaders to find out. For granular data on Dundee’s digital tech ecosystem – including its companies (and founders), accelerators, and workspaces – see Data Commons.

Andy Campbell, Head of Accelerator at Elevator, says:

It’s a really exciting time for Dundee, with the reshaping of the waterfront and the opening of the V&A (a design museum) late last year. There is a real focus on design within the universities, local businesses and support organisations to embrace the benefits of a design-led ethos. The attention and inbound interest in the city is providing the local market with international exposure.

While it is a newly energised environment, Dundee is still finding its feet in terms of investment activity. Alongside this, access to talent remains a challenge. Skills shortages in the tech sector, and Brexit, are adding more strain to being able to attract and access the skill level business often need to be able to grow.  That said, the positives in the city far outweigh the challenges and we are seeing Dundee further grow as a hotspot for games, life sciences and biotech.

Debbie Wake (pictured), CEO and Chief Medical Officer at My Way Digital Health, says:

MyWay Digital Health (MWDH) is a University of Dundee spin-out company that aims to provide technology solutions to support people with diabetes and transform healthcare.

We now have a strong UK presence with contracts/product in around one quarter of all UK NHS areas. We are now building a pipeline in the Middle East (where 1 in 4 people have diabetes) and the USA, as our next step markets. Dundee is a city that keeps reinventing itself and is fast becoming a mecca for design, life sciences, and innovation. Friendly and easy to navigate, it’s a great place to set up a business.

We have received a lot of support from the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee and benefited from the wider ecosystem. The University is one of the best in the UK for student feedback, and a great breeding ground for future innovators.

Michael Carr, cofounder at GoRoadie, says:

GoRoadie modernises the ‘Learn to drive’ industry through a platform that allows learners to book vetted instructors while helping instructors manage day-to-day admin. GoRoadie is rolling out across the UK having launched in Dundee, Aberdeen, and Glasgow. The company is actively expanding across England this summer and has almost 40,000 instructors in the UK, a market it is currently focusing on with a view to international expansion in the future.

Dundee has a history of innovation: the first radio broadcast in the world was sent from there, and Grand Theft Auto (and Lemmings) were born here. More recently the multi-award winning V&A design museum opened its doors and has welcomed over 1 million visitors. Today, there is a real buzz in this city which is now known as the heart of video games, medical research, and technology innovation.