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

Kane Fulton, May 10, 2019 2 min read

What does Glasgow 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.

Michael Hayes, founder at RookieOven and Add Jam, says:

Glasgow is becoming a home for financial services and is seeing huge levels of investment from our leading universities. Strathclyde and Glasgow are building innovation zones that will touch all aspects of tech – from fintech and Medtech to smart cities and beyond. That will be a huge draw for researchers, academics, funding and talent.

I think local government has struggled with fostering a technology ecosystem in the city. Other cities in Scotland – Edinburgh, Dundee and Stirling – have worked to foster an ecosystem with investment in infrastructure and support that it needs. In Glasgow there hasn’t been that level of engagement with the grassroots startup community; rather, the focus has been to attract names such as Barclays, and JP Morgan, etc. As a city, the risk is that we focus on large corporates and ignore the plethora of homegrown talent and opportunity on our doorstep.

Mike Newman, CEO at My1Login, says:

My1Login is the UK’s most secure and most widely-compatible enterprise Identity & Access Management solution, one that enables organisations to mitigate password-related cyber-security risks, control user identities and meet critical compliance obligations such as GDPR.

We are headquartered in London but our centre of gravity is Glasgow. The city has access to a well-educated and highly-skilled workforce, with two of the world’s top-100 ranked universities less than one hour away. Glasgow is well-connected to most cities making it straight-forward to do business across the UK.

My1Login already have a number of international customers; however, our current focus is on continuing to build our UK enterprise customer base. It already spans the financial services, public sector, police forces and hospitality sectors. We will be expanding into other international territories over the next 18 months.

Chitresh Sharma, cofounder and CEO at Swipii, says:

Swipii is on a mission to give local businesses the tools and technology they need to compete on a level playing field with global brands. Louis (my co-founder) and I did our masters degree and found early angel investors while scaling the business. We realised Glasgow is very economic and supportive of early-stage companies – and getting support from the likes of Scottish Enterprise, while finding the right mentor early on, made us stick to the city.