Dundee’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
February 24, 2020
One of the concerns when planning a new innovation programme is always the regional context. Is there already a supportive infrastructure or will we have to develop one?
Lack of an infrastructure is almost always a major contributory factor to the failure of an individual initiative, which makes the occasional success story of a free-standing initiative all the more impressive.
Building Scotland’s first cluster of activity in sustainable mobility and low carbon energy is not a trivial task. We are very grateful that Dundee has a strong track record in developing innovative companies and technologies in other technology fields, resulting in a strong and supportive infrastructure that we can utilise.
Dundee has a long and successful history in life sciences and medical technology. The first spin out from Dundee University was back in the 1980s and the first ever spin out from the NHS in Scotland in the 1990s.
Trade sales, IPOs and a NASDAQ listing have all been achieved by life sciences companies in the city, with one of the most recent University spin outs, AI for drug discovery specialist Exscientia, having done spectacular deals including a £200m partnership with Bayer. The strength of the academic base in life sciences guarantees a steady stream of future opportunities to add to the 1000+ life sciences jobs in the city.
After life sciences came computer games. A long line of companies have come out of the award winning course at Abertay University or relocated to the city to take advantage of the talent pool, and subsequently broader development of software and tech in general.
Games sector stars like Outplay Games and 4J Studios, app specialists like Waracle and Kumulos and fintech startups like Broker Insights contribute to a thriving tech scene in the city, and as a result there is plenty of support available.
Law firms and accountants are familiar with the needs of tech companies – from funding pitches to IP, R&D tax credits to scale up; there are recruitment specialists who know how to fill technical vacancies; funders know their way to Dundee; and Scottish Enterprise, Business Gateway and the City Council are familiar with the needs of technology based early stage companies and have experience in meeting their needs.
We are fortunate to have such a solid supporting infrastructure underpinning our plans. So let’s get started.