CodeBase sets sights on other cities in expansion

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Edinburgh-based tech incubator CodeBase has unveiled plans to expand its mentoring services to companies in three other Scottish cities – with openings set to be announced by the end of this year.

Jamie Coleman, managing director of CodeBase, which operates from former government offices in Edinburgh’s Old Town, said he was eyeing potential premises in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee, in a bid to help nurture tech companies with potential in sectors such as energy and gaming.

CodeBase managing director Jamie Coleman. Picture: Jane Barlow

CodeBase managing director Jamie Coleman. Picture: Jane Barlow

“Edinburgh is the mothership, but we would like to have a presence elsewhere to tap into the exciting companies that are coming out of other Scottish cities,” said Coleman.

“That would be a nice round off to the year if we could announce this by then.”

CodeBase, which launched just 18 months ago and has since grown to become the UK’s biggest tech incubator and is on track to become Europe’s biggest in the near future, now houses 62 companies employing 400 staff.

Coleman, who holds mentoring events and works to help small start-ups expand rapidly, said there was room for growth in other Scottish cities and said the urgency came from his desire to stop tech companies with potential from falling through the net.

“I want to do it as quickly as I possibly can,” he said. “The fact is, we don’t have time for a slowdown, because companies could die off. We have to find a way to help more companies.

“This isn’t about the property. The point is that it is talent spotting. It is the ability to bring this many companies together to work and learn with us.”

In an interview with The Scotsman, Coleman also unveiled plans for another phase of his step-by-step refurbishment of the 11-storey Argyle House on Lady Lawson Street, where CodeBase is located, and said he hoped to bring major international tech players to Scotland to mentor his tenants.

Fledgling firms at the site include security software spin-out ZoneFox, ­online training management specialist Administrate and Peekabu Studios, which turns pictures into online passwords.

Earlier this year, CodeBase announced a partnership with FTSE 100 outsourcing giant Capita, which invested an undisclosed amount in the company to help with its expansion.

The firm also in July organised Turing 2015, the Edinburgh International Technology Festival, featuring speakers including Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams and Lesley Eccles of FanDuel.