Eyes on the £1m digital media prize

CodeBase co-founder Stephen Coleman is championing Edinburgh's digital media scene. Photograph: Jane Barlow
CodeBase co-founder Stephen Coleman is championing Edinburgh's digital media scene. Photograph: Jane Barlow
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TECHNOLOGY incubator CodeBase has teamed up with a UK government-backed ­innovation agency to invest up to £1 million in Edinburgh’s digital media sector.

Under the partnership, Code­Base and Innovate UK – formerly called the Technology Strategy Board – aim to draw further investment into the city region, encouraging collaboration and networking to strengthen the sector.

The pair have devised a competition, dubbed Launchpad, to offer funding for small businesses seeking to carry out innovative industrial research into digital media, and are seeking projects that may be too risky for companies to take forward without support.

CodeBase’s co-founder, Stephen Coleman, said: “Edinburgh’s digital media scene is characterised by smaller players who, while being both nimble and agile, can be held back from achieving their full pot­ential by a lack of finance and network support.

“That’s where Launchpad fits in, and £1m in funding is going to be transformational for many of our young companies in this space.”

The competition opens tomorrow, and the deadline for video submissions is noon on 26 August. Along with the chance to sec­ure funding of about £100,000 per project, Launchpad applicants will be provided with help in raising external finance, with successful companies taking part in a programme of mentoring and business support.

CodeBase opened in March 2014 at Edinburgh’s 11-storey Argyle House, a brutalist edifice on Lady Lawson Street that once housed government agencies. The incubator, the largest of its kind in the UK and the fastest-growing in Europe, is home to more than 60 companies employing 400 people.

In January, outsourcing ­giant Capita threw its financial weight behind ­the hub in a move aimed at accelerating the growth of more start-ups.

The FTSE 100 firm said the partnership would also open up opportunities to learn from early stage firms and apply their technology to its own range of services.