New tech scale-up initiative looks to slash number of company failures

An initiative to take Scottish tech businesses to the next level has pushed the button on a new course that aims to reduce the number of early-stage failures.

The Techscaler “Startup Next Steps” course will see founders and senior team members learn how to plan and lead their technology companies to the next level, beyond the earlier stages of customer acquisition and product launch. The new programme, which runs between September 12 and November 28, is designed to bridge the gap between the launch and early stage, and the scaling phase of the start-up journey. It’s a step in the business development journey that Mark Logan, chief entrepreneurial adviser to the Scottish Government, identified as requiring increased support in the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review in 2020.

Shona Marsh, vice president of programmes at CodeBase, which is delivering the Techscaler programme, said: “In [the review], Mark Logan shared how there are two reasons that start-ups fail. Either the start-up’s product or service doesn’t fit the intended market, or it does fit but the organisation isn’t capable of supporting and driving growth. As part of Startup Next Steps, we’ll be giving founders and their teams the tools needed to determine a strong plan towards and beyond product-market fit.

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“Supporting high potential companies across Scotland, the overall aim is to reduce the number of technology start-ups that fall at the early hurdles by helping them to cultivate a learning mindset, adopt proven playbooks and progress beyond the initial stages of market exploration to secure market share.”

Techscaler is welcoming its first cohort to the 'Startup Next Steps' education course.Techscaler is welcoming its first cohort to the 'Startup Next Steps' education course.
Techscaler is welcoming its first cohort to the 'Startup Next Steps' education course.

The 12-week course will take place in-person and virtually across Techscaler’s regional hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. It will include workshops from industry experts and tech founders, with learning materials and input from UK and international tech companies. In May, Techscaler launched its Startup First Steps course, intended for earlier stage founders, while the scale-up partnership announced with Silicon Valley-based Reforge in March is aimed at later stage founders and executives.

Techscaler member Richie Wan, founder of RefermyJobs, said: “RefermyJobs had a beta product with some initial users and the Techscaler Startup First Steps course really helped us iron out the finer details of the early stage start-up journey. Our focus now turns to customer acquisition and market positioning. We are looking forward to joining the first Next Steps cohort as it aligns perfectly with our current growth stage and are excited to work with the Techscaler team again.”

Course participant Andrew Williams, who is the chief executive of Fyne Labs, said: “Startup First Steps was a turning point for Fyne Labs, helping us to realise the right market alignment and strategy for excellent early stage product exploration. The energy and experience of their presenters was hugely valuable and I think everyone left feeling more positive about their ability to deliver on their company vision. Since completing the programme we have made great progress in finding product market fit and are very excited to scale our product offering through the Next Steps course,” he added.



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