Codebase launches in Edinburgh – Soon to be UK’s largest Tech Incubator

Codebase has launched in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The First Minister Alex Salmond officially launched the new incubator on March 11th, 2014.

CodeBase is the newest and largest technology incubator in Scotland

according to the website of Codebase

We are based in Argyle House, a quarter of a million square foot building in the heart of Edinburgh.  Codebase is entirely built on private equity and our mission is to build and grow the next great tech companies.

Jamie Coleman, formerly of TechCube, is heading Codebase. It seems there was a movement from TechCube to Codebase which is in Argyle House. There had been talk for years about taking the Argyle House office space and using it as a technology incubator. The location is excellent as well, as is that of TechCube.  It seems that a management company, TechCube Management, has been established and this entity will manage the new Codebase incubator.  Jamie Coleman was recently interviewed  by The Scotsman.

Amongst an overview of his role and the new Codebase facility and model, Mr. Coleman addressed the lack of venture capital supply in  Scotland:

““I do not know who will build the next Twitter or Facebook but could we build one? Absolutely not. We do not want to. We will never have that year-upon-year of follow-up venture capital funding before they work out the monetising model. The VC cheques in Silicon Valley are seen nowhere else. It is not what we are good at.”

The Academic Entrepreneur has recommended a variety of policies and programmes to help solve this problem.  Mr. Coleman brought up another one, which is a 1% pension fund portfolio allocation to venture capital funds (presumably into a venture capital fund-of-funds that would then be invested in a variety of competing venture capital funds in different sectors).

“I am a bit of a weirdo. I was well-known among the start-up community,” he says. “The government should do what it is good at and it can be an enabler, but the pension funds here could help. Give me 1 per cent of what they have and I could change Edinburgh. Clearly, they are looking for less risk, but the government and private sector can work together to reduce the risk.”

He also referred to a match-funding programme in Ireland as well as a solution.

Largest Technology Incubator in Scotland

Codebase is the “largest tech incubator in Scotland” and “soon to be the largest in the UK“.

Codebase is also launching the Governments “Digital Skills Plan” with GBP 6.6 million in funding.  This will help build digital skills and increase the labor base, leading to more talent, and better, smarter startups.

I am attempting to gather more on Codebase, including its origin, funding, and model. This post will evolve.

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