Starting a business in Scotland you have access to a huge range of support from the public sector. The likes of Scottish Government, Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Informatics Ventures, Skills Development Scotland, Creative Scotland, Highlands Islands Enterprise and a stack more. Some of this support is utterly fantastic and unique to Scotland which is a real strength to our ecosystem. And yeah, while a lot of these agencies have their problems and some are utterly useless (no names needed) across the board we’re pretty well off in regards to public sector engagement and support.
However, for all the help the public sector provides it’s, in my opinion, insignificant compared to the support we offer each other at a grassroots level or as a community of volunteers or private entities. Here are some of the best.
CoderDojo Scotland is part of a global collaboration that provides free coding clubs for young people. Across Scotland, CoderDojos are run by volunteers and rely on passionate individuals giving their time to teach the next generation of tech talent.
Skyscanner is without doubt the highest profile tech company from Scotland. They’re also one of the most active in giving back to the local business ecosystem. The perfect example of this is Future Tech.
If you have questions about running an internet economy company, lean/agile working, legal, finance, computer science or getting into the tech industry - send them through and the team at Skyscanner will do their best to find someone within the company who can help.
Anyone in the Scottish tech can easily get access to world-class talent.
Founding any business is challenging. Challenging in a host of ways, but one of the least talked about challenges is founder mental health. Jamie McHale has started Solo Mental Health to be a collection of useful resources (apps, books, articles and videos) to help freelancers and entrepreneurs build positive and defeat negative mental habits and patterns.
It’s by a founder, for others. I think giving nature is something that strikes me a lot in the tech/business community here in Scotland. People are massively generous with their time and caring for their peers.
Something new we’re trying with RookieOven is monthly drop-ins. Every founder will need help at some point and there are a host of people willing to give it. But it can be hard to match up availability of help and when that help is actually needed.
The monthly drop-ins will run with regularity and a be a stable go to for help on a host of domains from experts in the community such as legal (Anoop and Andrew form Skyscanner), investment (Andy Sloane from ADV), finance (Stuart MacKay from Grant Thornton) and technical (myself and Chris from Add Jam).
As we build up the drop-ins we’d love to add more domains where experts can really help businesses in the community. I’m thinking, PR, HR, coaching, marketing and product. I’m keen to know what you’d like help or, even better, what you can help others with. Drop me an email with anything you think can help the drop-ins.