Tech Nation’s 2016 report uncovered that Edinburgh was fast becoming the largest technology cluster outside London when it came to productivity. Let’s also not forget Edinburgh has the second largest fintech community in the UK.
There are reasons for this – Sharon Hamilton, the international sector head of SDI unveiled a few. Scotland’s education system seems to be world-renowned, with over 15,000 graduates enrolling in technology related courses each year. Lower living costs and cheaper offices are included in the benefits. But that’s where RBS’ new hub comes in.
Sure enough, it will be offering support to any startups residing there, but, as was suggested by first minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, it will contribute to the immediate need for physical space for the fintech community.
It’s no wonder then that the Entrepreneurial Spark facility is already being estimated to be worth £6bn to the UK economy – and its doors are set to open in May 2017.
“Fintech has huge potential for our economy so it is essential that these entrepreneurs are given all the support they need to ensure Scotland is at the heart of the fintech revolution,” explained Louise Smith, RBS head of design and HMT fintech ambassador.
With the backing of both the UK and Scottish government behind it, the hub was cited as the first of its kind, set to become a “centre of excellence” for Scotland’s fintech community.
“The specialist hub will bring together industry leaders and networks and marry them with Entrepreneurial Spark’s tried and tested approach to build, grow and scale businesses,” claimed Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark.
“This will be a key milestone in Scotland’s journey towards its ambition of being a world leader in fintech and innovation. Fintech entrepreneurs will benefit from Entrepreneurial Spark’s hugely successful enablement programme as well as Royal Bank of Scotland’s tech expertise and networks.”