New FinTech hub heading to Edinburgh

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

21 February 2017

Entrepreneurial Spark is set to open a new FinTech hub in Edinburgh to help boost innovation in the sector.

The new hub will be based at Royal Bank of Scotland's headquarters in Gogarburn and is set to become the world’s largest free business accelerator. 

It will open in May 2017, one year on from the opening of the company’s dedicated space at Gogarburn. The aim is to provide entrepreneurs with an environment for them to thrive with the help of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme and the technological and financial acumen of RBS.

Entrepreneurial Spark's 2017 Impact Report details the successes of the businesses it has supported over the previous year.

The report found that businesses involved in the programme secured around £151m of investment last year, with a cumulative turnover of around £176m.

In Scotland, turnover reached a peak of more than £64 million. To date, Entrepreneurial Spark has supported 625 Scottish businesses, with entrepreneurs also securing over £48 million investment and creating 1,047 jobs. 

Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, said: “Our vision is to create positive social change by giving people the chance to grow and create jobs, and value in the economy. It’s really gratifying to see that those entrepreneurs have now created 3,152 jobs across the UK, all of them creating social change by contributing to their communities and local economies.

“Our partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland is such a powerful one and enables us to give hands-on practical help to start-ups of every kind, from that first spark of an idea, right up to bigger businesses needing to scale and grow. We also love working with KPMG, Dell Technologies and Harper Macleod because as the experts in what they do they offer so much to our entrepreneurs.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “The entrepreneurial buzz around RBS’s HQ when I helped open the new entrepreneurial hub in 2016 was phenomenal and really signalled a change in the way the bank is being run.

“I am delighted that the bank’s partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark continues to go from strength to strength and more and more entrepreneurs are creating great businesses as a result.

“It is vital for the economy that start-up businesses are given all the support they need to succeed and the combination of the bank’s networks and connections and Entrepreneurial Spark’s know-how is a powerful mix.”


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