Scotland snubbed as Tech Nation announces UK's top 30 tech scale-ups

Scottish companies have missed out on a major UK-wide growth programme to help tech businesses scale up.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 12:11 pm
Michelle Kennedy, co-founder and chief executive of London-based Peanut, a social network app included in the Upscale cohort. Picture: Contributed

Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs, has failed to include a single Scottish firm among the cohort of 30 fast-growing firms for its latest Upscale programme.

Around 70 per cent of the companies selected are London-based, with one apiece from Wales and Northern Ireland and the remainder scattered across England.

Tech Nation said the cohort represents “the next generation of digital household names”, with previous programme alumni including fintech Monzo, energy supplier Bulb and flower delivery firm Bloom & Wild.

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Upscale is designed to support international expansion and help tech entrepreneurs improve their leadership skills.

'Increible alumni network'

LendingCrowd, the Edinburgh-based fintech lending platform, was the only Scottish firm selected for last year’s Upscale programme.

Meanwhile Glasgow-based laser manufacturer M Squared Lasers was one of just five companies based outside of London welcomed to the tech body’s Future Fifty cohort – which supports late-stage tech firms – for 2019.

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Mike Jackson, entrepreneur success director at Tech Nation, said: “As we enter our fifth year, the Upscale programme has built an incredible network of alumni, including UK unicorns Monzo and Improbable.

“I’m excited to welcome this year’s companies onto the programme which helps to tackle key challenges founders face, wherever they are based in the UK.”

Tech firms featured in the latest Upscale cohort include Allplants, a vegan meal delivery service; Kheiron Medical, a machine learning radiology support business which helps doctors detect cancer early; and Peanut, a social network designed to empower women.

Liam Ward, who leads the Upscale programme, added that the scheme “helps some of the UK’s most disruptive tech companies solve crucial scaling challenges, including international expansion, hiring and retaining talent at pace and developing leadership capabilities”.