Why the new Glasgow Tech Week is a bold but welcome new addition for the city

Neil Wilson

Neil Wilson

Business Advisory Partner

The first ever Glasgow Tech Week will take place 13-18 May, to celebrate the innovative work taking place across the city’s tech, digital and creative ecosystem.

Edinburgh as a city has historically been better at shouting about its success stories in the tech sector, so this event feels like a tipping moment for Glasgow.

It’s the first week-long event of this type in Scotland and its introduction is a bold – but welcome – new addition for our city.

It demonstrates the momentum building in Glasgow’s tech sector and provides a real focal point for everyone in the industry to collaborate and discuss ideas.

Organisers chose to make it a week-long event following the success of Glasgow Tech Fest – a day-long yearly conference which launched in 2022.

Glasgow Tech Week will bring together founders, and tech leaders from Glasgow and beyond, with breakfast seminars, educational workshops and networking events.

One of the real strengths of our sector in Glasgow is how we look out for each other, and I know several of my clients have a real passion for supporting new talent in the industry to give them a step up.

In general, it’s a tough time for so many industries just now, with interest rates still high and firms often finding it difficult to close deals and raise funds in the current climate.

It emerged this week plans to redevelop the city’s Met Tower as a digital tech hub have been cancelled, which reflects how challenging a time it is, but there’s still a lot to be positive about in our sector.

Data released by Dealroom last year revealed Glasgow is the second fastest growing area in the UK for venture capital (VC) investment, rising by 211% since 2019.

The enterprise value of the Glasgow City Region Tech Ecosystem currently stands at £3.4 billion –an 89% rise since 2018. Glasgow-based universities have featured twice in the UK’s top 20 for most spinouts, and Glasgow University spin-out Chemify raised £36m last year to progress its efforts to “digitise chemistry”.JP Morgan have just opened up a new office here, and a recent sector survey from ScotlandIS found that almost 80 per cent of the Scottish tech sector is optimistic about the year ahead.

Glasgow-founded digital pharmacy startup Phlo, a client of our firm, recently secured a £9m investment round, while another Glasgow-based tech company we work with Kingdom Technologies has raised over £3m in recent funding rounds. These successes aren’t happening by chance.

Outside of London and Cambridge, Glasgow is one of the best places to start up a company and our skill base from the city’s universities and colleges plays a vital part in that.

Having a real pinnacle event for our city – and showing to ourselves and outside investors that we should be rallying behind this sector is hugely important.

The key now is to keep thinking bigger and I’m confident that Glasgow Tech Week will continue to thrive in the years ahead.

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