Global Tech Advocates, the non-profit organization behind Tech London Advocates and other groups worldwide, has announced the launch of the group's next chapter: Tech Scotland Advocates.
This is the eleventh addition to the Global Tech Advocates (GTA) family, and the fourth in the UK, joining Tech London Advocates, Tech North Advocates and Tech Belfast Advocates. It's also the seventh in Europe, with chapters in Spain, the Nordics, and further afield in Silicon Valley and Shanghai, with three more chapters due to launch in 2019.
Tech Scotland Advocates is the eleventh addition to the Global Tech Advocates family. (Image: Global Tech Advocates)
Tech Scotland Advocates will champion the Scottish tech community among the government and other public or private organizations. The Scottish tech industry is developing quickly, with Glasgow and Edinburgh -- the country's two biggest cities -- having a combined turnover of £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) and employing 70,000 in tech roles. Scotland is also home to two of the UK's tech "unicorns" -- companies valued at over $1 billion -- putting it on the tech map globally. (See The UK Starts & Grows Most of Europe's Tech Unicorns.)
The group's mission is similar to other groups within the GTA family: support Scotland's tech leaders, entrepreneurs and tech companies, and create a sustainable network of volunteers to champion Scotland's position as an internationally recognized tech hub and push it even further.
The group will also focus on some of the challenges facing the UK and Scottish tech industries, such as Brexit, access to talent, and continued access to world-class investment and capital. The group will be co-led by Garry Bernstein, executive director of a portfolio in the UK and international markets; and Mia Dowman, an experienced tech entrepreneur and innovation consultant who is passionate about increasing the number of women in STEM-related careers.
A burgeoning tech industry may not be the first thing many think of when asked about Scotland. (Image: Pixabay)
Russ Shaw, founder of Global Tech Advocates, commented: "Scotland has already shown it can produce global tech success stories. Across the country there is a critical mass of academic institutions, young and ambitious talent and investors that are accelerating the growth of the Scottish tech sector. My ambition for Tech Scotland Advocates is to harness the campaigning power of the private sector to create both a support network for emerging tech entrepreneurs and a unified voice to call on government and industry to make changes that encourage growth."
Bernstein added: "Scotland's tech ecosystem punches well above its weight on the world stage. Our universities produce over 60% of the UK's data science graduates at masters level and Scotland benefits in spades from the innovations they bring to business."
He continued: "From Fintech and e-commerce platforms in Edinburgh to satellite technology and personalized medicine in Glasgow, gaming in Dundee to oil and gas innovations on the east coast, there is a rich diversity of talent and expertise here. Tech Scotland Advocates will be a galvanizing force for everyone invested in the future success of our tech sector."
Dowman also commented on the launch: "Tech Scotland Advocates will be a grassroots organization designed to serve the local tech communities across Scotland. I am keen to enable collaborative opportunities to develop across the network and build more connections for fellow entrepreneurs, leaders and investors at the forefront of Scotland's emergence as one of the world's most dynamic and diverse centres for tech innovation.
"Additionally, for the sector to survive, we need to attract and retain diverse talent, inspire young people and under-represented groups to enter tech jobs and careers. We will be campaigning to further improve tech education, career awareness, match opportunities with talent and make sure everyone benefits from the growth and success of Scotland’s tech companies."