Last week our partners at PwC joined us at CodeBase to answer some tenant questions around cyber security and what those starting out and scaling up need to think about (and when). Cyber attacks are becoming mainstream, regularly making front page news - you can even now buy botnets to instigate DDoS attacks. Colin Slater and Ross Foley at PwC painted a picture of train services, motorway gantries, automated systems for shipping being changed or disabled, with potentially chaotic results.
This week we bid a fond farewell to both QikServe and Zonefox, two fantastic companies who have been with us for the last few years. Both companies have steadily grown and are now at the point where they need more space than we can offer. This is the story we love to see - companies join, grow, and leave (giving some room for the next cohort to grow!).
Care Sourcer are the kind of company we love in CodeBase: they've got the domain expertise, are keen to learn and the drive to succeed. Following from their recent £500k seed round, they've grown the team (and their office!) and we took some time to catch up with them about their experience so far in CodeBase.
Andrew McGinley and Andrew Parfery, Founders, Care Sourcer.
McGinley: Care Sourcer is the UK’s first care comparison matching website. We have created a marketplace that makes it simple and easy for care seekers to connect to care providers, which currently doesn’t exist in the sector just now.
Parfery: We got into Care Sourcer originally because we ran our own care businesses. Together we employed over 400 staff and delivered over a million visits a year within care home services, and we really saw firsthand how the sector was in crisis and crumbling, and there were two main problems really. The first one was providers could not get a steady stream of clients outwith of low marge and local authority contracts, and the second problem essentially was that people looking for care, really could not find that care provider easily or quickly. So we came up with the concept of a market pace for care, if you like the ‘Right Move’ for care, and launched the UK’s first care comparison and matching website.
McGinley:The reason we came to CodeBase is that we had to start understanding a bit more that we were going to become a tech business. I did a tour with Oli and I instantly thought “I need to be in this environment to help grow this business”.
Parfery: Both of us are non technical founders, we have expertise in care but none whatsoever in tech and that was one of the key driving factors for us wanting to be in CodeBase, surrounded by 90 odd companies that are very focused on technology solutions, and we would say that we would not have made the progress that we have made had we not been in CodeBase surrounded by those people. The advice really covers the full spectrum of a startup and what a startup might have to go through and consider so, for instance, there are people in CodeBase who work for one of any of the 90 companies who are on hand and very able and willing and happy to share their time and expertise with you. From the former CTO of SkyScanner who’s on the same floor as us, to the people who actually work for CodeBase, and more specifically on that, they’ve been able to guide and advise us as to when to raise money, how much equity to give away in relation to that investment, through to being able to put high quality VC’s in front of us for us to pitch our ideas to. So there is the whole advice around the product and the technical aspect as well as how to actually grow that business and both have been exceptionally helpful for us as non technical cofounders ensuring that we don’t make big mistakes along the way.
McGinley: What CodeBase has helped us is to be ambitious and by being ambitious with this advisor we decided that we want to be the biggest care matching website in the UK, so we want the best, we need to work with the best.
Parfery: It’s about shooting for the stars, so it’s about realising that just because you’re from a small country doesn’t mean that you can’t be a huge company and the ambition to go and do that is fostered in CodeBase.
CodeBase is happy to announce the beginning of our new partnership with PricewaterhouseCooper. It's great to see to a global player engaging meaningfully with startups. This is a great testimony of the growth and success of Edinburgh tech product companies and a sign of the maturity of the ecosystem.
We are frequently approached by people who are interested in learning to code, often with the goal of kickstarting a new career. It's not difficult to see why - it's one of the most in demand skills in Scotland (and globally) right now, and this isn't set to change any time soon. Aside from the obvious benefits of great career progression and competitive salaries, perks such as Administrate's 4 day week are becoming increasingly common as companies try to attract and retain the best talent.
Turing Festival is back for another year, with early bird tickets now on sale! This year Full Stack Marketing returns, with the addition of a Product/People day to hear practical lessons on how to build a global digital product. There'll also be the usual drinks, networking and after party in the heart of the worlds biggest festival.
Get out your party poppers and prepare for cake-ageddon, we're two years old! It seems like only yesterday Alex Salmond came by to open our doors and meet some of the best and brightest technology companies in Edinburgh. Not one to be outdone, the week of our second birthday we had a visit from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and DFM John Swinney to meet and greet companies based here.