We Scots have a long history of being entrepreneurial. We’re responsible for so many of the everyday things that we take for granted, like our telephones, televisions, refrigerators and toasters. We have made astounding discoveries in science, medicine and engineering: radar, MRI, ultrasound, penicillin, cloning, electromagnetics, insulin, anaesthetics, beta blockers, noble gases, steam engines and the Higgs Boson to name but a few. I haven’t even mentioned our impact on publishing, sport, and architecture. The list goes on and on.
While as a nation, we are great at inventing things, where we often fail is when we take the next step – the commercialisation process. At BioCity and our new £4 million MediCity Scotland facility, we are helping to address that problem. BioCity part of the Glasgow BioCorridor, a state-of-the-art former Merck Pharmaceuticals research facility, is not just a location for life science and Medtech companies but also a support network to supercharge commercial success. Our track record in helping to create successful businesses, is demonstrated by the 91% survival rate over 12 years at our site in Nottingham, over £45 million invested with a 6.8x return on investments to date and the largest life science network of businesses in Europe.
To help achieve this we provide a range of support for the companies based on our sites. For example, in our accelerator programme, we use ‘lean startup’ and the business model canvas to help entrepreneurs challenge their assumptions and develop their ideas. This enables SMEs to achieve their potential and become companies of size and scale.
Our entrepreneurs need support and Scotland has the perfect environment to enable them to flourish. When I think about the essential things that a company needs to become successful, I think of access to funding, access to facilities and access to a skilled workforce. We are fortunate to have access to fantastic research intensive universities – more than 40% of the startup and spin out companies in Scotland come from the university sector. When it comes to funding we have access to traditional lenders like RBS, right the way through to the Scottish Investment Bank, helping to secure growth capital that is critical to the success of our businesses. And for life sciences companies, there are excellent facilities here at BioCity Scotland. We not only provide high-spec laboratories and offices, but access to support and expert knowledge, helping early stage companies to grow.
For those innovative entrepreneurs thinking of starting your own business, the disruptive academics looking for project space and the eagle eyes investors looking to discover opportunities in cutting edge healthcare research and development, get in touch, you’ll be in good company.