Private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE) has led the development of ONE Tech Hub – its single largest investment to date – with Robert Gordon University (RGU) and ONE CodeBase as key partners. The ONE Digital & Entrepreneurship (D&E) board marked the occasion by hosting their first board meeting at the Hub on 3 June.
This unique ecosystem brings together leading digital tech business incubation and ONE CodeBase’s expertise with a wide range of connections and investors focused on helping digital tech companies to develop and grow. For companies across key sectors, the Hub provides a stimulating environment where they can connect with the digital tech sector to explore digital transformation.
ONE Tech Hub is also home to RGU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation activity – including the RGU Start-Up Accelerator, which supports teams of students, staff and recent alumni from RGU and North East Scotland College to develop businesses in a number of industries through training, mentorship and investment.
Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, chair of ONE and ONE’s D&E sector board, said: “We recognised the huge role that digital has to play in achieving the long-term transformation of the regional economy and this was behind the decision to establish the ONE D&E Board two years ago. In that time, we have invested at pace to build the digital tech community and company cluster.
“ONE Tech Hub will act as the focal point to accelerate the creation of digital businesses in North East Scotland, support our key industries embrace digital solutions to achieve growth, and enhance our entrepreneurial environment to support company creation and scale-up. This is crucial to achieving our vision of north east Scotland becoming a global hub for people and businesses that want to engage with the industrial digital economy.”
ONE Tech Hub’s city centre location provides tenants of ONE CodeBase with unrivalled access to coworking spaces, offices, meeting rooms, social areas and up to 30 hotdesks. For the wider digital tech community, there is a range of event spaces available to hire and the Hub will host a wide variety of business events, including meetups, industry networking events, education and accelerator programmes, and focused workshops.
Stephen Coleman, CEO and co-founder of CodeBase, said: "ONE CodeBase sits at the heart of the digital community created by the Hub. Together, we will provide a range of expert support for businesses in the region, from startups looking to scale, to incumbents looking to transform.”
RGU will mark the opening of the building by launching its newly established Creative Accelerator in ONE Tech Hub this summer, which is an ambitious initiative to develop and retain creative industries talent and start-ups in the north-east and support the growing cultural sector in the region.
Professor Gordon McConnell, Vice-Principal for Commercial and Regional Innovation at RGU, said: “The opening of the ONE Tech Hub is a significant milestone in the university’s vision to stimulate entrepreneurial activity across the region and create a unique and inclusive environment where new generations of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators can thrive.
“The presence of our start-up accelerator programmes will mean that our staff, students and alumni are based in the heart of North-East of Scotland’s focal point for creation and innovation, enabling them to interact with a range of talent and creatives and learn in a dedicated facility that will be a major asset to economic development in Aberdeen.”
In advance of opening ONE Tech Hub, ONE CodeBase has hosted a series of meetups to introduce the local digital tech community to the proven CodeBase incubation model and its Edinburgh-based tenants. Speakers have ranged from Danae Shell, Chief Marketing Officer at care comparison and matching website CareSourcer which announced an £8.5m investment earlier this year following its latest Series A funding round, to John Peebles, Chief Executive Officer of training management platform Administrate, which is backed by Scottish angel syndicate Archangels.
The seventh ONE CodeBase meetup in Aberdeen took place at the Hub on Thursday 6 June and attracted more than 100 guests who were given tours of the 20,000 square foot building and introduced to the diverse series of events planned for the Hub and entrepreneurship and digital tech facilitator tenants including ScotlandIS and AB15, led by Bob Keiller CBE.