Over the past five years Edinburgh has supported the formation of 184 companies

Edinburgh 'emerging as tech hub' with record start-up numbers

Edinburgh University is emerging as a hub for hi-tech start-ups after establishing 44 new companies in the last 12 months, the institution claims.

The university's enterprise support network helped in the formation of three spin-out and 41 start-up companies in 2014/15 – a total that supersedes the previous best of 40 five years ago. It takes the total over the last five years to 184.

Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) – the University's commercialisation arm – said investment in University-founded companies has also hit a record high, with a total backing of £237m invested in the past year.

Recent commercial successes include spin-out pureLiFi, whose light-enabled internet technology - developed in the University’s School of Engineering - is being incorporated at the home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team in San Francisco.

Another is Krotos, which has developed Dehumaniser sound effects software for film, television and video games and was recently used as the voice of Ultron in the latest Marvel Avengers movie.

Grant Wheeler, Head of Company Formation at ERI, said: “Edinburgh is now emerging as the largest technology hub outside London and at the heart of that phenomenon is the University and its enterprise scene.

“Whether it’s from the world-class research base or from the student entrepreneurs, we're seeing new companies being formed here and in record numbers. More and more have the potential to develop further.”

Another high-flying technology company that started at Edinburgh is FanDuel, a fantasy sports league enterprise, with roots in the University’s School of Informatics, which recently secured US$275m and now joins Skyscanner as Edinburgh’s second company worth over $1bn (£634bn).

Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea said: “Edinburgh is amongst the most entrepreneurial universities in the United Kingdom. The first-class support provided by the University and the wider enterprise support network play an important role, not only in the student experience but in delivering impact for the world-class research coming out of our University.”

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