from The Herald, 27th April
Up-and-coming Scottish software companies
are being given the chance to capture a slice of the
lucrative Californian market by locating in a new
incubator unit at San Jose, south of San Francisco.
The Scottish Software Centre was officially opened
yesterday by Scottish Office Industry Minister Brian Wilson.
Operated by Government
export agency Scottish Trade International (STI) and the
software team of economic development agency Scottish
Enterprise, it is Scotlands first overseas software
It offers temporary
accommodation for up to seven companies at a time and it
is hoped that it will allow Scottish software firms to
win at least an additional $5m (£3m) of exports in the
next two years.
The centres launch
follows hard on the heels of the opening last week of a
similar but larger centre backed by the South Korean
Government, which is only a stones throw away. The
South Korean unit is home to 10 companies, and this will
rise to 15 by July.
Also nearby, in an
international business incubator, are about 14 companies
from 11 different countries.
Wilson, who is this week
leading a Scottish Council Development and Industry trade
mission to California, said: "The opening of our
first overseas software centre in the heart of Silicon
Valley is a vital strategic step for Scotland.
It will help our companies
compete even more effectively in the valley market where,
in 1996, the top 150 public companies sold $170bn
(£100bn-plus) worth of computers, software and related
Silicon Valley is home to
about 7000 electronics and software companies and 11 new
ones are, on average, created every week.
The Scottish Software
Centres first three tenants, Edinburgh-based
Orbital Technologies and Aspects Software and
Clydebanks Marketing Management Services, are now
in the new incubator unit.
Services offers real-time market research information
through software and hardware products it has developed.
Software vendor Orbital,
founded in 1995, plans a six-people sales and marketing
team to cover the US. The company recently received $2m
(£1.2m) of venture capital from 3 i and Scottish
Enterprises Scottish Development Finance arm.
Aspects is involved in
testing "smart cards" - which carry data on
magnetic strips - and is collaborating with Visa
They will be assisted by
centre manager John Del Favero, formerly a world-wide
product marketing manager and strategic planner with
computer giant IBM, in setting up banking facilities,
researching the market, and seeking out new customers.
The European Regional
Development Fund and Local enterprise company Lothian and
Edinburgh Enterprise are helping with the ongoing costs
of the project.
The unit is the first of a
number of business centres which STI plans to open in the
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