Irishman Brian Corcoran moved from Spain to Scotland to set up his new visual content marketing company, Stipso, with co-founder Steven Drost. The entrepreneurs chose Scotland because of its lower cost of living, access to developer talent and vibrant culture of start-up software companies.
I originally had a marketing business in Barcelona in late 2000s, and while I was there I met Stephen Drost, who was running a market research business. As we were both in the business of data collection, we decided we wanted to do something together and saw the potential in building a powerful creative tool for the social web.
We felt that Spain wasn't the right place to build a business like this so we narrowed it down to a choice between London, Dublin and Edinburgh. Scotland ticked the most boxes owing to its lower cost of living and access to developer talent, where companies like Skyscanner, FreeAgent and FanDuel were attracting growing interest.
Growing our business in Scotland
We began building software for visual content marketing in 2013 to reflect the shift in web marketing from traditional paid adverts to creative original content. Visual content is getting a lot of traction in the marketing space now, and our software helps to ‘mash up’ survey questions and infographics, enabling you to create beautiful, interactive content that grows in real time as people engage.
We raised our first investment in 2013 and now have eight people from six different nationalities working for us now in our office in CodeBase in Edinburgh. This is a fantastic facility as there are around 40 companies based here, creating a strong software community which benefits start ups like us.
We are in an exciting phase now as we are preparing to launch our 'software as a service' business model and we'll be looking to do some more fundraising – so it's busy on all fronts.
Scotland is also a much more business-friendly environment for us, and it’s good to be part of a growing and supportive start-up community in Edinburgh.
Living in Scotland
I've lived in a number of different cities in different countries, but Edinburgh wins in terms of the high quality of life and relatively low cost of living. Even though it is a small city, it punches above its weight in terms of what's on offer culturally, and its proximity to the countryside is a big thing for me too as I love to get out and cycle.