Getting to know CodeBase

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You may recognise CodeBase from our Lab Bytes newsletter. They have been bringing you the very latest content to shape your business over the last few months. But who are they? What makes them tick?

We speak to Steven Drost, Director at CodeBase, who shares his experience of working in a fast-growth start-up and the challenges they have faced over the last few years.

Can you tell us more about CodeBase and what you’re most passionate about?

CodeBase is a technology incubator with physical locations in Edinburgh and Stirling. We provide space, access to mentorship, investment and business support for start-ups and scale-ups. We’re passionate about the latest advances in technology, trends in business and building communities.


Tell us more about your team

We’ve got an incredible team who are all hard working and proactive in making CodeBase a great place to be. Everyone brings something to the table, and we’ve got a diverse range of interests and attributes. We all share a passion for the community and the connections we’ve each built within it.

What’s an average day like at CodeBase?

A day could kick off with one of our coffee mornings, such as Creative Circles, which is a chance for the creative industries to connect with techies. This could lead to a UX/UI Office Hours in our Hotdesking area, alongside showing potential tenants the spaces we offer. In the afternoon, we often have one-on-one time for our tenants with either investors or mentors. We spend most of the rest of our time talking to tenants - understanding their needs and connecting them to the support they require. The day normally ends with one of our evening meetups, focusing either on a specific technology, marketing or business growth, normally over some beer and pizza. Never a dull moment!


What have been your biggest challenges to get where you are today?

The challenges we’ve faced have been the same that all start-ups go through - extremely rapid growth, implementing and optimising processes, and occasionally overextending ourselves. We’ve become very good at triage over the years, and spend much more time focused on projects that have a tangible benefit to us and the community.

What does the future hold? What’s the next big challenge?

We’ve just celebrated our 4th birthday, and are really hitting our groove in terms of what we offer and our expansion plans. We’re looking to open two new UK locations in 2018, each of which is coming with their own localisation challenges. Through the partnership with Eagle Labs we’re bringing our established mentor network to help other growing companies get the support they need, bringing in a whole new chapter of growth for us.


What’s it like working with Eagle Labs?

It’s been great! Trish and the team have integrated seamlessly into the community in Edinburgh, and there’s been a huge amount of buzz around the launch of the Eagle Lab. They’ve been great at working not just with the tenants in CodeBase, but also those from the wider community who have an interest in IOT and rapid prototyping. They’ve also been hugely supportive of the young people at Prewired, our under 19s programming club.

Tell us more about Office Hours – what can people expect?

The Office Hours are a chance to be open about what’s holding you and your business back, and what you need help with. Between the CodeBase team (who are all geeks for start-up content) and our network of mentors, we’ll know the right person to give you perspective and advice on the problems you’re facing.


What tips do you have for entrepreneurs starting out?

Embed yourself in a network that is working in the same industry as you - take advice from those who have recently built successful companies. Spend time talking to your potential customers, understand their pain points. Finally, always be learning. Lab Bytes is a great way to stay in the loop, but don’t stop there - there’s a wealth of information out there.

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