I’ve just discovered an interesting new site called Hired. It is very simple. It connects talent in the technology sector with employers in the USA.
At the moment it seems very small, but already has UX and UI Designers, Product Managers, Project Managers, Software Engineers, and Data Scientists. It also claims you will get between 5 and 15 offers in one week from some of the 700+ employers who have already signed up.
While Scotland provides a rich startup ecology it has very few multi-facing software products that have developed scale without US investment. There are a few very exciting products in Scotland that could be described as up and coming… and that nets a few jobs for skilled workers in this field.
Some of my friends have managed to net a US job remotely. However, that is rare and they developed innovative and provoking self-publicising schemes which on one occasion made the front page of Hacker News. It’s true that there is no shortage of Technology roles, and because the sector is so fast moving employers are finding these roles hard to fill… but what happens when you have an idea for an innovative software product and you want to develop a start up business? This will be very hard.
Scottish Enterprise has criteria for High Growth that expects around £400K in 3 years. This pushes some early startups, looking for support, to grasp at unrealistic goals for Exit. Most software startups, and particularly multi-facing products simply take longer to go through the early startup and development phase. Multi-facing products also generally take a large investment to develop their early market foothold.
Heidi Roizen recently told an audience of Girl Geeks, that when she invests in this kind of product, she expects to develop a relationship with her young business over a period of 10 years. So the mindset for investment in this type of product is quite different in the USA. The “£3-5 (million) in 3-5 (years)” mentality of the Scottish investment scene is killing young software companies.
Finding the right investor with the right experience and enough financial clout while fitting within the Scottish Enterprise eligibility guidelines is almost impossible. Scotland simply has not got the track record of supporting this kind of product beyond early start up phase.
I don’t doubt that we will see a number of young Scottish companies hopping over the Atlantic for investment in the near future. In the meantime, I’m quite excited to see how this new multi-facing software product develops and if it can offer some Scottish talent, new work opportunities, that are just too hard to get in Scotland.