Edinburgh Apps has been running for two years, and aims to involve start-ups and students, designers and developers, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers in creating new ideas to benefit Edinburgh and the people who live here. The challenge pits teams and individuals against each other in a challenge to come up with innovative new ways to use data available from the council and its partners, in a way that brings value and new thinking to the city. Edinburgh Apps was the first event of its kind when it launched in 2013, and this year the contest returns with five challenges to intrigue participants. They focus on themes around health, sports and culture, which has engaged a number of participants working on their ideas.


The more stickies, the better the innovation. Fact.

This year’s Edinburgh apps launched on September 5 with a bustling icebreaker. Last weekend marked the midway of this year’s challenge, and for two days on October 4 and 5 teams and individuals worked on a variety of challenges and ideas. After a pitching event in the morning, participants gathered in thein the stunning Informatics Forum to hear from the council as departments involved detailed some of the thoughts behind this year’s challenges. The health focus was on managing behaviour and staying safe after addressing drug, addiction and abuse issues, and accessing information for patients with deteriorating illnesses like MS or dementia. The culture and sports department focused on getting people more physically active, and how to experience the many monuments and museums in the city in a new and better way.

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When we started chucking around ideas for Startup Cafe posts on topics that matter to startups, we mentioned the importance of health and wellness to survive the marathon that is Startup Life. That lead to the concept of hosting a regular ‘Health Corner’, where we discuss personal health and making it a priority.

From my own personal experience, overall health has a very direct correlation with my own success. Despite investing time that could be spent working on fitness, I have always found that time invested pays dividends in energy, focus, and confidence. So to kick off Startup Cafe’s Health Corner, I’m rounding up the top reasons for startups to live healthy:great-lakes-80383_1280

  • You focus better. A healthy diet has a direct correlation with cognitive function and mental wellbeing.
  • Endorphins are awesome. Don’t do drugs. Get high on endorphins. Nuff said.
  • Manage your stress. Best ways to beat stress? Sleep better, exercise more, and eat right.
  • You’re way happier. Exercise and overall wellbeing leads to happiness. And happiness leads to more productivity.
  • …And more energetic. Startups take a lot of energy. Like, a lot! Working out for even just 30 minutes every morning will give you way more energy to get through the day.
  • It says a lot about you. People want to work with people who inspire them. By taking care of yourself while working hard, you show your network that you have real strength of character.
  • It can bring the team closer. Getting outdoors for group activity, or promoting a healthy snack environment in the office can give you all something to work towards together (that isn’t work).
  • It makes you happy. I know I already said that. But it’s mega-important.

Most of us can do at least a little better with our wellbeing. So I challenge you, for the sake of your startup, to make one change this month that will improve your health! Run more, bring fruit to work, go to bed earlier, meditate… whatever!


CodeBase is the newest tech incubator in Edinburgh, and over 40 start-ups are based on the top floors of Argyle House. The building is an easily recognisable example of 60s brutalist architecture, and has housed a variety of tenants over the last 50 years. Now it is home to cutting-edge technology and innovative businesses in a range of industries who continue to make Edinburgh a proud city of innovation. CodeBase hosts a range of events, from technology training and business networking to art events and coffee mornings. Have a look at upcoming events here, or see what the CodeBase community is up to.

The biggest resource of any tech incubator is the people and businesses who work there. We’ve pulled together an overview with most of the existing tenants in CodeBase – as new companies join all the time, check out the CodeBase tenants on their website to see the latest additions. But first, check out our introduction to the many startups in Edinburgh’s CodeBase.

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How Not to Work From Home

work from homeI love it when I tell people that I work from home, and the response is always the same, genuine, “wow, must be nice!”. Even when the other party also works from home, we both smile and exclaim what an amazing work-life-balance we totally have. But we all know the dirty truth – working from home has an unproductive, pyjama-wearing, errand-running dark side. Here is the list of mistakes that I have already made, so you can avoid them. You’re welcome. Continue Reading »

productforge_2_avatar-01Are you a future entrepreneur? Get experience in working within a team building a Minimum Viable Product over at Product Forge later on in the month. Allan Lloyds, Founder, explains more:
Product Forge weekends are an opportunity for you to develop your career through practical experience. Our events bring together entrepreneurially minded designers, developers and product managers to nurture their skills, broaden their network and develop new ideas. 
Participants form small cross-functional teams who work on a product concept over a weekend. Anyone is free to pitch an idea and everyone receives mentoring, meals and 24 hour access to the venue.
The top ranking teams win prizes to help them develop their career further. But however your team ranks you’ll have a new piece of work to add to your CV or portfolio, dozens of new contacts, and maybe even an interview or two lined up with one of our sponsors!
For more details please visit http://productforge.io


Am I old fashioned for thinking that you should read stuff before sharing it online?

It is easy for people to share links to articles that they haven’t even READ! And it’s about to become even easier….

Buffer’s new product, Daily, is basically Tinder for Content.  Swipe to the right to share. Swipe to the left to skip. ( Tinder, for those who don’t know, is a popular dating app).

Sounds great for quantity but Continue Reading »


I was avoiding the topic of bitcoins fearing it would take too long to wrap my head around it. But it’s time I bit the bullet.

Like everyone else, I want to be able to answer questions like: ‘Are crypto currencies a good thing?  What are the risks and are these being adequately addressed?’ How do crypto currencies other than Bitcoin fit in to the picture?’.

But before you can form an opinion on these matters, you need to know what Bitcoin is and how digital currencies work. The problem for people who are new to the conversation is that the discussion is filled with vocabulary and concepts that are unfamiliar to many of us such as:

  • blockchain

  • cryptocurrencies

  • encryption keys

  • mining

  • proof-of-work

  • hashcash Continue Reading »


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