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Sam Zawadzki

Digital businesses can't survive without a good internet connection, but that is only half the battle. Scotland needs connectivity between old fashioned businesses and the digital marketplace… 

As a wee nation Scotland punches above its weight in terms of economic growth, great thinkers like Adam Smith and inventors like James Watt leave a powerful legacy. Indeed Edinburgh is a financial hub that positively inspires capital. 

But the global market is a competitive place, as a nation what is being done to ensure a prosperous future? At the first quarter of 2012 Apple, Microsoft & IBM were among the world’s top 5 most valuable companies, giving a clear message: technology companies are the future. 

So what part will Scotland play in this Digital Revolution? 

Edinburgh's School of Informatics produces hundreds of highly trained individuals each year, providing a wealth of tech talent. Business support from E-Spark can provide free office space, mentoring and business training. Princess Trust offers mentoring and soft loans of up to £30,000. Scottish Enterprise EDGE fund and high growth pipeline supplies huge amounts of grant funding. 

With the ingredients for an internet industry, what can be done to create more success stories like SkyScanner? Can we improve the economic recipe? 

The digital revolution is all about people. Scotland needs to be training business leaders in niche areas like digital market, user interface design and social media. People need to network, share and learn from one another to build a sustainable community of internet entrepreneurs.

It is time to put Edinburgh on the map as an emerging technology hub, with growing number of internet industries and success stories just waiting to happen.

There is a huge amount of support available for startup businesses, but only you can put in the work to make your business succeed.

If you are starting out on an internet based entrepreneurial journey my advice would be, talk to people. There are a huge number of technology events going on; the best place to find them is  Talking to people about your idea really is the first step...

Sam Zawadzki is managing director of