In 2001, three friends foolhardily decided the wake of the bubble burst would be the ideal time to set up a new online company. Like all good ideas, this one was hatched in the pub, and we officially launched Skyscanner in 2003. Now we’re a global business: 10 offices across the world, over 900 members of staff… but we started in Edinburgh.

In our early years we took a tiny office in The Bourse Business Centre, Leith. Now, Leith is a place of many wonderful establishments (indeed, most of our meetings took place in its fine watering holes), but back in 2003, it perhaps didn’t scream ‘Silicon Valley outpost’.

And what a relief it didn’t. I’m often asked if I considered moving the business to San Francisco. It is with great pride that I can say we’re a global company, born and raised in Scotland. It’s true when Skyscanner started out here, it felt lonely. Now? The technology sector in Edinburgh, and Scotland more widely, is booming. Sure, we could have hopped over the pond and attempted to fast-track success. But the whole crux of an internet economy business is that, by nature of being online, you can base yourself anywhere. So why not Scotland?

To misquote Sonnet 43, let me count the reasons why. Scotland has a reputation for academic excellence, and rightly so. We have close ties with the outstanding Edinburgh University School of Informatics, and universities across this country produce top-quality graduate talent. Edinburgh and Glasgow, two cities where we have offices, offer a high quality of living. But most of all, the community here is not only thriving: it is supportive, open and friendly. It is refreshingly free of rivalry. It is because of this inclusive environment that we can all learn from each other and continue to grow: as individual businesses and as a sector.

What else will help? Encouraging more people to take the leap into software engineering. There is huge demand for good quality, experienced software engineers, and a smaller pool than is ideal. That is true across Europe. We’ve had some great talent from the likes of Code Clan’s Coding Academy, but we also need to encourage the next generation to participate in STEM subjects too. And it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: as in many sectors, increased diversity in engineering is essential.

I’d also like to see gaining first-round investment easier. Skyscanner didn’t take any investment until 2007, when local player Scottish Equity Partners invested £2.5m. We very much bootstrapped the business until then and were lucky because our business model allowed for that. Not everyone’s will. The funding environment has improved over the past decade, but it can often be hard for start-ups to secure the investment needed to take them to the next stage of growth.

Lastly, on a more general level, I’d love to see an emphasis on global languages such as Spanish and Mandarin in schools, which will set our children in good stead for the evolving economy. I also welcome the extension of high speed fibre broadband across Scotland: the democratisation of the internet means that Scotland’s technology sector doesn’t need to be clustered around our largest cities.

The opportunities presented by our technology sector here in Scotland are boundless. We have the passion and we have the hunger to grow: let’s give our country the entrepreneurial environment to truly allow it to flourish.

Gareth Williams is a co-founder and chief executive of Skyscanner