Thirty-six Scottish entrepreneurs are celebrating this weekend after landing over £1million in business funding and prizes at the Scottish EDGE awards.
The overall winners scooped £900,000 after a gruelling Dragons’ Den-style finals day to select the most promising start-up businesses that will bring the maximum return for the Scottish economy in terms of growth and jobs. A further £75,000 was awarded to 11 Young EDGE (founders under 30 years old) winners and £100,000 to 11 Wild Card EDGE awards (early-stage businesses) winners who also collected their trophies at the gala event in the evening.
Scottish EDGE chairman David Shearer, who headed a panel of top business figures judging the entries, said: “We heard from many excellent businesses throughout this funding round and those which have been selected to receive funding are the cream of the crop.
“Young businesses in the growth phase are the engine of the economy and we are delighted to be able to support the most promising of these firms with the funding they need to thrive. Many have ambitious plans that our funding injection will set in motion immediately.
“The quality of the enterprises we saw on Friday bodes very well for the future of the Scottish economy, and I’m sure that many of our finalists are destined to become well known as they grow and generate wealth and jobs.”
The funding competition, aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s top early-stage and high growth potential entrepreneurs, received more than 250 hopeful applicants, which were whittled down over several rounds to leave 26 in Friday’s final.
The 16 winning businesses were:
- £45k – Beer52.com – the UK’s no. 1 craft beer club which links small craft breweries with craft beer fans across the UK.
- £100k – Carbon Black System Ltd – a company which provides customers with high-tech custom-built stylish carbon fibre wheelchairs.
- £50k – CLDB – a company which provides off-site manufactured, cost-effective, low energy building using natural materials.
- £100k – Freedom One Life Ltd – a company which designs and manufactures a new generation of power wheelchairs.
- £30k – Geek Retreat – a comic book store and gaming café aimed at “Geeks”.
- £75k – Helson and Jackets LLP – 3D 360-degree video display, that creates full moving video objects that appear to float in space.
- £40k – Hidden Armada – a start-up which is currently developing a PC game called Mutiny, where your phone becomes your controller.
- £50k – Ibisvision Limited – developed “RingOfSight” – a revolutionary software-based system for diagnosis of glaucoma.
- £50k – Katy Rodger’s Artisan Dairy – a company which produces a range of dairy products including Ice cream and yoghurt from their family farm.
- £65k – Medicine Devise Limited – a company which developed a new medical sterilised catheter device called “Steriderm”.
- £40k – Nutrifiz Ltd- the world’s first effervescent wheatgrass tablet.
- £30k – Orwell and Goode – a lifestyle brand creating innovative textile-based products including cushions and wallpaper.
- £65k – RiCo Developments t/a Recipop- an app which allows brands to add promotional products to their customer’s online supermarket basket.
- £50k – Shot Scope Technologies Ltd – wearable technology that automatically collects scoring and statistical data for golfers.
- £50k – The Wee Tea Plantation Limited – Scotland’s only tea plantation which counts Kensington Palace and Balmoral Hotel as customers.
- £65k – VH Innovation Ltd – designed the “Recoil Kneepad” – new more comfortable and protective kneepad design.
The awards were presented by Sir Tom Hunter at a glittering ceremony celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship at the RBS Conference Centre, Gogarburn, Edinburgh.
The judging panel consisted of Scottish EDGE chairman David Shearer; Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s director of regional development Carroll Buxton; Carol Graham of Graham’s Family Dairy; Royal Bank of Scotland HR chief Elaine Arden; and David Sneddon of Scottish Equity Partnership.
The entrepreneurs and attendees on the day also heard from BrewDog co-founder James Watt, who told of how the hugely successful Scottish craft beer company grew from a simple idea in 2007 to the expanding international business it is today.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Congratulations to the Round 6 winners of the Scottish EDGE. They demonstrate the strength of entrepreneurial talent emerging in Scotland. The talent that is helped by competitions such as this and by the range of high-quality support across public, private and third sectors. I applaud the CAN DO spirit of all the entrants to this year’s competition. Their positive attitude reinforces Scotland’s position as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship, Royal Bank of Scotland & NatWest, said: “Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy and make a significant contribution in terms of employment and wealth creation. The Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to continue to support the Scottish EDGE as it plays an important role in promoting and supporting entrepreneurialism in Scotland.
“Starting your own business is becoming increasingly popular and The Royal Bank of Scotland is determined to play a major role in supporting and helping entrepreneurs fulfil their dreams.
“Growing the economy by helping start-up businesses is crucial and that is why The Royal Bank of Scotland is working with organisations such as Scottish EDGE, Entrepreneurial Spark, The Hunter Foundation, Scottish Enterprise, HIE, Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland and Business Gateway as well as Scottish Government to ensure that people are given the best possible chance of success.
“Once again, the quality of the finalists has been superb and the judging panel had to work hard to decide on the eventual winners. Each winner is a proud reflection of the entrepreneurial talent that exists within the Scottish business community and the ecosystem.”
Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Our congratulations go to all of the award winners and finalists and we wish them well as their businesses grow and develop. Business Gateway supports thousands of SMEs across Scotland every year and we are delighted to see so many of our clients securing important funding from the Scottish Edge Awards that will help them on the road to fulfilling their aspirations.”
Eleanor Mitchell, Director of High Growth Ventures, Scottish Enterprise, said: “The Scottish EDGE awards encourages and supports Scotland’s expanding base of entrepreneurial activity. Past winners have used the award to recruit new team members, fund their marketing activities, translate their ideas into products and expand their sales and they’re demonstrating strong growth.
“Providing companies with access to new sources of early-stage growth finance is vital and the Scottish EDGE helps to fill this gap, complementing existing grants and investment products that support Scotland’s entrepreneurs to realise their ambitions and to build sustainable businesses.”