Published On: Tue, Dec 19th, 2017 at 10:42am

Scotland’s most promising start-up businesses awarded £1.1 million from Scottish EDGE

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Thirteen of the country’s most promising entrepreneurs have pitched their way to a share in a £1.1 million prize pot in the Scottish EDGE Round 11 Final.

Twenty two finalists, chosen from over 242 applicants from throughout the country, had just three minutes to pitch their business plans to an expert panel of judges made up of Rob Jones of FanDuel, Jo Bucci of People’s Postcode Lottery, Andy Lothian of Insights, Petra Wetzel of West Brewery and Majella O’Boyle of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Each of the thriteen winners, stood out for their potential to scale quickly and disrupt the market with impressive innovation.

One of the night’s winners, Anna Devitt of DirectDevitt became the first recipient of the Creative EDGE award, a special Creative Industries award introduced this round. Presenting the award, Rachael Brown of Cultural Enterprise Office said: “at Cultural Enterprise Office we believe that Scotland can be the best place to create, scale and grow a creative career or business. Scotland is a vibrant and creative nation, we always have been. Together with our Creative EDGE partners, Creative Scotland and Scottish EDGE, we are proud and delighted to present the first ever Creative EDGE award to DirectDevitt, a business with a true blend of social purpose and creativity.”

Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Scotland, said: “This has been a really exciting process that has allowed us to see smart creative ideas to be turned into businesses that have the power to transform the lives of many people. I’ve been really pleased to have the opportunity to see first-hand the skills, ambitions and creative purpose embodied in everyone who has taken part. Huge congratulations to Anna and I’m sure that all of these businesses will be winners in their own fields, and we look forward to seeing them all thrive in the future.”

The Higgs EDGE prize, a special award for high scale potential STEM focused businesses, went to uFraction8, a spin-out from Heriot Watt University, taking home £100,000 after impressing the panel with their ambition to commercialise new liquid particle processing technology.

Also announced were the winners of Young EDGE, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and Wild Card EDGE for businesses who have yet to commence trading. The winners from each of these categories received a share of the allocated £100,000 budget, with seventeen receiving the maximum amount of £10,000 grant funding.

As the UK’s largest funding competition, Scottish EDGE is awarded as a 40% grant and a 60% loan, with a maximum award of up to £150,000. The loan is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success. In addition, Scottish EDGE provides mentoring, training and access to professional support.

Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald said: “The calibre of businesses we’ve seen pitching today has been exceptional and our judges had their work cut out deciding who should be awarded funding. We received a total of 242 applications for Scottish EDGE round eleven from around the country, representing businesses in every sector. The twenty two businesses who pitched today demonstrated a commitment and intense desire to grow their business and create jobs and wealth for Scotland and I believe many will achieve this.”

Sir Tom Hunter, renowned Scottish entrepreneur and supporter of Scottish EDGE, said: “I love seeing entrepreneurs pitch an idea which they are incredibly passionate about, and attending the Scottish EDGE final is a real highlight for me for that very reason. Through EDGE we’re seeing a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship developing in Scotland, heeding our nation’s proud tradition as innovators. This is not just about money however, all entrants, win or lose, receive support packages to help them on their way and come back again to EDGE when they are ready to do so.”

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship for Royal Bank of Scotland said: “Congratulations to all of the winners for emerging victorious from such an impressive group of finalists. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation to continue to support entrepreneurial talent, develop Scottish EDGE and breathe life into entrepreneurship across Scotland. The 263 winners from rounds one to ten have, thus far, generated an additional £79.78 million in turnover, secured £87.87 million in additional investment, and created 1,204 jobs. We’re delighted with this progress and look forward to continued success as today’s winners join our ever-growing group of high-achieving entrepreneurial alumni.”

The Edinburgh area’s Scottish EDGE winners are:

BUBLBag: Producer of inflatable packaging products which provide maximum product protection cost effectively. Amount £25,000 | Location: Fife

Industrial Nature: Manufacturers of a range of innovative, low cost, insulating construction products made from left-over crop materials. Amount: £97,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Sansible Wearables: Creator of LiveSkin, a wearable sensor to aid decision making following force impact in contact sports. Amount: £50,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Higgs EDGE Special Award Winner

uFraction8: Creating design solutions for the biomanufacturing/processing industry using new microfluidics based technology. Amount: £100,000 | Location: Falkirk

 lil’POP: The Healthy Crop specialises in all things sorghum! Sorghum is a nutrient-rich, gluten-free, and drought resilient crop! Introducing this wonderful ancient grain to the UK with their first product, lil’POP: popped sorghum. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Casta Spes Technologies: CST is currently developing the Heliwheel, a recreational product that comprises of a self-stabilising wheel and camera attachment. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Kingdom Scotland: Scotland’s First Luxury and Creative Fragrance House, working with a Scottish master perfumer to bottle the essence of Scotland in high-end perfumes. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Seltza: A disruptive trendsetter that produces unsweetened soft drinks. Seltza also produces carbonated soft drinks that provide an alternative to traditional soft drinks and mixers. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Fife

The Young EDGE Winners are:

The Herbivore Kitchen: The Herbivore Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan friendly café which offers a mail-order brownie service and also hosts a five course vegan dinner every month called “The Herbivore Supper Club”. Amount: £7,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Alterwaste Ltd: A specialist in sustainable foodservice disposables and packaging made from industrial waste products, currently focusing on its product “Colleggtion” – turning eggshell waste into compostable disposable packaging. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

GETGUIDED: A b2b online marketplace connecting travel suppliers (Hotels and DMCs) with local experienced tour guides and tour guide companies. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Hemp Eyewear: Designs and manufactures the world’s first plant fibre eyewear. Using a leading edge sustainable technology, used by BMW and Mercedes cars, Hemp Eyewear has pioneered what it claims to be the most innovative frame in the industry. Amount: £10,000 | Location: Edinburgh

MicroSpray Technologies: MicroSpray Technologies’ mission is to revolutionise ultra-fine particle manufacturing for pharmaceutical and research industries using an innovative, simple and cost-effective spray technology. Amount: £4,000 | Location: Edinburgh

Oddity Innovations: A product design company with the aim of bringing innovative and unique products to market. The first innovation from Oddity is “pkt”, the reliable and efficient packaging solution for the parcel networks. Amount: £5,000 | Location: Denny.

Image courtesy of Sandy Young Photography

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