Scottish EDGE awards £1.1m to promising start-up businesses

Scottish EDGE awards £1.1m to promising start-up businesses

They were chosen from 22 finalists, which had been narrowed down from 242 applicants from throughout the country. Each finalist had three minutes to pitch their business plans to a 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.

The thirteen winners were chosen for their potential to scale quickly and disrupt the market with impressive innovation.

Anna Devitt of DirectDevitt was 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 22 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 Scottish EDGE winners are:

Bella and Duke: A monthly subscription offering species specific, raw pet food direct to customers. Amount: £50,000 | Location: Perthshire

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

EBar Initiatives: Creator of the EBar device, an innovative, self-service beverage dispenser which pours the perfect pint in 3 seconds. Amount: £75,000 | Location: Aberdeen

Gin Bothy: Producer of Great Taste award winning gin in flavours such as Mulled Gin, Chilli and Amaretto. Amount: £70,000 | Location: Kirriemuir

Industrial Nature: Manufacturers of a range of innovative, low cost, insulating construction products made from left-over crop materials. Amount: £37,000 | Location: Edinburgh

StoriiCare: A software platform for elderly care, linking families with the care home workers. Amount: £100,000 | Location: Glasgow

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

T30 Fitness Training: Deliverer of Fatburn Extreme and GameFit - scientifically devised fitness workouts based around hormone balance and sports science. Amount £50,000 | Location: Glasgow

The Vegan Kind: Designer of subscription boxes and online supermarket specifically for vegans. Amount: £75,000 | Location: Glasgow


Higgs EDGE Special Award Winner:

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

Creative EDGE Special Award Winner:

DirectDevitt: Deliverer of the SQA Accredited course, Comedy and Confidence, throughout Scotland and the UK. Amount: £50,000 | Location: Glasgow

Published: 15 December 2017

Article by Ellen McGann
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