Scottish Edge winners
The winners of Scottish EDGE Round 13 have been announced with Edinburgh charity Turing Trust, taking home the newly introduced Social EDGE Award.
Earlier this month, Scottish EDGE announced a £1m funding increase from Scottish Enterprise and last night 24 winners reaped the benefits with each taking home up to a six-figure share of the almost £2m prize pot.
£200,000 has been set aside for two additional prizes of £100,000 each of which will be awarded in March 2019 to existing Scottish EDGE winners who are seeking funding to scale-up or internationalise quickly.
The winning businesses came from 39 Scottish EDGE finalists who pitched their business ideas to an expert panel of judges, chaired by Simon Hannah of Filshill and Kerry Sharp of the Scottish Investment Bank, live at The Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre over a two-day period to accommodate the increased number of finalists.
The newly introduced Social EDGE Award of £100,000, which is supported by the Postcode Innovation Trust, was won by Alan Turing of the Turing Trust, a registered charity that reuses computers to help bring digital education opportunities to African schools. Collecting his Award, Mr Turing said; "We're absolutely delighted to be the first ever Social EDGE winners and can't wait to get started helping Malawian students learn ICT skills whilst training more Scots in IT refurbishment. This award will fundamentally change the scale at which we can make a global impact from our Edinburgh workshop. Thank you, EDGE!"
The Higgs EDGE Special Award of £150,000 was won by Holly Butler and Mark Hegarty of ClinSpec Dignostics who are developing fast, sensitive blood tests for early detection of cancer using our novel, infrared sample-slides and diagnostic software.
Stuart Lind, founder of Stems, a maker-based construction toy that inspires curiosity and opens up opportunities for active discovery, took home £50,000 as winner of the creative industry specific special award, Creative EDGE, which is supported by Creative Scotland.
The highest amounts awarded in the Scottish EDGE category were given to data management business, Platinum Informatics and flavour matching biscuit producer, The Drinks Bakery, each of whom received the maximum amount for the category, £100,000.
Additional awards of £10,000 were given to six winners in the Young EDGE category, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, with the Harper Macleod Young EDGE award of £15,000 going to Zsolt Stefkovics of Fellow Creatures, an innovative vegan chocolate company with a focus on indulgent treats suitable for those with alternative diets or dietary restrictions.
A further seven awards were given in the Wild Card EDGE category for businesses who have yet to commence trading, with Nikki Welch of Quechable, a digital training tool for the hospitality industry, taking the top £15,000 prize and the remainder receiving £10,000.
As the UK’s largest business funding competition, Scottish EDGE has awarded over £11m thus far with prizes given as a 40% grant and a 60% loan and a maximum award of up to £150,000. The loan is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success. Both the Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE awards are grants of up to £15,000.
Evelyn McDonald, Scottish EDGE CEO, said: “The past two-days have been the perfect end to an exceptional round for Scottish EDGE. As an organization collaborating with others to make Scotland the best place for business, finding ourselves in the position to support so many inspiring entrepreneurs is an incredible outcome.
“Congratulations to the inspirational winners and also to our runners up who worked exceptionally hard to get this far, our judges had a challenging task narrowing down the 39 remarkable businesses who pitched down to just 24. We welcome the entrepreneurs awarded tonight to our high achieving alumni of 313 previous Scottish EDGE winners who thus far have generated an additional £131.29 million in turnover, secured £108.33 million in additional investment and created 1,652 jobs.”
Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship for Royal Bank of Scotland said: “Congratulations to all of the 39 finalists for making it through to the last stage of the competition, which in itself is a tremendous achievement. These finalists showed that the calibre of Scottish entrepreneurs continues to flourish and the winners announced tonight are a wonderful endorsement of the exceptional entrepreneurial talent and spirit being cultivated within the Scottish ecosystem.”
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