Scottish EDGE Awards a Record £1.8 Million To Twenty Four Promising Start-Up Businesses

The winners from Scottish EDGE 13
The winners from Scottish EDGE 13

The winners of Scottish EDGE Round 13 have been announced with Edinburgh charity, Turing Trust, taking home the newly introduced £100,000 Social EDGE Award.

(Complete list of winners at the end pf the article)

Earlier this month, Scottish EDGE announced a £1 Million funding increase from Scottish Enterprise and last night Twenty Four winners reaped the benefits with each taking home up to a six-figure share of the almost £2 million 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 6 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 £11 million 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.” 

Sir Tom Hunter, renowned Scottish entrepreneur and supporter of Scottish EDGE said: “Scotland has a proud heritage of innovation and through EDGE we’re seeing a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship developing. I’m continually encouraged by the ambition and ingenuity that we see presented on the EDGE stage in a day and age where an original idea is increasingly difficult to come by.

“We are resolute in supporting Scotland’s future leaders of business and that’s why this is never just about money, all entrants, win or lose, receive vital support packages to help them on their way and come back again to EDGE when they are ready to do so.

“To further that support, I’m delighted to say The Hunter Foundation will be offering every EDGE winner a leadership development programme from Spring 2019 onwards.”

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship for Royal Bank of Scotland said: “We are both delighted and extremely proud as a bank to have been a founding supporter of Scottish EDGE since its inception in 2014 and a key funder for almost four years as part of our overall desire to help Scottish entrepreneurs start, scale and succeed.

“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.”

The Scottish EDGE winners are:

Araminta Campbell – Araminta Campbell (ACL) is a creative textiles company focused on quality Scottish production with three key offerings; a signature range of hand-woven wearable art pieces; the MINTA interior range, both these ranges are uniquely made from 100% British Alpaca; Heritage – bespoke design and production management. Edinburgh | £30,00

Beringar – Beringar’s vision is to be the company that will power the move towards autonomous buildings by creating clever space that unlocks potential. Our state-of-the-art sensors use machine vision to detect, count and position people in buildings while simultaneously measuring temperature, air quality, light and sound levels. Edinburgh | £75,00)

BLACKBX – Customer insights and effective marketing campaigns that help brick and mortar businesses increase sales and returning customers all powered through guest Wi-Fi.

Boxergy – A Scottish startup with the vision to electrify domestic heating and reduce fuel poverty by offering energy as a service with heat at 1p/kWh, delivering annual savings of 7 tCO2 and £500 per customer. Boxergy accelerates decarbonisation of domestic heating whilst our business model secures the benefits for consumers.Edinburgh | £50,000

Clean Water Wave – A social enterprise developing a community-scale, very low-energy, water treatment system making it a long term, sustainable solution for rural or semi-urban communities across the world. The Clean Aqua For Everyone (CAFE) system is specifically designed to be simple, robust and very effective. Dundee | £65,000

Estendio – Present Pal, the first ever presentation support app to suit the specific needs of a dyslexic presenter. Present Pal works hand-in-hand with PowerPoint and provides all the information that a script does. A number of leading universities and FTSE have expressed an interest in Present Pal. Glasgow | £50,000

The Drinks Bakery – The Drinks Bakery is a premium snack food innovation business with the ambition to create more thoughtful snacks that are flavour profiled in order to compliment [alcoholic] drinks for an ever more discerning and brand aware audience. Every snack we create has a drink in mind and is intended for a prestige target market. Edinburgh | £100,000

FreshMex (Scotland) – FreshMex now operates a fast-casual style Burrito bar in Aberdeen serving fresh, fully customisable TexMex street food with a smile, that’s suitable for almost all diets! The now 26-strong team also operates a sit-in/takeaway food residency at a sports bar and boasts one of the most popular Deliveroo offerings in the city.Aberdeen | £60,000

Good Loop – Good-Loop has built an ad platform which converts 50% of an advertiser’s media spend into charitable donations. We run ethical ads for global brands like Unilever, Universal and Canon and consistently deliver up to double the ad engagement and brand uplift – all whilst doing some good for the world. Edinburgh | £40,000

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 – hand-crafted in Scotland and in limited releases. Kingdom Scotland approaches scent as art – using only the finest quality ingredients that the country has to offer.Edinburgh | £70,000

Oodls – The online marketplace for finding, and licensing real-time Instagram photos and videos. We help brands, advertising agencies and media professionals find real, authentic imagery and video from the entire Instagram network. We aim to reduce infringement of protected content by offering media at an affordable price. Edinburgh | £60,000

Platinum Informatics – Specialises in a suite of high-performance data management tools for laboratory facilities. We have created computational tools for the management and analysis of very large and complex data sets. The solutions facilitate metadata and management for asset tracking and instrument performance monitoring. Dundee | £100,000

Pyramid Wi-Fi – Pyramid is a Glasgow-based technology company which is developing innovative online freedom and privacy products. Our first product is the world’s first wireless unblocker. A tiny WiFi box providing a simple, inexpensive and lawful way to unlock your internet connection at home or on the go. Glasgow | £60,000

RAB-Microfluidics – Diagnosing potential failure of heavy machinery is critical to operations across many industries. Industrial businesses in 2017 spent £2bn on Oil Condition Monitoring (OCM) techniques. We have developed cutting-edge microfluidic ‘Lab-on-a-chip’ technology that delivers OCM analysis 1000x faster and 10x cheaper.Aberdeen | £60,000

Raven Controls – Provides an integrated real time event logging system which helps venues/events keep people safe and mitigate risk by using online technology. Raven provides protection and assurance by recording all levels of actions. Raven provides venues and events the ability to log and share site wide situational awareness.Glasgow | £65,000

Tenzor Geo – Oil & gas exploration technology allowing operators to de-risk their drilling decisions, improve drilling success rates and maximise economic recovery. Includes passive offshore data acquisition via ocean bottom seismometers and interpretation via our software, producing a 2D map with an outline of a hydrocarbon deposit.Aberdeen | £50,000

Teqnox – Common body protectors are bulky, restrictive and lack breathability, therefore many riders don’t wear one. The Teqnox body protector provides a flexible shell of protection around the rider, addressing key problem areas in order to create a product that enhances performance in the saddle rather than inhibiting it. Glasgow | £50,000

Triyit – Great experiences that drive great results. We engage the right consumers with the ultimate brand experience, in the comfort of their home. Helping them discover new favourites whilst enabling brands to gain deep insights, collect valuable user generated content and drive word of mouth that builds trust and boosts sales. Glasgow | £60,000

Trojan Energy – Developers of innovative on-street charging solutions for Electric Vehicles. Their patented Trojan connector allows users to charge without the need for street clutter and will help drive the transition to EV and deliver on the company mission of bringing the benefits of low carbon energy to all. Stonehaven | £50,000

Wootzano – Wootzano is a flexible electronics company which has redefined the definition of “flexible”. We have developed a revolutionary and patent-pending process that enables our first product, Nanskin™ – an electronic skin for robots that allows them to sense and feel like humans do with their own skin. Edinburgh | £60,000

Wowo’s – Detailing Factory Ltd was setup by Fraser Gordon in August 2015 with the goal of manufacturing industrial chemicals, specifically advanced nanotechnology coatings and formulas to be used in the automotive sector. In 2016, the brand ‘Wowo’s’ was launched, quickly gaining high endorsement from industry leaders. Kilbarchan |£100,000

Higgs EDGE winner:

ClinSpec Dignostics – ClinSpec Dx is developing fast, sensitive blood tests for early detection of cancer using our novel, infrared sample-slides and diagnostic software. Our lead application is brain cancer, and we are aiming to provide the world’s first cost-effective blood test for early detection of this deadly disease. Glasgow | £150,000

Creative EDGE Winner

Stems – Inspires curiosity and opens up endless opportunities for active discovery and fun. Designed to unleash imaginations it offers a level of creative freedom other toys don’t. During the 2017 Edinburgh International Science Festival Stems was described as “The most fascinating conversation your hands will ever have with your brain!”Edinburgh | £50,000

Social EDGE winner:

Turing Trust –  Supports education in sub-Saharan Africa by reusing computers and improving teacher training. Using ICT they provide skills development in the UK while reducing waste and contributing to an environmentally friendly society. Edinburgh | £100,000

Young EDGE Winners:

Fellow Creatures – Vegan chocolate brand producing indulgent dairy-free treats using protein-packed nut-based ingredients. The brand’s colourful and fun packaging aims to hit UK supermarkets shelves in the coming year. Going from home production to a factory setting, the brand will be riding high on the explosive interest in vegan and dairy-free foods. Glasgow | £15,000

Bug Bakes – The UK’s first dog treat made with sustainable insect protein. Livestock farming is one of the most environmentally harmful practices, and over a quarter of this impact can be attributed to the pet food industry. We are pioneering the use of new sustainable protein sources to make a product. Fife | £10,000

Colour Academy Publishing – A publishing company producing adult colouring books and flashcards as educational books for visual learners, who make up 65% of the population. CA will produce books to cover the citizenship test and driving theory tests, first in the UK and then the rest of Europe. Edinburgh | £10,000

MindPanda – MindPanda is helping to reduce mental health issues by providing fun and engaging products that help turn mindfulness into a habit. Glasgow | £10,000

Playerbase – A video game and eSports platform. We’re taking the approach and algorithms similar to those used in dating applications and applying them to the video game industry to create a complimentary matchmaking engine to find players and form teams – helping find the right team to compliment that player. Edinburgh | £10,000

Sofa for Life – The ‘Sofa for Life’ is a modular and customisable sofa which is better for you and the environment by increasing the sofa’s lifetime. It is integrated into a circular service, which promotes repair, component replacement, reuse and recycling. We demonstrate that sustainability is no longer a compromise, but an advantage!Glasgow | £10,000

The Clean Hub – The Clean Hub is where clean beauty and information collide. We help consumers save time and money by showing them what would be the best clean, natural personal care or beauty alternative for themselves, their family or friends. Never again play the guessing game with natural products. Edinburgh | £10,000

WildCard EDGE winners were: 

BGR Training – A bodyweight and functional fitness training company. We have created a gym that fits in the palm of your hand, and we allow anyone to work out anytime and anywhere using their bodyweight. We have the drive and ambition to become the market leader in bodyweight fitness training. Glasgow | £10,000

Charge Puck – Charge Puck is a product aimed at bars, restaurants, and other public venues, to give their customers the ability to charge their Smartphone. Using a simple design I have created a portable charging device that is robust and safe to use in public places. Glasgow | £10,000

Crover – Using the first ever technology for locomotion in bulk solids, Crover is developing a remote probing device for the monitoring of cereal grains stored in bulk. This will allow customers such as farmers, brewers and grain merchants to identify critical conditions early and maintain the quality of their stock. Edinburgh | £10,000

Nexves – Nexves is everything you need from a bank, but more than you’d ever expect. We are creating new rules and expectations for mass consumer benefit that offer more equitable mechanisms of reward, a comparative data product which enables you to save a fortune. Aberdeen | £10,000

Quenchable – We’re transforming the front of house experience from the inside by giving teams the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver a better customer experience. Our first product is a smartphone based training tool developed for and with the end user to improve drinks service. Edinburgh | £15,000

Riixo – Riixo™ have created the Recovery Cuff. The first cuff of this kind, designed to help reduce sports and injury recovery times. Bridging the gap between professional and amateur athletes. Edinburgh | £10,000

WashR – Our goal is to change behaviours of takeaway hot beverage drinkers, from “make, use, dispose” towards “make, use, reuse”. One-in-five daily coffee drinkers could incorporate reusable cups into their routine, reducing the UK cup waste sent to landfill by 500 million each year. Glasgow | £10,000

Subscribe to our newsletter to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox