A RECORD-breaking £1.5 million was invested in a total of 42 businesses with innovative entrepreneurial potential as the latest winners of the Scottish EDGE Awards are revealed.
Hundreds of high calibre applications were received by Scottish EDGE, the UK’s biggest funding competition for high growth potential businesses. After two days of intense pitching, judges faced a challenging task choosing the winners on the night.
One of the biggest winners at the awards, held both in person and online last night, was OrganLike, experts in developing hyper-realistic organ models for surgical training. The company received a total of £100,000 to help aid their revolutionising surgical training using synthetic tissue and augmented reality technologies.
Creag Dhu Ltd, which ‘accelerate ages’ single malt Scotch Whisky ‘Mashie Brig’ also joined the winners list, receiving £50,000 plus £75,000 advertising spend through the STV supported STV Growth EDGE Award.
North Uist Distillery was also successful, picking up an award of £70,000. The business currently produce their award-winning range of ‘Downpour’ gins and aim to expand into whisky production within the next year.
As the standout business from a circular economy perspective, Crack Map Ltd received £40,000 as the winner of the Circular Economy Award supported by Zero Waste Scotland for its ground-breaking and innovative non-contact inspection technology, applicable to various sectors.
In the Social Enterprise category, Social Stories Club received £50,000 for its range of food-based services that re-invest profits back into the community.
Scottish EDGE is supported by The Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and has a vital role to play in the country’s economic growth.
Keynotes speakers at the event included Sir Tom Hunter and Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, with opening remarks from Scottish EDGE chairman David Shearer.
Wild Card EDGE winners – the category for pre-trading companies, sole-traders and partnerships – received a total of £75,000 and winners included Danu Robotics which was awarded the top Wild Card EDGE award of £15,000
In the Young EDGE category for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, winners included Metacarpal and Rhizocore Technologies, who received the top Harper Macleod and Scottish Enterprise £15,000 prizes respectively.
Scottish Enterprise this year contributed an additional £75,000 to the Young EDGE initiative, enabling a further seven winners aged 18-30 to be supported, taking the total to 15.
Evelyn McDonald, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish EDGE, said: “It has been inspiring to see the talent and passion we have among start-ups in Scotland, which was demonstrated impressively through our latest funding round.
“It is a privilege for Scottish EDGE to support such exciting Scottish entrepreneurial talent and help companies and individuals access pivotal funding to accelerate their growth and development. This in turn helps drive forward Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”
Scottish Enterprise CEO Adrian Gillespie said: “Congratulations to the winners and well done to everyone who participated in this latest round of EDGE. It’s great to see such a high calibre of passionate entrepreneurs participating, and so many Young EDGE applicants securing funding in this round. I wish them all every success for the future.”
Paula Ritchie, Director, Enterprise, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is a long-standing supporter of Scottish EDGE and this year, given the inspiration created by Cop26 and the challenges experienced by everyone across all sectors through Covid 19, Scottish EDGE 18 has felt more important than ever.
“The standard and quality of the finalists this year made choosing winners for each category an exciting but challenging task. The awards have once again shown the quality of new businesses and start-ups which call Scotland home. It is crucial that organisations work together to create environments to help businesses and entrepreneurialism thrive.”
Sir Tom Hunter, Founder, The Hunter Foundation, added: “Once again Scottish EDGE has proven the absolute need that quality businesses have for growth finance but as importantly the amazing wrap around support EDGE offers, the secret sauce if you will. These entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy and alongside scale-ups will be pivotal in providing the jobs and opportunities necessary for Scotland’s Covid recovery. Quality demand from businesses far outstripped supply so our development agencies need to step in and step up with more funding.”