Young Scottish entrepreneur wins three awards in two weeks for start-up sports tech company

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FOR those of you who don’t know, VShake is a kinetic protein shaker with multiple mixing modes. It can be used to blend protein powders to make smooth shakes, as well as crush ice and mix fruit to create fresh smoothies. The innovative product can be used by athletes, gym-enthusiasts or anyone who wants to enjoy a shake on-the-go. Developed by VShake – founded by Jack Barrie, a young, Scottish-based entrepreneur – the company has received three business awards so far in 2022.

Over the past few months, Jack has been working hard behind the scenes to present his brand to numerous competitions. Now, a multi- award-winning business after not only winning the 2022 Scottish Edge competition, but also picking up Youth Entrepreneurship Award and the Best Commercial Award at CREATE Highland’s University of the Highlands and Islands Business Competition 2022. Having a multi award-winning business and product significantly enhances VShake’s credibility as a start-up company.  

2022 Scottish EDGE Competition  

The Scottish EDGE is an extremely prestigious funding competition which supports innovation and up-and-coming entrepreneurs around Scotland. Awarding a total of over £15 million in funding, the competition is sponsored by the Hunter Foundation, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and various private donors. After becoming a finalist alongside a select few other companies, the next stage involved pitching in front of a live panel of judges on May 10th, for which Jack was assigned a consultant from Highlands Enterprise to assist with the development. Having been aware of the esteem of the Scottish EDGE Jack was extremely nervous before pitching for VShake, however, his passion for the company quickly took over and the judges were able to hear the vision for the brand.

Whilst he did everything that he could to win for VShake, Jack was unsure whether this was enough to secure the grant. Nevertheless, reaching the finals of such a prestigious competition was a huge achievement and great exposure for the business. His worries disappeared when later that day they were informed that they had won.

“I could not have been prouder of the team and I for all the effort and dedication we had put in to getting VShake to that place” – Jack.

The organisation held an awards ceremony on the 9th of June, where all the winners were able to gather and enjoy a nice dinner whilst celebrating their success. Having the prestige of this accolade builds on their authority as a relatively new start-up company within the business industry.

CREATE Highlands UHI Business Competition 2022

The University of the Highlands and Islands Inverness Business Competition led by CREATE – the Highlands and Islands centre for enterprise and innovation – encourages enterprise by supporting people through the development of key skills and knowledge involved required within the business community. The competition can enable participants to maximise their potential and provides a foundation to start their own business.

From the 60 entries of students and entrepreneurs across the Highlands and Islands, Moray, Perthshire and Argyll, Jack was incredibly honoured to be one of the 8 finalists which were selected, each being awarded a share of the £8000 prize pot.

The awards ceremony was held at UHI on Wednesday 25 May, at which he won the Best Commercial Award and £1000 prize sponsored by Northern Innovation Hub, alongside the Youth Entrepreneurship Award with a prize of £500 sponsored by HBS Ring Ltd, The Apprentice Store and Jimmy Hendry master plumber. Arriving at the awards ceremony, Jack admitted to feeling a combination of nerves and anticipation, but mostly an overwhelming sense of gratitude for being recognised for the hard work and tenacity that has gone into creating VShake.

“As a small business in its beginnings, this type of recognition solidifies our mission and further motivates the team and I to continue working towards bringing our innovation to the public. To come home with not one, but two awards from the ceremony, I was ecstatic. There has been lots of hard work and busy days that have gone into reaching this point with VShake but receiving encouragement from industry professionals is a truly rewarding feeling” – Jack

Beginning of their Journey as a Small Business

These awards are a testament to the viability of their protein shaker and the hard work and level of innovation involved in creating VShake. With external vetting from experts within the business industry, the values, overall operations and core mission of VShake have been acknowledged and supported.

What the Future Looks Like for VShake

Winning almost £12,000 in funding will enable VShake to cover a large portion of the initial manufacturing costs which will make such a difference to the business; to know that they have the funding in place will allow them to move onto the next stages of production seamlessly.

Despite receiving these accolades for the quality of their business and product, as a team they recognise that being good is simply not enough. Therefore, they plan to take VShake to new levels by committing to continually strive to improve and provide an excellent product and service for their customers.

Jack would like to thank the competition judges and sponsors, as well as everyone who has supported their journey so far.


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