Following an extensive, country-wide search to find Scotland’s next great start-up businesses, twenty promising entrepreneurs pitched their businesses plans to an expert panel of judges in order to win a slice of a £1.3 million prize pot. The panel of judges, which was chaired by Brian McBride, Chairman of ASOS, chose twelve of the businesses as winners on the day. Also announced were winners of Higgs EDGE, which seeks to identify innovative science and technology businesses with global commercialisation potential, Young EDGE, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and Wild Card EDGE for businesses who have yet to commence trading.
As the UK’s largest funding competition, Scottish EDGE is awarded as a 50% grant and a 50% loan, with 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 £10,000. In addition, Scottish EDGE provides mentoring, training and access to professional support.
One of the night’s biggest winners was Corien Staels of Staels Design. Upon receiving her award, the previous Young EDGE winner stated; “Staels Design is extremely proud to accept the award of £100,000 for the continued development of WheelAir, the revolutionary backrest for all wheelchair users to help regulate body temperature. This award does not just change our lives, but potentially the lives of every wheelchair user, Worldwide”.
Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald said: “I really do feel privileged to be celebrating our tenth round at a time when Scotland is building one of the most exciting startup ecosystems in the world. The pace and intensity with which our competition evolves between each round is reflective of the growing number of innovative businesses being created in Scotland.
“We received a total of 240 applications for Scottish EDGE round ten from around the country, representing businesses in every sector. The twenty 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. For those who didn’t win this time around, it’s not a closed door. Over fifty percent of our winners to date are returning entrants as, we encourage both previous and new applicants to apply for Scottish EDGE funding and support. After a short period of getting our new winners initiated into the EDGE Alumni support network, we’ll be jumping straight back in as we begin preparations for round eleven, opening our application window at the end of July, 2017.”
Gordon Merrylees, Scottish EDGE board member and Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, commented; “Running the Scottish EDGE competition bi-annually means that even at ten rounds in, it’s still a young company, which makes our huge impact on Scotland’s economy all the more significant. The 234 winners from rounds one to nine have, thus far, generated an additional £57.23 million in turnover, secured £55.17 million in additional investment, and created 981 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”.
Sir Tom Hunter, renowned Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist, said; “I still get excited seeing entrepreneurs pitch an idea which they are incredibly passionate about, and we’ve seen plenty of that today. The impact Scottish EDGE has had over its four years shows me that the competition works. We set out to identify and support the innovators of today and the job creators of tomorrow, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
“Several of Scotland’s truly global businesses have pitched on the same stage as today’s winners and are creating a virtuous circle where success supports success through their commitment to Scottish EDGE’s pay-it-forward scheme, the EDGE Pledge where entrepreneurs help one another and ultimately Scotland wins out. I congratulate all winners and commend all the entrants for their commitment to building great entrepreneurial businesses.”
The Scottish EDGE winners are:
Actiph Water – Producing, marketing and selling an alkaline ionised bottled water which is the first of its kind in Europe. Our water is different to any other water for the following reasons; Alkaline – Bottled at pH 10 is the most alkaline water in the world; Antioxidant – Is the most powerful antioxidant on the market (over 5x as powerful as green tea); Hydration – Hydrates faster than any spring/mineral water due to the ionisation process changing the structure and memory of water by reducing the micro-clustering. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £40,000
Distilled Solutions – Develops and integrates state of the art chemical sensing and photonics technology into the distilling industry to create applications to detect counterfeit spirits. It is estimated counterfeit Scotch whisky costs the industry £500m a year and in some cases has caused death through Methanol poisoning. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £90,000
GK-Un Limited – GK-UN Limited is a Goalkeeper specific sportswear business within the Football sector. We have developed and launched a collection of Goalkeeper gloves that provide performance advantages to our customers. This differentiates our products from others on the market, and delivers on our mission; To make the life of a goalkeeper easier with everything we do. From: Glasgow | Amount: £90,000
Hermes Apps t/a Beezer – SaaS platform that allows SMEs to build, publish and manage an App quickly, cost effectively using our plugin and styling marketplace with no coding or App store approval required. Our game-changing USP allows anyone with a BEEZER App to Share the App instantly across hitherto incompatible platforms/devices. From: Stirling | Amount: £30,000
MIME Technologies – MIME Technologies design innovative software to support international first response on the frontline of emergency care. Our solutions use Bluetooth® sensors to enable real-time monitoring of vital signs helping identify patient deterioration or improvement. We capture, report and communicate on-scene patient data. Our mission is to help revolutionise frontline care. From: Inverness | Amount: £80,000
My Way Digital Health – Diabetes is a growing health problem. MyDiabetesMyWay (MDMW) is a multi-award winning, cost saving online data-driven self-management portal for people with diabetes, developed by University of Dundee with >25,000 registrants across Scotland. Spin out company, MyWay Digital Health aims to realise its global commercial potential and improve healthcare outcomes internationally. From: Dundee | Amount: £80,000
Neatebox – Neatebox is an inclusive solutions led company which focuses on creating and providing products that improve the quality of life for specific users but which ultimately aims to provide and support an inclusive society. We are keen to promote this as an industry standard that others should adopt. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £35,000
Ratagon – Millions of rats swarm the earth carrying disease, eating our food and damaging our homes yet barbaric trapping methods have remained unchanged. Using cutting-edge science and innovative technology we have invented, tested and patented an ethical, painless trapping device that using no poisons, brings trapping into the 21st century. From: Ayrshire | Amount: £60,000
Sonik Pocket – Sonik Pocket is an innovative, multiple revenue generating, online education and shopping platform for children that supports financial learning, in a fun, safe and secure environment. From: Glasgow | Amount: £36,000 (£26k Scottish EDGE + 10k Wild Card EDGE)
Staels Design – Staels Design was formed to meet unmet needs in rehabilitation product design and aims to be the centre of expertise of heating and cooling in the healthcare industry, actively preventing the formation of pressure ulcers. The company’s first product, ‘WheelAir®’, seeks to alleviate a number of pain points currently faced by wheelchair users. From: Glasgow | Amount: £100,000
The People’s Energy Company – People’s Energy is an innovative supplier of gas and electricity to the UK domestic market. We will; Pay 75% of profits back to the customers; Give shares and votes to customers – 75% ownership after 2 years and 100% customer ownership after 7 years; Provide transparent tariffs – the customer will see the wholesale prices we pay. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £50,000
Turtle Pack – Turtle Pack is an innovative flotation device designed to teach children how to swim effectively. Turtle Pack is the world’s first turtle shaped progressional swimming stabilizer. Created by swimmers for the benefit of swimmers. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £100,000
Higgs Edge winners are:
CuanTec are focussed on circular economy approaches to reduction of food waste and spoilage in the food chain. Food waste, due to bacterial spoilage is a major issue, especially with growing populations and ever more pressure to feed people. CuanTec is currently engaged in a SMART Scotland feasibility study, developing a novel food packaging material derived from food waste, namely langoustine shells. CuanTec put waste langoustine shells through a novel biological process to obtain chitosan and other high-value components from the shells. The chitosan obtained is mixed with other biopolymers to produce antimicrobial, compostable biodegradable food packaging material. The company has recently provided early-stage prototypes to fish processors for testing and expect these products to move to production in 2018 and to market by end 2018 with regulatory approval. From: Ayrshire | Amount Awarded: £150,000
Oxy-Gen Combustion is focused on the design and manufacture of the world’s cleanest power generators and other off-highway plant and equipment. Existing power generators have little or no emissions abatement technology which seriously impacts on the health of the public in the UK and throughout the world. The NHS notes that air pollution is second only to cigarette smoking as the biggest cause of premature deaths in the UK. Over 26,000 people die annually in the UK caused by air pollution, 3,900 deaths are directly related to emissions from power generators and other off-highway equipment. Oxy-Gen Combustion’s bespoke generators developed in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell plc are capable of running on biofuels, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 85% and toxic emissions such as particulate matter and NOx emissions are reduced by 94%. From: Dundee| Amount Awarded: £100,000.
Young EDGE winners are:
Araminta Campbell (ACL) is a creative textiles company focused on quality Scottish production. Uniquely using British alpaca in hand-woven wearable art pieces and the newly launched MINTA interior range. ACL also offers a bespoke tweed design service. The international market is targeted whilst promoting the story of the Scottish product. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £7,500
AS D-Zine Ltd is an award-winning product design company based in Scotland. We have various innovative products in the pipeline, however, we are currently focusing on the development of our Patent Pending hydration product Go~Iso. From: Stirling | Amount Awarded: £5,000
Badvo is a micro gin distillery on my family farm outside Pitlochry in Perthshire. From: Perth Amount: £7,500
BLACKBX transforms a business’ existing free WiFi into a powerful analytics tool to give retailers a better understanding of their business and provide faster, actionable insights that can keep shoppers around. BLACKBX allows the customer to enjoy faster connectivity in all BLACKBX venues, with a once in a lifetime login. From: Edinburgh | Amount Awarded: £7,500
Detailing Factory Ltd t/a Wowos 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 June 2016, the brand Wowo’s was launched, quickly gaining high endorsement from the industry leaders. From: Glasgow | Amount Awarded: £10,000
Pixey is 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 copyrighted content by offering media at an affordable price. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £5,000
Orbit Enterprise Education are a Social Enterprise on a mission to inspire the next generation to think bigger. We provide enterprise programmes to schools around the UK, for 16-18 year olds. Local authorities aim to boost the next generation’s skillsets and we provide the ‘most comprehensive’ platform for them to do so. We generate revenues through charging schools £400 for access to the programme. From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
Revive offers a unique waste recycling service and a range of environmentally friendly products, derived from used coffee grounds. Its waste collection service will provide environmental and commercial benefits for every partner. At an industrial scale, we will recycle the grounds to create bio-fertiliser and biomass pellets for heating buildings. From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
Sew Confident primarily delivers sewing classes to the busy modern women. Our three core values are: Learn, destress, be social and we incorporate these into everything we do. We create the perfect balance between an educational experience and a social one, delivering all classes in a laid back, relaxing, positive environment. From: Glasgow | Amount £10,000
lil’POP The Healthy Crop is a healthy snack food company specialising in air-popped sorghum, which is a nutrient-rich, gluten free, ancient grain that pops like popcorn, but is smaller, better for the environment, and better for you. lil’POP is the first ever packaged popped sorghum product in all of Europe. From: Edinburgh | Awarded: £7,500
White Rabbit Skincare is a luxury skincare brand; created to address the need for high performance, but naturally based facial skincare products. Our award winning, fourteen-product range also stands out as 100% vegan, carefully handmade in Scotland, and cruelty free certified by PETA. From: Ayrshire | Amount: £10,000
Your Book List is a money saving app, which directly connects students to enable the best deals on buying and selling their textbooks. The unique service has been adopted in eight Scottish universities since September 2015 and is rapidly becoming an essential, user friendly student aid. From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
WildCard EDGE winners were:
BUBLBag: BUBL Bags are designed to replace cardboard boxes, jiffy bags and bubble wrap by providing better protection at a lower cost. BUBL Bags require very little space to store, are recyclable and easy to use. From: Falkirk| Amount: £10,000
Cascade Water Products: Cascade Water Products help their customers save money on water bills by fitting innovative greywater recycling systems in buildings with large volumes of human traffic. From: Aberdeen | Amount: £10,000
Colour Elements: A colour focussed retail support app, providing a sustainable method of shopping that’s centred on the person and celebrates all that makes them unique. From: Edinburgh | Amount £7,500
Hippo and Hedgehog: Hippo and Hedgehog tailors African ingredients to the UK taste bud. With a mission to share the vibrancy of Africa through Healthy, Happy and Helpful innovations. Amount Awarded: £10,000
Lessons2Go: Simplifying the process of finding the best driving instructor to suit your needs through a driving lesson booking app. From: Glasgow | Amount: £5,000
PlayerData: PlayerData is currently in the process of developing a revolutionary wearable that captures your biometrics and motion data in high fidelity. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000
Roomerical: Roomerical is developing state-of-the-art acoustic simulation software for acousticians and architects, based on five years of world-class research into wave simulation. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £7,500
Sonik Pocket: Sonik Pocket is an innovative, multiple revenue generating, online education and shopping platform for children that supports financial learning, in a fun, safe and secure environment. From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
StrathAero: StrathAero is an aerospace design and manufacturing company specialising in hybrid Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (VTOL UAVs) offering increased payloads and range. From: Glasgow | Amount: £10,000
Teqnox: Teqnox Limited is an innovative start-up company that designs body protection for equestrian sport. It was founded by director Carmen Cummiskey after it was identified that current body protection was bulky, restrictive and often difficult to get on. From: Glasgow | Amount: £5,000
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 so they compliment [alcoholic] drinks for an ever more discerning and brand aware audience. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £5,000
Turtle Pack: Turtle Pack is an innovative flotation device designed to teach children how to swim effectively. Turtle Pack is the world’s first turtle shaped progressional swimming stabilizer. Created by swimmers for the benefit of swimmers. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £10,000