Scottish start-ups were given a huge financial boost last night, when the ScotEdge fund awarded £852,000 in loans and grants to 26 exceptional businesses. The awards were given to the new Scottish businesses which were best able to demonstrate their ability to grow and bring valuable turnover and jobs into the Scottish economy.
The event, which took place at RBS Gogarburn HQ in Edinburgh, saw a panel of some of Scotland’s leading business people award up to £100k per business to winners. The winning businesses pitched for three minutes to the panel of judges in front of a live audience of 300 people and then faced a Q&A of nine minutes. Sir Tom Hunter, The Hunter Foundation; Alison Rose, Royal Bank of Scotland; Bill Morrow, Angel’s Den; Kevin Dorren, Diet Chef and Eleanor Mitchell, Scottish Enterprise all deliberated hard to reach a decision on the most worthy winners.
The scoring criteria for applications covered Business Growth Potential, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Innovation, Ambition, Internationalisation and Risk / Cost Awareness. The final follows on from a number of regional heats which took place across Scotland. TV presenter and founder of Diary Doll which previously won a ScotEdge award, Carol Smillie acted as host for the day.
These awards follow on from a successful four previous rounds, which saw 69 Scottish businesses awarded funds. To the end of September 2014 this investment has generated 207 jobs, £8.4m turnover and £4.25m investment.
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Sir Tom Hunter, chairman West Coast Capital and The Hunter Foundation, commented:
“Entrepreneurial businesses are the lifeblood of Scotland and its economy. The Scottish EDGE offers ambitious entrepreneurs a leg up the ladder towards long-term success. We were delighted with the quality of applications and the winners have demonstrated their edge and ambition to grow a business in Scotland. We look forward to working with all of the applicants with wrap-around support to help them scale up.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Since the launch of Scotland CAN DO, we have created a platform to allow our ambitious entrepreneurs to excel. This has been driven-forward by the collective impact of public, private and third sector partners.
“ScotEdge exemplifies what can be achieved with a collaborative approach and shared ambition of becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship RBS and NatWest commented:
“We are delighted to have supported the Scottish EDGE since its inception. In my mind it highlights just how seriously RBS takes its responsibility in supporting entrepreneurs and growing businesses throughout Scotland. The finalists we have seen have been of the highest calibre and the judges will have a tough job. The EDGE Final is a true example of the Scottish business ecosystem at play.”
Winners of awards were: £777k to 16 ScotEdge companies
- Safetray Products Ltd, £31k : Developed G-Hold – a tool for safely holding iPads and tablets.
- Celtic Sea Spice Company (T/A Mara Seaweed), £50k : a range of artisan seaweed seasonings
- Beauty Kitchen UK Ltd, £30k: Develops, makes and sells a range of beauty products.
- Trans World Soccer, £45k : Offers live like a professional footballer tours to football youth clubs and schools.
- snap40 Ltd, £40k : Developing a wristband that monitors patients indicators to reduce cardiac arrest.
- nooQ Ltd, £32k: Data visualization software to transform productivity.
- West Coast Fisheries & Butcher Ltd, £100k : Innovative food manufacturer specialising in venison.
- Swipii, £20k : A tablet-based digital loyalty programme for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Lobster Pod Ltd, £100k : An innovative live shellfish transportation system.
- Pulsetta Foods Limited, £50k : Developed bakery products from pulses (in particular peas and lentils), which are gluten-free.
- Hectares Food Limited, £50k : Sweet potato crisps.
- The Kiltwalk, £50k : Organises charity walking events to support children’s charities.
- Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd, £50k : Rock Rose Gin – a unique gin which is made using local botanicals.
- Sunamp Limited, £50k :Sunamp Heat Batteries – innovative, high-efficiency heat energy storage systems.
- Chocolati Ltd, £27k : Quality chocolate maker including “Maw Broons” range.
- Smoother Spirits Ltd, £52k : Produces Uisge Source – a range of bottled spring waters to compliment malt whisky.
£75,000 was also awarded to Young Edge winners.
The awards were supported by a number of partners and ambassadors including Harper Macleod, Johnston Carmichael, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Samsung who were on hand to offer free support to Scotland’s up and coming entrepreneurs.