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Winners of the Scottish EDGE announced
Seventeen young Scottish businesses that have demonstrated the greatest potential to grow and succeed have secured awards of up to £50k through the Scottish Government’s Scottish EDGE fund, which aims to support and encourage entrepreneurial activity in Scotland. The Scottish Government has worked closely with its enterprise agencies, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and business hothouse Entrepreneurial Spark in developing the new fund.
Launched in October 2012, the competition received 235 applications and 100 of these were shortlisted to pitch their ideas in person in January. Applications for funding were considered by a Dragon’s Den style Investment Panel, composed of Scotland’s leading business people, who selected 20 finalists to go on to pitch for the prize money.
The winners received the full amount sought in their application whereas all the others received a sum that the judges thought appropriate.
The panel of Sir Willie Haughey (City Refrigeration), Sir Tom Hunter (Hunter Foundation), Julie Grieve (Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust), Alex Paterson (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) and Gordon Merrylees (RBS) selected the following 17 finalists for funding last Tuesday (12 February):
TWM Productions Ltd (Glasgow) £50,000: TWM helps parents/carers to develop their child’s vital motor skills through use of a four-in-one foldaway baby and toddler seat with recliner and angled tummy time platform. Funding will help establish production and make arrangements for financial management to support the company’s growth.
Thurso Cinema (Caithness) £50,000: Thurso Cinema Ltd operates cinema and bowling facilities. Funds will be used for the re-development of the full frontage of the cinema and to create a conferencing and events facility, as part of broader plans to establish a Digital Entertainment Centre in Thurso.
Shooze with Sole (Kilmarnock) £35,000: This footwear retailer offers a full fitting service and aims to educate parents on the benefits of wearing correctly fitting shoes. Funding will be used to open a fourth store on the West Coast of Scotland.
Talking Mats (Stirling) £50,000: Talking Mats uses a mat with symbols to help individuals with communication difficulties express themselves effectively. This funding will primarily be used to market and launch a digital mat.
Relume (Perth) £20,000: Relume Design supplies products for use in Led lighting applications. Funding will enable the firm to purchase components to allow product sales to commence and for them to undertake the necessary CE marking and EMC testing.
Freedom Brands (Glasgow) £35,000: Freedom Brands has developed Gococo, a healthy soft drink that is 100 per cent coconut water. Funding will be used to help Freedom Brands promote and market their product across retail outlets in Norway and Denmark.
Stormpods (Isle of Islay) £30,000: Stormpods produces fibreglass shelled pods that can be part buried, covered in earth, turf, rock’s, etc, and used as an alternative solution to a home extension or conservatory. Funding will be used towards the creation of a further pod, marketing support and employment.
Micro Fitness (Lanarkshire) £25,000: The company provides fitness experiences and aims to inspire children to have a more active lifestyle. The company has built this up to include 15 fitness experiences and the funding will support plans to expand their business.
Glitter Beach (Lochwinnoch) £20,000: This company offers beach wear aimed specifically at consumers with Stoma bags and they are finalising a new product aimed at improving wearability for users of Stoma bags. Funding will go towards plans to establish global sales.
SKG Europe Ltd t/a Hotbott (Glasgow) £40,000: The company sells Hott-Bott products which provide seat and hand heat solutions. With a client listing including RBS, Celtic, Rangers, and Amazon, Hotbott are about to launch a new range of branded products. Funding will be used help Hotbott to create a global brand.
Stem Cloud (Glasgow) £10,000: StemCloud offers an online sound samples marketplace to producers and amateur ‘bedroom’ music-makers. Funding will be used to develop this audio synchronisation tool and to get the product to market.
Saloca Ltd t/a Appointedd (East Lothian) £30,000: This firm offers online business management software for salons and spas. The funding will be used to support the business on technical issues and business development.
Ladderlimb (Newton Stewart) £25,000: Ladderlimb is an innovative ladder accessory, which is available in the UK. Funding will be used to support the company with its growth plans.
Clear Returns (Glasgow) £30,000: Clear Returns offers ecommerce and multichannel retailers the chance to preserve as much of the basket value as possible post sale. Funding will be used to internationalise, provide sales support and support growth plans.
Quorate (Edinburgh) £20,000: Quorate makes audio and video searchable by keyword. Funding will ensure the firm can maximise the protection of their intellectual property and begin to develop the brand and proposition to take them through to sales.
Birthsparks (Ayrshire) £30,000: This firm creates innovative clinical products that are designed to support mothers during pregnancy and birth as well as babies within the first hour following birth. Funding will be used to complete testing and establish local manufacturing capability.
Eat Balanced (Glasgow) £40,000: This firm markets and sell food products that make it easier to achieve a balanced diet. They have produced their first range of pizzas and funding will support new product development and sales support.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“I am seeing a new spirit of entrepreneurship developing in Scotland, building on our nation’s proud tradition as innovators, and the inaugural EDGE Awards celebrates and supports fresh Scottish business talent.
“The Scottish Government recognises that the private and public sector must work together to assist business growth in Scotland and that’s why we established the £2 million Scottish EDGE fund to unlock investment for entrepreneurs.
"We are focused on maintaining Scotland’s position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK. The EDGE has awarded 17 ambitious entrepreneurs with funds to establish or grow their business and contribute to Scotland’s economic success.
“Entrepreneurial Spark has been a key part of this fund and the Scottish Government has been excited to facilitate this innovative new approach to business support, which I consider will be crucial in developing some of the ambitious next generation entrepreneurs.
“I would like to congratulate the winners and the runners-up in this first round of funding. The 17 successful enterprises have demonstrated their growth potential and I wish them every success in the future.”
Co-founder of ESpark and a driving force behind the creation of the Scottish EDGE Jim Duffy said:
“The number and quality of entries which the EDGE has attracted in its first year is fantastic and proves that an entrepreneurial revolution is gathering momentum in Scotland. I am particularly proud of so many ESpark chiclets being successful in reaching the final and securing much needed capital.
“This success in the EDGE is a great way for us to mark the first anniversary of ESpark and the opening of our new Edinburgh hatchery later this week. I would like to thank John Swinney for taking the decision to put the funding and support in place to make the EDGE possible.”
Sir Tom Hunter said:
“Scottish EDGE fund is a fantastic boost for entrepreneurs in Scotland aiming for true high growth. Thanks to John Swinney who doubled the fund, £ 2 million is available to businesses who really do have the determination to build substantive entrepreneurial businesses here in Scotland.
“The selection panel, where we picked Scotland's top entrants from hundreds to receive first round funding, was a true inspiration and gives me real heart that we can and will accelerate the growth of these businesses to help in rebuilding our economy.
“This event provides a great opportunity to showcase our business talent and I would like to congratulate the 17 impact businesses that have had the cojones to get up there and show the Investment Panel how they planned to conquer the world.”
RBS Business Banking in Scotland Managing Director Gordon Merrylees said:
"The finalists of the awards were of such high calibre, it was a tough choice deciding the winners. We were delighted to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to develop the EDGE fund and RBS will continue to breathe oxygen into entrepreneurship across Scotland by supporting the winners through mentoring, providing essential business security advice and two years’ free banking."
Highlands and Islands Enterprise Chief Executive Alex Paterson said:
“The Scottish EDGE competition is an opportunity to showcase some of Scotland’s up-and-coming business talent. The number and quality of applications demonstrates the high levels of entrepreneurship spread across the country. Scotland is a fantastic place to start and grow a successful business and this competition is designed to help people with sound commercial ideas.
“Everyone winning funds in this round of the competition has tremendous ambition and I wish them every success as they work towards fulfilling their potential.”
Scottish Enterprise Director of Commercialisation Eleanor Mitchell said:
"Congratulations to the winners of the Scottish EDGE. The quality of all the finalists was very strong and the judges were particularly impressed with the consistently high standards of innovation and business performance that each of the candidates demonstrated.
"By investing in ambitious entrepreneurs with ideas that can be transformed into globally successful businesses, we can help deliver long term growth for the Scottish economy, building on Scotland's reputation as the ideal partner of choice in major international projects."