Ambitious young companies in the Highlands and Islands will have the opportunity to find out about a competition for development funding of up to £125,000, at an event in Inverness on 11 August.
Scotedge, the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition for ambitious entrepreneurs, was established in 2012 by the Scottish Government to help new businesses achieve their growth potential. Additional investment from the Royal Bank of Scotland and The Hunter Foundation helped develop the competition to the next level.
The application period for the next round of the competition closes on 9 September. Anyone interested in finding out more about support available to help them enter is being invited to a Scotedge information and networking event in the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness from 5:30–8:00 pm on Tuesday 11 August. The event will feature presentations from Scotedge on new award categories and hints and tips from past winners. Guest speaker, Bruce MacGregor of Northern Roots Events, will be sharing his experiences of being a serial entrepreneur in the Highlands.
This is the seventh round of the Scotedge competition and so far there have been seventeen Highlands and Islands winners from sectors as diverse as food and drink to media distribution. Collectively they have secured almost £600,000 in prize money.
One of them was Hebridean Spa who make luxury spa products containing beneficial seaweed sourced ingredients. Managing director, Malcolm Macrae, said: “Doing the pitch at the final in front of so many people and the judges was very nerve wracking. I had prepared well and when I stepped up to the lectern the pitch training I had received and the adrenaline kicked in and it all went as planned. I didn't think I could do something like that and it was absolutely amazing when I found out I was one of the winners and had won £50,000.”
Scotedge is currently open to Limited Companies, although future rounds will also include sole traders and partnerships. Entrants should have been trading for under five years and have the potential to increase sales by £200,000 over a period of three years. In addition to the main prize category offering prizes up to £100,000 there will be three additional categories: Young EDGE for owners up to 30, Wildcard EDGE for exciting pre-start businesses where a grant would accelerate progress and Technology EDGE where prizes of up to £125,000 will be available. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) provides specific support for all regional entrants including application appraisals and pitch training.
Stephanie Anderson, HIE development manager for innovation and entrepreneurship, said: “Scotedge is an exciting opportunity for innovative businesses with ambitious growth plans to kick-start that growth. The whole process from putting together a pitch video through to live pitching at the final is an exciting learning experience and a great chance to meet other dynamic Scottish entrepreneurs growing their businesses. The Scotedge experience, chance to expand your networks and prize of up to £125,000 is an opportunity too good to miss.”
As well as finance, Scotedge winners benefit from a range of extended support services including expert sales training and mentoring.
The event is free and can be booked online via Eventbrite >