Finance Secretary John Swinney last night (Monday 9 December) announced the winners of round three of the Scottish EDGE Awards that saw more than £690,000 of funding awarded to some of Scotland’s most innovative, forward-thinking young start-up companies.
21 young Scottish businesses, that demonstrated the greatest potential to grow and succeed, secured awards of up to £50,000 each through the Scottish EDGE, which aims to support and encourage entrepreneurial activity in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Prince’s Youth Business Trust, Business Gateway and Entrepreneurial Spark in delivering the project.
Launched in August 2013, this third round of the competition received 314 applications and 30 of these were shortlisted to pitch their ideas in person at the final. Applications for funding were considered by an Investment Panel, who selected the finalists to go on to pitch for the prize money.
The finalist judging panel of Lord Willie Haughey, Chairman of City Refrigeration Holdings, Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Marie Macklin, Chief Executive of the KLIN Group, Hermann Twickler, Managing Director of PressureFab Group and Chris Wilson, Managing Director of retail and private banking, RBS, decided on the winners.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE and one of the judging panel, commented: “Once again, the standard of entries for Scottish EDGE was extremely high. It is heartening to know that entrepreneurship in Scotland is not only growing but reaching new heights. The Scottish EDGE is a celebration of innovation and ambition and gives the finalists invaluable experience in order to move their businesses forward.
“Out of 30 businesses, 21 were awarded funding in this round. These winners will now go on to an exciting new chapter which we will continue to support. But this does not take anything away from those who did not win this time. All of the finalists should be extremely proud of their achievements and if they take on board many of the things they have learned from this experience I have no doubt that the future of entrepreneurship in Scotland is exciting indeed.”
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish EDGE Awards celebrate and support fresh business talent from across the country.
"This Government and our enterprise agencies are focused on maintaining Scotland’s position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK. Scottish EDGE targets ambitious entrepreneurs wishing to establish or grow their business and will provide real opportunities for them to contribute to Scotland’s economic success.
“The Scottish Government recognises that the private, third and public sector must work together to support growth in Scotland. The Scottish EDGE fund shows this, as together we facilitate the potential of our nation’s future entrepreneurial successes.
"The Scottish EDGE has already awarded £1.2 million to 34 ambitious entrepreneurs with funds to grow their business and has in under a year seen at least 65 new jobs, increased turnover and has levered in over £1.4 million further private investment for growth.
“Entrepreneurial Spark has been a key part of this fund and the Scottish Government has been delighted to facilitate this innovative new approach to business support, which I consider will be crucial in developing some of the ambitious next generation entrepreneurs.
“It’s been exciting to see such a wide range of talent come out of this final round of funding and I wish all the finalists every success in the future.”
Gordon Merrylees, Regional Managing Director, Business Banking Scotland, who also compèred the event, said: "RBS aims to be the bank of choice for business Start-Ups and entrepreneurs in Scotland, and we’re delighted to work with the Scottish government and support the Scottish EDGE fund.
“We want to congratulate the winners and as part of our support, we're offering them valuable advice, experience, knowledge, expertise and access to a tremendous network of contacts through our team of business and relationship managers to help them grow their businesses and fulfil their business ambitions, which will ultimately create jobs and give back to the Scottish economy.”
The winning companies in the third round of the Scottish EDGE awards are:
The Scottish EDGE is operated by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. RBS is the private sector partner on the Fund and is assisting with the operation of the Fund and providing valuable business support packages for companies invested in. The enterprise agencies, Business Gateway and Entrepreneurial Spark also provide business advice for companies supported.