The Scottish EDGE - apply now

The Scottish EDGE is open for applications from Monday 11 March until 5pm on Tuesday 16 April 2013.

Having completed the first round of the Scottish EDGE and sought feedback from applicants on what worked and what didn’t we have taken feedback on board and combined the application form and growth plan into one shorter document.

However, as you know, in business there's no such thing as a free lunch - there are still a few bits and pieces you will need to prepare before you apply:

  • Check that your business is eligible to enter.
  • Make a 3-minute video pitching your business idea to us. Please note that we will only review the first 3 minutes of any video, so making a longer video will not help with your application Find out what to include in the video before you start.
  • Upload your video to YouTube. You can save it as an "unlisted video" if you'd prefer to keep the information in the video between you and us. If your video is not unlisted, please ensure you don't share any commercially sensitive information.
  • Take a note of, or copy the URL of your video on YouTube. Keep this to hand, you will need it for your application form.
  • Fill in the Scottish EDGE Application Form. At the end of the document you'll find reference notes for each question asked.
  • Send in your application form to scottishEDGE@scotent.co.uk by 5pm on 16 April. Make sure you've included the URL to your 3-minute video on the application form.
  • If you have any questions about the application process or if there's anything that you're unsure about, send us an email to scottishEDGE@scotent.co.uk

Intellectual property

Potential applicants for the Scottish EDGE competition should be aware that there may be the opportunity to protect the innovative concepts, technologies and product ideas which they are planning to describe in their application form or video. 

Many forms of Intellectual Property (or IP) can be protected through forms of legal registration (such as trade marks, domain names, some designs and patents) and through unregistered rights (such as copyright).  However, the ability to obtain some of these types of protection is dependent on the innovation remaining confidential and not being disclosed to the public (once an idea is in the public domain, it is no longer capable of obtaining patent protection). 

The sponsors and stakeholders strongly recommend that any potential applicant who is uncertain about protection options for their concept, technology, product, service or brand should seek advice from an IP professional such as a specialist IP lawyer, patent agent or a trade mark agent before submitting their application form or making their video.

Further information about Intellectual Property can be found at the UK IPO website

What happens next?

Upon submission of your application form, you will receive an automated response confirming receipt of your application. If you do not receive this automated response, please assume that your application has not been received and contact us on 0845 607 8787 where a member of staff will try to resolve the matter.
Find out what will happen to your entry, how the competition will be judged and how we will decide the winners of The Scottish EDGE.

Your video pitch

We are asking you to provide a 3-minute video pitch which addresses the criteria for the competition. We are not judging you on the quality of your video, only on the content, so please don’t spend money on professional filming and editing unless you really want to – so long as the video is clear and the content can be heard that will suffice.

Videos can be submitted from smartphones, iPhones, tablets, iPads, cameras – we’re not fussy, just make sure you have covered the criteria to give you the best chance of proceeding through to the next stage.
Be aware that we will only view the first 3 minutes of any video submitted, so making a longer video won't help your application.

Watch examples of video pitches from previous Highlands and Islands based EGDE award winners Stormpods from Isle of Islay and Thurso Cinema from Catithness.

Keys to content and delivery

There are a number of websites which provide guidance in making a video pitch.

Usually these are for sales purposes, but the guidance given remains appropriate for pitching for the Scottish EDGE. Some examples are given below for those of you who are new to pitching. These are not endorsed by Scottish EDGE partners, but are given for example purposes only:

Informatics Ventures have some excellent pitches you may want to review.

Entrepreneurial Spark are providing some pitching workshops - you don't need to be an ESpark Chiclet to attend, anyone entering Scottish EDGE can sign up. The workshops will take place on 28 March at Entrepreneurial Spark's Glasgow Hatchery, and on 3 April in their Edinburgh Hatchery.  For more information and to sign up for either, email kelly@entrepreneurial-spark.com

Looking for inspiration?

See who the previous winners of Scottish EDGE awards have been.

General pitching tips

  • Have passion: Koffler says great pitches leave you with the impression that the speaker is so passionate about his or her idea that the person will move mountains to make it happen. Your passion is reflected by your energy, your personal stories, and the words you use.
  • Make sure you demonstrate that you understand your business and its customers: It takes discipline and a solid understanding of the market you operate in to distill the essence of your product or service into 450 words (which is the number of words you can comfortably speak in 3 minutes). Investors/judges also want to know exactly who your customers are. If you say, "My market is every woman in the world," nobody will believe you. But if you say, "This product will appeal to women ages 31 to 39 who are starting families…" your specificity tells the investor you have done your homework.
  • Offer an industry perspective: You can't differentiate your product unless you understand the industry. The worst thing to say in a pitch is, "We don't have any competitors." Investors/judges will wonder why. They might think you don't have competitors because there's no market for your product. At the very least, an investor/judge will think you failed to do your homework. Great pitches acknowledge the competition and point out why their offering is different.
  • Add the "magic dust": This is the sentence that leads investors/judges to want to hear more. No savvy investor/judge pumps cash into a company on the basis of a 3-minute pitch alone. But 3 minutes is enough time to get them interested enough to ask serious follow-up questions and begin the process of evaluating the company for a potential investment.
  • Tell them who you are and why you need the money: Great presenters highlight their track record in a particular field, the experience of their teams, or why they are uniquely qualified to bring a product to market. A winning pitch is also very specific about why the company or entrepreneur needs money and what he or she intends to do with it.
  • Address the criteria for the competition: The video is your opportunity to demonstrate how you will achieve the criteria in place for the competition. Use the time to help us understand the assumptions you have made in calculating growth.

What happens next?

The fund will be run as a competition which will be from Monday 11th March until 5pm on Tuesday 16th April.

1. Up to 60 applicants with the highest scores will be invited to pitch their idea at one of two regional events (Glasgow on 12 June and Perth on 13 June) to the same panel who carried out the shortlist. If you are invited to pitch in person you will be given an allocated venue and time.

Your pitch will last for 3 minutes and there will be a short Q&A thereafter. There will be no audience for this pitch and there is no need to be available outwith your allocated time. There is also no time for powerpoint, it will be a verbal pitch only.

2. The pitches which demonstrate the most potential will then be invited to go on to present their idea before a senior business panel on 19 June at RBS Conference Centre, Gogarburn, Edinburgh. All candidates who make it to regional pitching events will be contacted by e-mail on Friday 14 June to advise whether or not they have been successful.

3. Up to 30 finalists will pitch to a Final panel as mentioned above and which will consist of senior Scottish entrepreneurs. These senior Scottish business leaders will determine the winners and the level of support which should be given.This may be financial or through other means, such as mentoring, training etc.

Awards of up to £50,000 will be given to deliver the company objectives as stated in the application form. Please be aware that if you get to this pitching stage, the pitches will be given with an audience of other applicants and supporting members of the business community present, so be prepared for this with your content!

4. A reception will take place later that evening where the winners will be announced. Awards will be made by John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.
All applicants will be given as much feedback as possible to help them in growing their business.

Due to the quick nature of the pitching sessions, it may only be possible to give you scores from the judges; however we will try to provide as much detail as we can at each stage.

What do we look for?

We are particularly looking for employment, innovation, internationalisation and turnover so make sure you cover these areas in your application and video. Your application and pitches will be scored against the criteria mentioned in the eligibility section.

Apply now

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