Entrepreneurship and innovation – both qualities for which the Scots are proudly known. The Scottish Edge Awards is a funding competition supporting some of the best up and coming business with these qualities. I was excited to attend the finals at RBS’s head office at Gogarburn.
Growth and innovation are a key part of our business at Young and Partners so it was unsurprising that two of our clients were among the companies attending this year; Alex Papanikolaou of Freedom One Life as a finalist and a potential entrant for next year’s competition David Pinto of Ecosquared Limited.
A wide range of companies across many industries made it through to the finals which indicates the rich variety of talent out there. Finalists included gaming developers Hidden Armada, glaucoma testing from IbisVision, Food & Drink (Katy Rodger’s Artisan Dairy), medical devices (Medicen Devise) and textile designers (Orwell and Goodie.)
Scottish Edge is aimed at early stage entrepreneurs with high growth potential and funding comes mainly from the private sector. The competition is led by The Hunter Foundation and Royal Bank of Scotland with partners in Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway, Entrepreneurial Scotland and The Prince’s Trust and this was its sixth year.
Their aim is to grow a skilled alumni from the funds winners, of which there are an average of 17 every year, who benefit from funding of up to £100,000.
Two additional grants of up to £10,000 are also available through Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE, up to ten of each can be awarded annually. Winners also get support from leading business organisations, access to a wealth of leading industry connections and sign posting for further funding.
This year 16 winners were chosen from 26 finalists on Friday, 12th June. To get to that stage they had been through a series of workshops as well as a semi-final prior to presenting at the final.
It was great to see Alex of Freedom One Life become one of the winners of the top prize of £100,000. This will enable him to further develop his hi-tech prototype electric wheelchair. This new wheelchair addresses many of the problems with current electric wheelchairs such as poor battery life, weighty, old fashioned design and poor customer service for spare parts. You can see all the winners here.
This was a great event and shows the strength of innovation Scotland.