App for birdwatchers and drone inspection service among business awards winners
A drone-based offshore wind turbine inspection service and a social media app for birdwatchers were among 42 startups to share £1.6m in funding at a business awards.
The Scottish EDGE awards – now in its 20th round – handed out prizes to high growth potential firms at the bash in Edinburgh this week.
This round’s guest speakers featured Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Minecraft founder Chris van der Kuyl, and philanthropists Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey.
Opening the awards was Margaret Gibson OBE, while one of the biggest winners of the evening was Edinburgh-based Rival SC Ltd, a supply chain management platform that sets out to revoluntise supply chains for the next generation of SMEs in the UK, receiving a total of £100,000 in the award sponsored by Sir Tom Hunter.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Ten years after it started, Scottish EDGE is now the largest funding competition of its kind anywhere in the UK, and I am immensely proud of everyone who has played a part in its remarkable growth.
“Recovery from the pandemic and the current cost crisis we are facing has caused huge challenges across our business sector – but the innovative ways businesses have adapted and reacted has been remarkable. Scottish EDGE epitomises the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that we want to encourage, more widely, across our economy.
“The Scottish Government recognises the vital role new businesses and new ideas play in creating jobs and prosperity across Scotland, which is why we are delighted to supporting Scottish EDGE.”
The awards also welcomed back the net zero EDGE category, which launched last year with backing from the Royal Bank of Scotland to coincide with COP26. In line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, Beira Moda was awarded £50,000 for their work in optimizing discarded fabric from the luxury fashion industry and ethically crafts limited edition womenswear embracing the circular economy.
In the Young EDGE category, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, winners included top Harper Macleod £20,000 award recipient The Frangipane Bakery, which is exclusively gluten-free, and clean tech startup Zephyrus Aerolabs who received £15,000 from an additional £75,000 Young EDGE funding pledged by ScottishEnterprise, bringing the total award amount for the category to £155,000, spread across 14 winners.
Scottish Enterprise chief executive Adrian Gillespie said: “Congratulations to the winners and well done to everyone who participated in this milestone 20th round. It’s great to see the consistently high calibre of entrants – particularly in the Young EDGE category. We’re delighted to support Scottish EDGE in their important role nurturing innovative, high growth-potential start-ups.”
Wildcard EDGE winners – the category for pre-trading companies, sole-traders and partnerships – received £90,000 in total, including sustainable insulating fabric brand, Ava Innes Ltd, which was awarded £20,000.
Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur and philanthropist and guest speaker at the awards, said: “Scottish Edge plays a pivotal role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem helping build high growth businesses, many of them going on to scale and indeed several now being funded to do so by the Scottish National Investment Bank. We are proud to fund Scottish Edge alongside many others as it continues to play a critical role in the future of our economy.
As the standout business from a circular perspective, Ailsa Reliability Solutions Ltd received £60,000 as the winner of the Circular Economy Award, supported by Zero Waste Scotland, for its utilisation of cutting edge technology to eliminate unplanned downtime of client’s critical assets.
Another winner on the night was Meander Apparel who received £70,000 plus £75,000 advertising spend through the STV supported STV Growth Award.
In the Social Enterprise category, supported by the Postcode Innovation Trust, KO-NEKT (Childcare) CIC received £60,000 to support the development of skills centres specifically for young people with Additional Support Needs.
This year also marked the inauguration of the Community EDGE Award, which recognised the efforts of an enterprise which may have otherwise missed out. The award, arising from a crowdfunding campaign which raised a total value of £20,000, was awarded to Inverness-based Clarity Walk by public vote.
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE added: “It has been humbling and rewarding to witness the continued creativity, resourcefulness, and resilience of Scottish entrepreneurship, despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.
“At a time when collectivism and civic mindedness are more important than ever, innovation and enterprise remain the beating heart of economic growth in Scotland. Running the awards for 20 consecutive rounds has not only been helpful to Scottish businesses but a privilege for our team who are able to learn something new every day.”
List of this year’s Scottish EDGE winners:
532 Designs Ltd – Dundee – 532 Design strives to create globally recognised, design-led sports brands that bring true value and enjoyment to players in an ethical and responsible manner – £10,000
Ailsa Reliability Solutions Ltd – Dundonald – Utilise cutting edge technologies to eliminate unplanned downtime of client’s critical assets – £60,000
Airspection Ltd – Perth – Innovative drone technology for inspecting offshore wind turbines – £10,000
Argyle IT & Education Ltd – Edinburgh – EDTech blended learning platform to meet West African Higher Education needs – £50,000
Ava Innes Ltd – Elgin – Ava Innes, the new Scottish premium brand helping people stay warm at home, using their unique UK-made natural, sustainable insulating fabric in clothing and bedding – £20,000
Beastly Brews t/a Panther Milk – Glasgow – The world’s first oat milk ready-to-drink cocktail – £75,000
Beira Moda – Juniper Green – Crafts ethical limited edition womenswear from discarded high-end fabric – £50,000
BioLiberty – Dundee – Soft robotic glove and digital platform to help stroke survivors with remote rehabilitation – £100,000
Bliss Hot Tub Hire Ltd – Livingston – Premium hot tub rental service, bringing affordable luxury to Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire – £10,000
Bobbll – Glasgow – Gamifying job applications for entry level jobs aimed at Gen-Z – £10,000
Bounce OT – Stirling – Activity-based Occupational Therapy support to children and adults with disabilities – £10,000
Bovine Dental Company Ltd – Biggar – Developing a tool to support specialised dental treatment for cattle – £10,000
Curbar Lothian Ltd – Edinburgh – Birding social media app Chiffchaff and a new AIoT bird identification device – £10,000
DeepQA – Edinburgh – DeepQA uses artificial intelligence to fully automate the software testing process – £10,000
EcoCascade CIC – Glasgow – First multi-purpose primary purposing company serving seaweed farmers – £75,000
Fleming Technologies Ltd – Glasgow – Automated robotic handler that precisely moves and mixes liquids for experiments – £10,000
GaitAR Ltd – Lossiemouth – Developing mobility solutions for Parkinson’s patients, in the form of Smart Glasses- £75,000
Gledfield Distilleries Ltd – Sutherland – Developing Sutherland’s first modern botanical spirit in a paper bottle – £10,000
Hoolr Education Ltd – Edinburgh – Technology company that helps organisations manage, scale and understand their coaching cultures – £60,000
Inclu – Edinburgh – Inclusive kettle that is safe and simple to use for elderly or disabled people – £10,000
Mask Logic Ltd – Edinburgh – Designs individual, bespoke, re-usable and scientifically proven facemasks to healthcare and other sectors – £100,000
Meander Apparel – Edinburgh – Outdoor clothing brand making ethical garments for everyday adventures – £60,000
Measured Health Ltd – Edinburgh – Measured Health help hospitals treat 30% more patients by replacing face-to-face consultations with online self-completed patient assessments – £10,000
Mena – Perth – A scientist, smallholder and keen herbologist, Mena work with plants, medicinal and culinary herbs, to create products that relieve menopause symptoms and support better health – £10,000
Microplate Dx – Glasgow – Specialise in antibiotic susceptibility testing diagnostics reducing antimicrobial resistance – £70,000
Orkney Cloth Company – Kirkwall – Woven textile business making heritage, artisan scarves and blankets in limited collections – £10,000
Palaemon Maritime – Dunfermline – Provide anti-piracy barriers on a rental basis for ships, costing less than razor wire – £70,000
PicSea Ltd – Edinburgh – Ocean digitisation provider that uses its swarms of underwater robots to collect data – £75,000
RIVAL SC Ltd – Edinburgh – Tech platform that sets out to revolutionise supply chain management for SMEs – £100,0000
SENSEcity Ltd –Glasgow -SENSEcity is currently developing a product called Historiscope which is an Augmented Reality viewing scope for Heritage Sites to enhance the visitor experience – £10,000
S’wheat – Edinburgh – World’s first reusable bottle made from plants – £100,000
The Habitat People – Inverurie – Offers sustainability assessments and a unique carbon offsetting service through creation of wildflower meadows – £10,000
The Frangipane Bakery – Eyemouth – Gluten-free bakery dedicated to closing the disability-employment gap – £20,000
Thistle Rocketry Ltd – Galashiels – Space launch start-up currently developing scalable rocket systems for cube satellites – £100,000
Today Agency Ltd – Edinburgh – Student-driven media agency connecting businesses with creative local students – £60,000
QIoT Ltd – Glasgow – IoT Healthcare company who are developing a platform alongside connected medical devices to real time monitor the circumstancial, environmental and medication consumption of Asthma/COPD patients – £10,000
Unbaggaged – Glasgow (& West) – On-demand luggage storage platform that picks, stores and returns bags where and when needed – £40,000
Water Electronics – Glasgow – Innovative solutions that takes advantage of state-of-the-art advancements in sensors and robotics for inspecting live water mains for leaks – £10,000
Your Spin Ltd – Edinburgh – Uses technology and gamification to influence buying behaviours positively in hospitality venues – £10,000
Zephyrus Aerolabs Ltd – Aberdeen – Carbon-efficient drone that monitors greenhouse gas emissions directly from ships – £15,000