This summer 23 business leaders from 21 of Scotland’s promising, pioneering and accomplished businesses, will contest for the coveted title of ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland overall winner’ at a ceremony in June at Gleneagles.
The 23 entrepreneurs from Scotland are the first of 96 finalists to be announced from across the UK. A diverse group of companies have been shortlisted in Scotland, with financial services, technology, life sciences, energy, and creative industries just some of the sectors represented.
The finalists will be interviewed by an independent panel of judges, and the selected winners from Scotland and the English regions will progress to the UK finals in November, where the ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 UK overall winner’ will be named.
Mike Timmins, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Scotland Leader said: “It takes courage, conviction and curiosity to achieve success as an entrepreneur and it is important to celebrate the contributions they make to our economy and society. Today’s entrepreneurs are the mentors of tomorrow and it is vital to Scotland’s vibrant business community that we support and encourage this legacy for generations to come.
“Entrepreneurs often see opportunities where others see adversity, they uncover gaps in the market that others didn’t even know existed, and disrupt the status quo. Their passion and enthusiasm is impressive. Now in its 20th year, I continue to be amazed by the depth of ambition and innovation we have from our entrants and this year’s finalists are a tremendous example of that.”
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in the UK, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year has recognised the contribution of thousands of entrepreneurs to the UK economy over the last two decades and created an impressive network of innovators and business pioneers.
Some of Scotland’s best known business figures are former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, including: Sir Brian Souter, who founded transport company Stagecoach; Martin Gilbert of, then, Aberdeen Asset Management; and serial entrepreneur Alasdair Locke who was the inaugural overall Scotland winner in 1999.
Mr Locke, Chairman of Motor Fuel Group (MFG) said: “Being crowned EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the first Scotland final is not only a fond memory but a significant milestone in my journey as an entrepreneur. The path of any entrepreneur is littered with challenges which test your resolve and motivation to continue. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme is a reminder of the value a thriving business can bring to our communities and economy. It also offers a unique network of peers to support our entrepreneurs and develop them as world leaders.”
Full list of Scotland 2018 finalists by category:
· Philip Grady, CEO of Castlight, based in Glasgow – an affordability platform that helps categorise consumers’ bank transactional data to ensure better risk pricing in consumer finance
· Martin McDonnell, Founder of Soluis Group Limited, based in Glasgow – one of the UK’s leading providers of computer-generated imagery and digital media
· David Venables, CEO of Synpromics Limited, based in Edinburgh – enabling unprecedented control of gene expression through its ability to custom design synthetic cell-type, or condition, specific promoters
· John Reynolds, CEO of Castle Water, based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire – the UK's largest independent water retailer
· Luke Johnson, Founder and CEO of Cognitive Geology, based in Edinburgh – develops, markets & sells petroleum geoscience software helping geologists find, appraise, and develop conventional and unconventional oil & gas reserves, both onshore and offshore
· Neil Logan, CEO of Incremental Group Limited, based in Glasgow – a digital technology company that works with the Government and industry to deliver the digital enterprise
· Dr Rabinder Buttar, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Clintec International Limited, based in Glasgow – provides clinical research services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries
· Mick Beavers, Managing Director and owner of Control Valve Solutions limited, based in Aberdeen – specialist in the repair, maintenance and management of bespoke valves and related products to minimise production downtime and increase valve life expectancy in the oil and gas industry
· David Wither, Managing Director, and Ruth Wither, Creative Director, of Flow Hospitality Training, based in Edinburgh – uses the latest technology to deliver a continuously evolving learning and development solution tailored to the hospitality and tourism sector, providing accredited, certificated training throughout the industry
· Sara Speirs, Managing Director, of Spectrum Service Solutions Limited, based in Paisley – a facilities management business
· Craig Chambers, Group CEO of TBR Global Chauffeuring, based in Glasgow – provider of premium ground transportation
· Lord William Haughey, Chairman of City Facilities Management Limited, based in Glasgow – Global group providing multi-site facilities management services using advanced technology and a multi-skilled workforce to deliver diversified services
· Douglas Whyte, Chief Executive Officer of Hydro Group Plc, based in Aberdeen – delivers subsea electrical and optical cable and connection systems in oil & gas, marine renewables and defence markets globally
· Edward Murgitroyd, Chief Executive Officer, and Ian Murgitroyd, Founder, of Murgitroyd & Company Limited, based in Glasgow – European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney Firm
· Duncan Ogilvie, Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvie Fleet Limited, based in Stirling – providers of contract hire and fleet management of motor cars and vans
· Andrew Stirling, Owner of Stirling Potatoes Limited, based in Montrose – food production, fruit importer and potato exporter
· Laurna Woods, Chief Executive of Beattie Communication Group Limited, based in Falkirk – integrated communications agency
· Howard Johnson, Managing Director of Blaze Manufacturing Solutions, based in Laurencekirk – provider of safety critical systems including fire safety protection, detection and loss prevention solutions
· Chris Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Chris Stewart Group, based in Edinburgh – real estate development and investment with a focus on regeneration and redevelopment and a particular interest in complex, listed buildings
· John McLeish, Managing Director of Equator, based in Glasgow – specialist digital agency
· Charles Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of Forth Ports Limited, based in Edinburgh – owns and operates eight commercial ports on the Firth of Forth, the Firth of Tay and the Thames