Scottish EDGE has announced the latest round of finalists, while taking the UK’s largest business funding competition out of its Edinburgh home for the first time since its inception in 2013.
The latest round of Scottish EDGE kicked-off in early February, attracting 250 business applications from across the country. During an intensive three-day long semi-final, 57 shortlisted entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a collective panel of 15 expert judges.
The final 20 emerged as the most innovative with potential to scale and will now pitch to a panel of business heavyweights at the Scottish EDGE Live Final on Tuesday 29th May 2018, including Jim McColl OBE of Clyde Blowers, Steve Dunlop of Scottish Canals, Simon Hannah of Fishill, Maeve McMahon of Royal Bank of Scotland and Carol Beattie of Stirling Council.
The winning businesses will receive a share in the round’s £1 million prize fund, with awards of up to £150,000 in cash available and a business support package from the Scottish EDGE partners.
Now in its 12th funding round, Scottish EDGE – which is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Hunter Foundation, and the Scottish Government – has been a springboard to almost 300 businesses. TV Squared, Uuni, Appointedd, Beauty Kitchen, Trtl and Robotical are just some of the companies to come through Scottish EDGE in recent years.
Past winners have, to date, created an additional 2,660 Scottish jobs, generated an additional £79.78 million in turnover, and received additional investment to the sum of £67.44 million. In the last round of Scottish EDGE, cash prizes of £1.07 million were shared amongst 38 winners across three different categories.
Located at the heart of the University of Stirling, the Macrobert Arts Centre, in partnership with Stirling Council, Universty of Stirling and Forth Valley College, will play host to over 600 expected delegates for a day of live business pitching, keynote speakers and business support exhibitors.
Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald, said:“For us, Stirling is the perfect location for EDGE’s first venture away from its native Edinburgh venue. The city’s pro-business attitude and fast progression towards being a center of excellence in startup innovation, aligns perfectly with our agenda to attract and support the best entrepreneurial talent Scotland has to offer.
“With businesses from CodeBase Stirling and University of Stirling’s Sporting Chance Initiative occupying finalist and winner places in the past three Scottish EDGE Finals, it has been impossible for us to ignore the quality of startup business that Stirling is producing. We’re looking forward to experiencing firsthand that highly driven entrepreneurial culture.”
Stewart Carruth, Chief Executive of Stirling Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome the final of Scottish Edge Round 12 to Stirling alongside our partners at University of Stirling and Forth Valley College. This is an exciting opportunity for Stirling to welcome so many innovative start-ups and growing businesses.
“Stirling is home to so many brilliant entrepreneurs and we are passionate about creating an environment for business and innovation to thrive. University of Stirling’s Innovation Park and world-class research facilities, along with over 750 courses offered at Forth Valley College, produces some of the highest quality graduates in the country. This talented young workforce, complemented by our new technology incubator, Codebase, which opened last year makes Stirling an ideal location for new businesses to grow and succeed.
“I look forward to supporting the talented finalists of Scottish Edge Round 12, and wish them the best of luck for the competition and every success in the future.”
Liam Spillane, Director of Commercial Services at the University of Stirling, said: “Stirling Venues is delighted to attract such a vibrant and high profile event to the University of Stirling campus, which is itself a thriving hub of research and innovation.
“We’re always keen to encourage collaboration between industry and the academic community and this is a great opportunity to showcase to incubator companies our breath-taking location and unique event facilities.”