Firms in Aberdeen, Moray and Caithness are celebrating tonight (May 25) after scooping honours at the Scottish Edge Awards.
A total of 29 businesses from a range of sectors across Scotland have benefited to the tune of £1.175 million after being named as winners in the latest round of the UK’s biggest funding competition for potential high-growth businesses.
Successes include Aberdeen business LiberEat, which helps food producers deliver more accurate information on allergens. It has also developed an app that makes it easier for people with special dietary requirements to eat out at restaurants, cook and shop.
This year’s winners are a testament to the quality and innovation that exists across the country’s start-up and high-growth businesses.”
Gordon Merrylees, Royal Bank of Scotland
LiberEat – founded in 2016 by Barry Leaper and Louise Cahill – secured Edge funding of £35,000 after impressing the competition judges.
It was joined among the latest Edge winners by Caithness gin and run producer Rookums, trading as Ice and Fire Distillery, which came away with £70,000.
Ice and Fire Distillery, based between Helmsdale and Wick, is rum by four Highland crofters – siblings Iain, Elizabeth and Jacquie Black, together with Steven Wright.
Winners in the Young Edge category include Gut Feelings, of Kinloss, which was awarded £10,000. The firm produces kombucha, an effervescent fermented tea that is brewed using organic ingredients and a low waste production process.
Another Moray business, Lossiemouth-based GaitAR, also came away with £10,000 as one of the winners in the Wildcard Edge category for pre-trading companies, sole-traders and partnerships.
GaitAR has developed mobility aids for Parkinson’s patients, in the form of “smart” glasses that improve mobility, cognition, balance and gait through the use of augmented reality visual and auditory cues.
Two firms come away with £100,000 each
One of the biggest successes at the awards, held online, was Edinburgh-based Dyneval, a provider of portable technology for cattle semen analysis designed to help boost livestock conception rates.
Dyneval, co-founded by Tiffany Wood and Vincent Martinez, received a total of £100,000.
Also scooping £100,000 was fellow Edinburgh business Waterwhelm, which has developed potentially game-changing technology to produce drinking water from almost any source. It was the winner of the Higgs Edge award for science, technology and engineering-focused firms.
Keynote speakers for the event were Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter and Matt Moulding – chief executive and chairman of global technology platform The Hut Group, which was recently valued at £4.5 billion.
It brings the total pot of money awarded through Scottish Edge to support early-stage, high growth businesses to around £17.8m in the 17 rounds now completed.
This year, Scottish Edge received 305 applications. The finalists pitched to judges on May 11 in front of a virtual audience.
As well as awarding businesses with funding, Scottish Edge – backed by The Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise – also provides a business support package that includes mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance.
Its funding is awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan, which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.
RBS entrepreneurship managing director Gordon Merrylees said: “We are proud to support Scottish Edge, who share our passion and commitment to Scottish entrepreneurship and a purposeful business community.
“This year’s winners are a testament to the quality and innovation that exists across the country’s start-up and high-growth businesses.
“We wish all the winners and entrants all the very best for the future and look forward to supporting their future growth ambitions.”
Last month some of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs, including BrewDog co-founder James Watt, committed an additional £1m of grants and loans to Scottish Edge.