OVER £1.5m has been awarded to an array of early stage businesses at the Scottish EDGE Awards last night.
A total of 40 businesses which were deemed as having “entrepreneurial potential” benefited from the investment at the awards ceremony.
One of the biggest winners at the awards was Edinburgh-based Lentitek Ltd, a provider of next-generation cancer therapy treatment CAR-T.
The firm, founded by Adam Inche, received a total of £100k in the award sponsored by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) in Glasgow.
In the Young EDGE category, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, winners included North Coast Watersports and Robocean, who received the top Harper Macleod and Scottish Enterprise £15k prizes respectively.
Scottish Enterprise agreed to extend its contribution of £75k in the Young EDGE category for both rounds 19 and 20, enabling a further seven winners aged 18-30 to be supported each round, taking the total to 14.
Leah Pape, Head of Entrepreneurship and Investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The high calibre of innovative applicants EDGE attracts gave the EDGE 19 judging panel a very tough job. Our congratulations to all the winners.
“Scottish EDGE has an important role to play in supporting innovative, high growth potential start-ups.
“Scottish Enterprise is proud to help nurture the entrepreneurial talent that will drive Scotland’s future economic prosperity through our continued support for the Young EDGE catergory.”
Wildcard EDGE winners – the category for pre-trading companies, sole-traders and partnerships – received £85k in total.
Royal Bank of Scotland has pledged further support to Scottish EDGE following the successful debut of the Net Zero category last year.
This year’s Net Zero award was won by Edinburgh based Farm-Hand Ltd, a data driven farm-management platform used for connecting farmers and farming aggregators to appropriate agriculture solutions.
Founder Abhimanyu Bhavgava received funds of £70k to further support the company’s growth ambitions.
In the Social Enterprise category, Glasgow-based company The Whisky Chairmen received £50k for its zero-waste manufacturing social enterprise tackling poverty and social isolation in Inverclyde.
The additional funding from Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish Enterprise compliments the £1m boost led by The Hunter Foundation from several Scots entrepreneurs last year.
The final brings the total pot of money awarded through Scottish EDGE to support early stage, high growth businesses to over £20m in the 19 rounds now completed with over 500 successful applicants.
Judith Cruickshank, Regional Managing Director for Scotland & North of England, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Enterprise is at the core of our economy, and the financial sector has a collective responsibility to foster an environment where entrepreneurs can start, scale, and thrive.
“The time to act on climate change is now and investing in high growth businesses through initiatives such as the Net Zero award not only has a positive impact on individuals, but on the future of Scotland as a nation.
“Each and every one of this year’s winners demonstrates the innovation and determination needed to help bolster and strengthen Scotland’s economy after a challenging period, while also making positive strides towards our climate ambitions.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners.”
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE added: “It’s now our eighth year running Scottish EDGE and it’s been a real pleasure to have supported over 500 businesses throughout this time.
“Scottish EDGE was set up with the intention of providing a solution to the funding gap for potential high growth businesses so we’re delighted to be able to invest a further £1.5m in this latest round to an additional 40 businesses.
“The success achieved doesn’t only benefit the companies but provides a potential much needed boost to the wider Scottish economy.”
This year, Scottish EDGE received 177 applications. The finalists pitched to judges on 25th and 26th May in front of a live audience.