Site navigation

Meet the Finalists for the Startup of the Year Award 2019

Dominique Adams


Scottish Tech Startup Awards

With the Scottish Tech Startup Awards 2019 just round the corner, DIGIT has created a who’s who of the finalists for the Startup of the Year award.

Now in its second year, the Scottish Tech Startup Awards, hosted by Turing Fest, serves as a platform to highlight and celebrate those people and companies that are leading the way in building and supporting Scotland’s flourishing digital ecosystem.

The Startup of the Year award recognises the Scottish technology business that has shown the most outstanding achievement in product and commercial development. It also marks the winning company as the one with the most exciting potential for future growth.

Last year’s Startup of the Year, Current Health, is the startup behind the first FDA-cleared wireless wearable that combines continuous ICU-level vital sign monitoring and advanced data science to detect illness earlier.

Natalie Novick, research editor at and one of this year’s judges, said: “The nominated companies for this year’s Startup of the Year represent some of the most exciting startups not just from Scotland, but from across Europe.

“Each of them has demonstrated their potential to make a massive impact in their industries, and have each built technologies that Scotland can really be proud of.”

This year’s finalists for Startup of the Year include; ChilliConnect, Current Health, Intelligent Growth Solutions, Money Dashboard and Speech Graphics.


ChilliConnect is a SaaS live game management platform that allows game developers and publishers to run live games. The Dundee tech firm’s platform allows developers to change elements to games in real-time and without the need for the app to be updated. It also helps developers to monetise mobile games.

Its platform acts as an all-in-one toolkit that gives developers everything they need to maintain their live games, from analytics to leaderboards to managing players’ accounts and game economy

In April this year, the firm raised £345,000 in seed funding to fuel its global ambitions and has grown its team from five to eight. At the start of October, the game management firm was acquired by Unity, a leading video game software development company based in San Francisco.

Current Health

Formerly known as Snap40, Current Health is an Edinburgh-based MedTech startup that has created an automated remote AI-enabled patient monitoring device. This exciting startup, which launched in 2015, scooped up last year’s Startup of the Year award.

The device works as a hub with seamless, wireless integrations that allows for the continuous tracking of the wearer’s vital signs with the same level of accuracy as ICU-level monitoring. The company’s platform combines secure video calling and text messaging to keep healthcare professionals connected to their patients. Using machine learning, the company’s tech can turn the raw data into a detailed picture of the patient’s health, which a physician can access easily.

This information can assist in predicting when a patient will deteriorate and through proactive alerts sent via the firm’s platform, which is HIPPA and NHS compliant, the company’s tech can drive earlier treatment, which in turn can help to improve patient outcomes. Current Health has gone from strength to strength and now has offices in London and the US in addition to its Edinburgh location.


Intelligent Growth Solutions

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is an innovative agritech company based in Invergowrie that specialises in creating tech that enables the efficient production of crops in indoor locations. The IGS team is behind ground-breaking vertical farming technology that could help tackle global food shortage.

The company’s Vertical Farm-in-a-box and retro-fit Growth Stations for low-rise installations are driven by the firm’s patented Internet of Things (IoT) power and communications platform. IGS claims its tech can reduce energy usage by up to 50% and labour costs by 80%, when compared with other indoor growing environments. In addition, its tool can also produce yields of 225% compared to growing under glass.

Vertical farming sees crops grown in stacked indoor layers, using less labour than traditional methods and allows for year-round production. Due to the size and ease of this type of farming, it can make use of abandoned or unused properties.

In June, the startup was awarded £5.4m to further develop its technology in a funding round led by US-based S2G with support from AgFunder and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Money Dashboard

Launched in 2010, the Edinburgh fintech’s award-winning app helps more than 200,000 people manage their finances. The app connects to more than 70 financial institutions, so users can manage all of their accounts in one place to track spend, plan ahead and achieve their goals.

The app categorises and analyses all of their users’ transactions to help them better understand how they use their money and manage their personal finances.

It generates income by selling anonymised market data to other companies, which means the app is free for its users. Since its launch, the app has analysed more than 366 million transactions totalling more than £33 billion in value from a combination of online current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards.

The company has raised millions in funding thanks to investment from a number of sources including the Scottish Investment Bank and Calculus capital. Earlier this year, Money Dashboard raised more than £2m from crowdfunding in less than 24-hours, it exceeded its original target of £1.5m in under 45 minutes.

Speech Graphics

A spin-out of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, Speech Graphics delivers pioneering facial animation technology to some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry such as Warner Brothers and Def Jam Recordings and is the team behind Lara Croft’s smile.

The company’s software produces high-quality facial animation from audio alone, mitigating the need for motion capture.

Founded in 2010 by Michael Berger and Gregor Hofer, and game industry veteran Colin Macdonald the company has won several awards for its speech-driven animation technology, including the prestigious John Logie Baird Award for innovation.

Speech Graphics has also been awarded several development grants, including grants from Scottish Enterprise and the University of Abertay.

In October 2018, the company received a £2m investment from Archangels, Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank, which at the time the company said it would use to expand into the US’s intelligent US virtual assistant market.

Dominique Profile Picture

Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

Latest News

%d bloggers like this: