A total of 34 Scottish EDGE winning businesses recently got the chance to pick the brains of 23 ‘GlobalScots’ who are part of a 600 strong network of entrepreneurial and inspirational business leaders, dedicated to supporting Scotland’s most ambitious companies.
Scottish EDGE is the UK’s largest business funding competition and, to date, has awarded in excess of £13 million to more than 300 Scottish startup businesses.
The competition consists of three categories: Scottish EDGE, Young EDGE, Wild Card EDGE, and four special awards within the Scottish EDGE category: Higgs EDGE, Creative EDGE, Social EDGE and Circular Economy EDGE.
For the EDGE winning businesses present, the evening delivered an opportunity to meet high profile business persons, such as Graeme Cook of Keller; Andrew Lloyd of Dynama Solutions; Gregor Mowat of LOQBOX; Tracey Ginn of MBM Commercial; Gilli Coston of KORE Wireless; and Paul Gallagher of EY – all of whom were keen to provide advice, contacts and, potentially, mentoring.
With the impending EU exit and uncertainty of its effects on Scotland’s ability to trade on the Global Market, being able to access, make sense of and create connections to international trade is more crucial now than ever.
One of the key topics to emerge during the thematic networking session, which was supported by Scottish Enterprise, was that of the opportunities that London, and the surrounding area, can offer Scottish based businesses. The evening’s venue, Scotland House, for example, is one of five International Innovation and Investment hubs that form part of a wider network across government, partners and businesses to support trade, investment, innovation and inter-governmental relations with Europe. Primarily, they provide a platform for collaborative activity to increase exports and attract investment to Scotland.
Several of the EDGE winners were also given the chance to pitch their business idea to the floor. One such individual who took advantage of the opportunity was Callum Murray, founder of online ID and compliance checks firm, Amiqus, who gave a pitch demonstrating how the company has grown its team to 30 through the success of its first product, Amiqus ID.
Both Scottish EDGE and Scottish Enterprise intend to follow-up with the entrepreneurs who attended the event to identify introductions to GlobalScots that directly support the growth plans of the company and have demonstrable impact.
Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald said: “With Scottish Government recently unveiling a 10-year plan to revive Scotland’s export performance to keep pace with other countries, it’s impossible for us to ignore the crucial role that our highly scalable EDGE winning businesses could play in strengthening Scotland’s position.
“For Scottish Enterprise and the GlobalScots to have enabled this valuable access to such a vast array of business knowledge is incredible and has equipped many of our business leaders with a greater understanding of how to promote, market, lead and raise investment for their business.
“I have no doubt that the impact of tonight’s event will be long lasting, helping our EDGE winning businesses enter new markets and forge stronger trading relationships that will ultimately benefit the Scottish economy.”
Julie Morrison, head of International Networks at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Our network of GlobalScots boasts some of the sharpest business minds to come out of Scotland, spanning a variety of growth sectors from life sciences and data to creative industries and tourism. They can help companies make vital connections, provide advice and open up opportunities for those keen to grow.
“Scottish EDGE has a strong track record for producing highly successful scaling companies and we’re sure that with the added boost of linking to our GlobalScot network, their potential to internationalise and make a positive impact on Scotland’s economy will be even greater.”
The GlobalScot network connects highly experienced business leaders, entrepreneurs and executives around the world with a keen interest in supporting the growth and development of Scottish businesses. Started by Scottish Enterprise in 2001, it has helped transform the face of Scottish business, giving hundreds of emerging and growing companies in Scotland a head start to compete in a global marketplace, as well as attracting inward investment to the country.
Scottish EDGE recently announced that, for the first time, its two-day conference will be split between two cities – Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Hunter Foundation, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, the competition has been a springboard for more than 300 businesses in the past, with notable winners including Trtl, Brewgooder, Caresourcer and Ooni.