Winners of the Scottish EDGE awards have received shares of a £1 million prize pot at a virtual ceremony on 7th October.
Scottish EDGE provides innovative, high-growth potential early-stage businesses with up to £150,000 in cash, along with a business support package. This includes mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance. The funds are awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.
The winners will also have access to top-up loan funding to further boost their awards thanks to an additional £500,000 loan from Scottish Enterprise to Scottish EDGE.
The biggest winner of the night was Edinburgh-based Touchlab, which scooped the Higgs EDGE award for science, technology, and engineering-focused businesses. Touchlab uses cutting-edge electronic skin to build teleoperated robot avatars in outer space and hazardous environments.
Wildcard EDGE winners – the category for pre-trading companies, sole-traders and partnerships – received £75,000 in total, including Mygo4ward, which was awarded £15,000. Young EDGE winners – the category for companies where all directors are under the age of 30 – received £85,000, with BioLiberty getting £15,000.
Biotech firms were also well represented on the night. The winner of the IBioIC EDGE Award was Ogi-Bio, a business offering affordable and innovative solutions for automation and analysis of microbial culturing. It will also receive membership of The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) and mentoring to enable it to maximise growth opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
A total of £155,000 will be shared among the three winning businesses, with IBioIC providing a £77,500 loan with matching grant funding from the Scottish Government.
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In addition to Ogi-Bio, two biotechs, Ten-Bio, a human skin testing spin‐out company from the University of Dundee; and MI:RNA, a company providing a unique and cost-effective diagnostic assay that identifies heart disease in companion animals, will also receive a share of the funding.
Ian Archer, Technical Director at IBioIC, said: “IBioIC is delighted to support three truly exciting biotechnology businesses through collaboration with Scottish EDGE. This funding award rightly focuses on support for innovative start-ups in biotechnology.
“For a greener and more sustainable economy, this level of support is essential as biotechnology holds one of the keys in unlocking the change we need to move from an economy largely reliant on fossil fuels, towards the Net-Zero targets.
“Ogi-Bio, Ten-Bio and MI:RNA will join Scotland’s efforts in growing the bioeconomy. I look forward to supporting each company on their individual journey and continued growth.”
With the 16th round of the competition complete, Scottish EDGE has provided over £16 million to support early-stage, high growth businesses.
Scottish EDGE received a record-breaking 327 applications this year.