Scottish Edge support
First Scottish Wedge winners share £200,000 prize
Stuart Chidley and Kieran Coyle (pic: contributed)
Two previous Scottish Edge winners, Beauty Kitchen and Premiership Experience, have taken an equal share of a £200,000 prize fund.
They were recipients of the inaugural Winners Edge (Wedge), a new follow-on funding competition supported by Scottish Enterprise.
The competition, which is exclusive to those businesses which have successfully come through Scottish Edge in any of its 13 rounds to date, is the result of a recent £1 million funding boost from Scottish Enterprise, a percentage of which was set aside to offer additional backing to previous winners.
The shared ambition of Scottish Edge and Scottish Enterprise in introducing the Wedge Award is to support entrepreneurs which have maximised the use of their Edge funding and have the systems and expertise in place to scale or internationalise their business with the right support.
This, in turn, aligns with both organisations’ objectives to help Scottish businesses thrive and grow globally, and to bring more quality jobs for people across Scotland.
The search for the Wedge winners kicked-off mid-January, attracting applications from Edge’s talent pool of alumni, from Round 1 to the most recent Round 13.
During the intensive assessment phase which followed, eight businesses were selected to pitch their business progression ideas to a panel of judges, consisting of Leah Pape of Scottish Enterprise, Matt Little of ZoneFox, Simon Kujawa of Re:markable, Neil Francis of Scottish Development International and business consultant, Alex Knight.
Beauty Kitchen, which focuses on the power of nature in its natural beauty product range, received the Scale-up award for the business that was able to demonstrate the highest level of Scale-up impact through the support of the award.
Beauty Kitchen founder, Jo Chidley, said: “Winning the Wedge award at this stage in our business is critical. We are scaling and this injection of cash will help to ensure we have the capacity to pursue all the opportunities that we have before us, at just the right time.
“This award will allow us to finalise the fixture development for our international store roll-outs, enable initial hiring of our next three key people, acquire laboratory equipment to support our Return-Refill-Repeat programme, and assist with attaining greater certification and protection of our products.”
Premiership Experience, a business which offers sporting experiences, received the International award by demonstrating the greatest level of potential international impact.
Founder Kieran Coyle said: “In order to expand our international reach, we plan to hire two international managers to handle overseas customers travelling to Scotland, with particular focus on the Chinese and US markets.
“The financial support of winning this award will play a significant role in helping us achieve these and other business objectives globally, in what is going to be an exciting period for the business.”
The winning pair received their prizes from Scottish Enterprise CEO, Steve Dunlop, at Glasgow’s itison House, hosted by itison founder, Oli Norman. The Scale-up and International Wedge Awards are each worth £100,000, comprising 60% loan and 40% grant.
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish Edge, said: “Selecting two winners from our eight highly accomplished finalists was never going to be an easy task for our panel.
All had come a long way since their initial Edge wins and demonstrated incredible progression in terms of turnover and profit.”
Mr Dunlop said: “It was an honour to present these very deserving winners with an additional £100,000 each, in recognition of their huge potential to scale up or internationalise.
Beauty Kitchen and Premiership Experience are both innovative and inspirational companies that undoubtedly have a bright future ahead of them and I look forward to following their respective journeys.”