£1m+ shared by 14 firms
Young Suhit celebrates recovery with top EDGE prize
Suhit Amin of Salderson Media, pictured with Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn, was the competition’s youngest ever recipient
A teenager who founded his business while battling cancer was among 14 early stage companies which shared more than £1 million in this year’s Scottish EDGE competition.
Eighteen-year-old sixth year student, Suhit Amin, set up his now six-figure turnover influencer marketing agency, Saulderson Media whilst undergoing aggressive chemotherapy for Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, from which he has been in remission since September 2018.
He was among the entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas live at Glasgow’s Technology and Innovation Centre and Edinburgh’s RBS Conference Centre last month to high-profile panels chaired by Margaret Gibson of EY Foundation and Simon Hannah of Filshill.
Addressing the finalists prior to the awards announcement, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter said: “It’s fantastic to support Scottish EDGE; the businesses that come through EDGE grow faster with less risk because EDGE is not just about money, but the embedded support on offer.
“EDGE businesses are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy and we are delighted to support you as you grow and prosper – Scotland needs many more like you.”
The newly introduced Circular Economy EDGE Award, which is supported by Zero Waste Scotland to encourage and back entrepreneurs who are exploring circular ways of doing business, was won by Hamish Menzies of Rocio, a designer fashion brand which manufactures and sells premium wooden handbags worldwide using 100% sustainable wood and fair-trade manufacturing methods. Roccio has gained traction from celebrity influencers such as Kate Upton and Amelia Warner.
Commenting on Roccio’s win, Jill Farrell, chief operating officer at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Right now, we are consuming huge quantities of finite resources only for them to go to waste. Rocio’s luxury wooden handbags are a fantastic example of the way products should be designed with the planet in mind. Their win should inspire fellow entrepreneurs with big ideas to change the way we live. The circular economy will be built by creative thinkers.”
The Higgs EDGE Special Award of £125,000 was awarded to Dr Peter Orrell, who set up MycoNourish as a means of harnessing the power of beneficial microbes to enhance crop production and add value for growers via customised fungi to suit the problem areas of specific crops.
As the UK’s largest business funding competition, Scottish EDGE has now awarded more than £14 million and is given as a 40% grant and a 60% loan, with a maximum award of up to £150,000. The loan is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success. Both the Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE awards are grants of up to £15,000.
Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald, said: “Tonight’s ceremony offers great encouragement as a snapshot of the current state of entrepreneurship in Scotland. The vast array of exciting businesses that our panels have chosen to support, from celebrity endorsed sustainable handbags and ground-breaking cancer treatments to teenager founded marketing agencies and bagpiper illness preventers, Scotland really does offer the kind of outside-the-box entrepreneurial thinking needed to achieve recognition in a global market.
“Congratulations to the inspirational winners and also to our runners up who worked exceptionally hard to get this far. We welcome the entrepreneurs awarded tonight to our high achieving alumni of 350 previous winners who thus far have generated an additional £151 million in turnover, secured £124 million in additional investment and created 1,858 jobs.”
Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship for Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “We are both delighted and extremely proud as a bank to have been a founding supporter of Scottish EDGE since its inception in 2014 and a key funder for almost five years as part of our overall desire to help Scottish entrepreneurs start, scale and succeed.”
Full list of recipients
Carbogenics – Producer of the carbon-based additive CreChar for anaerobic digestion. Edinburgh | £50,000
CensorPic – Protects children by removing access to a device’s camera upon real-time detection of nudity. Glasgow | £75,000
Fodilicious – Food business offering the UK’s first allergen free, FODMAP friendly products. Livingston | £70,000
Love Rose Lingerie – Designs and creates appealing lingerie for women who have had breast surgery. Edinburgh | £45,000
Molke – Manufacture body positive and breastfeeding friendly underwear in bright and eye-catching designs. Perth | £45,000
Phox Water – Innovative water filter to offer a more environmentally friendly option for drinking water. Glasgow | £40,000
R3-IOT – Collects sensor data wirelessly to enable organisations to gain insight into their operations. Glasgow | £100,000
ScreenIn3D – Screening services that help drug developers to validate effectiveness of their compounds. Glasgow | £50,000
Sentinel Biosensor – State-of-the-art, medical grade, wearable, vital-signs monitor that works in hospitals and in patients’ homes. Lanark | £50,000
Sentinel Subsea – Environmentally friendly monitoring of suspended and decommissioned subsea oil and gas assets. Aberdeen | £75,000
SiMologics – Conjugate gold nanoparticles to antibodies for treatment of head and neck cancer. Glasgow | £45,000
Soar – Build technological platforms to help credit unions grow and operate more efficiently. Glasgow | £75,000
SoundBops – Musical education instruments designed for children. Glasgow | £50,000
Circular Economy EDGE:
Rocio – Seller of ethically sourced, celebrity endorsed premium wooden handbags and clutches internationally. Glasgow | £50,000
MycoNourish – Harnesses the power of beneficial microbes to enhance crop production. Dundee | Amount: £125,000
Social Enterprise EDGE:
Good Call Mobile – Good Call CIC provides mobile telecommunications solutions exclusively for non-profit organisations. Dundee | Amount: £80,000
#hashtag – Utilises AI to provide brands with a flexible, scalable, cost-effective way to manage their social conversations. Edinburgh | £10,000
Atypical Cosmetics – Cosmetic customisation company for people with allergies which will offer an innovative customisation service so people can avoid ingredients they are allergic to. Glasgow |£10,000
Fresh Car Group – Building a car valeting platform connecting customers with a network of 100s of valeting operators across the UK. Edinburgh |£10,000
Opinew – Product reviews app for online shops running on Shopify ecommerce platform that collects reviews via email and from Amazon, AliExpress and EBAY. Glasgow |£10,000
Saulderson Media – Premium talent management and influencer marketing agency exclusively managing a roster of high-profile social influencers (specifically in gaming and esports). Glasgow |£10,000
Seawater Solutions – Social impact enterprise seeking to disrupt conventional agriculture by introducing sustainable farming practices which use seawater to grow salt-tolerant crops. Glasgow |£10,000
Waterwhelm – Developed a self-powered technology for the production of freshwater from wastewater whilst simultaneously producing biodiesel/biogasoline or electricity. Edinburgh |£15,000
AJL Marketing – Manufacture of a new and unique range of contemporary, durable, premium picnic blankets, inspired by nature in Scotland, responsibly sourced & manufactured. Edinburgh | £10,000
Bplasticfree – Manufacture a biodegradable, reusable, food-grade waxed cotton alternative to cling film on a commercial scale and also developing a new Vegan food wrap. Anstruther | £10,000
Human – Unique artificial intelligence psychotherapist, which enables its users to reduce psychological stress and increase levels of well-being. Glenrothes | £10,000
Martial Arts Heroes – Children’s physical and mental health, well-being development programme delivered through Martial Arts. Glasgow | £10,000
Kingdom Technologies – Our company is developing a robotic lawn mower for large terrains. Glasgow | £10,000
MacIsaac – Developing a new moisture control technology for bagpipes. Falkirk | £15,000
Turnbull Design Engineering – Product design & prototyping agent who have created a device which revolutionises the way gymnast rings can be used for fitness benefits. Glasgow | £10,000
Voxsio – Alli-Chat engages people in conversations that help them become aware of their mental health and delivers personalised support information. Edinburgh | £10,000