High growth support

33 entrepreneurs share £1m Scottish Edge funding

Top prize: Zakareya Hussein of TouchLab

Scottish EDGE, the UK’s biggest funding competition for early stage and high growth companies, has distributed more £1 million among 33 promising entrepreneurs.

This year’s top prize of £100,000 went to Edinburgh-based Touchlab which scooped the Higgs EDGE award for science, technology and engineering focused businesses.

Touchlab uses cutting-edge electronic skin to build tele-operated robot avatars in outer space and hazardous environments.

An additional £500,000 loan from Scottish Enterprise was provided this year.

Keynote speakers at the virtual event were Professor Sir Christopher Evans, the UK bioscience entrepreneur; Alison Rose, CEO NatWest Group, and Poonam Gupta of PG Paper.

This year, Scottish EDGE received a record-breaking 327 applications. The total pot of money awarded through Scottish EDGE to support early stage, high growth businesses has now reached £16 million in the 16 rounds now completed.  


Research commissioned by the Hunter Foundation has revealed that Scottish EDGE has helped generate 860 additional jobs and added around £70m in value to the Scottish economy over the past five years. 

The independent economic impact report, by research firm EKOS, also found that every pound of public money invested in the fund has delivered a return of £7.30 to £8.50 of gross value added (GVA). The initiative has delivered more than £16m in loans and grants to 395 businesses since it was launched by Scottish Enterprise in 2013.

Scottish EDGE is supported by the Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

Sir Tom Hunter, of the Hunter Foundation, said: “Early stage, high growth businesses will play a vital role in rebuilding our economy and driving employment opportunities.

Tom Hunter at Scottish Edge

Sir Tom Hunter: ‘SMEs are fundamental to success’

“As such, Scottish EDGE offers pivotal help to them and it’s not just about the money, the support and peer-to-peer engagement is fundamental in contributing to business success.

“Given we had significant increases in high quality applicants I’m delighted Scottish Enterprise stepped up with an additional £0.5m of loan support enabling us to support far more businesses.

“To be clear if Scotland is to rebuild, SMEs are fundamental to our chances of succeeding and as such business and Government must come together to extend and accelerate support for them through the likes of Scottish EDGE and the Logan Review.”   

List of this year’s Scottish EDGE recipients (alphabetically):

Bellfield Brewery – The UK’s first, exclusively gluten-free and vegan brewery – Edinburgh – £70,000 (loan).

Brave Strong Beautiful (Community Interest Company) – hairdressing and beauty salon offering employability services – Edinburgh – £50,000 (Social Enterprise EDGE)

Craft Prospect – A space engineering practice utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies to improve satellite operations – Glasgow – £80,000

Fresh Car Care – Mobile car care app helping subscribers manage their car cleaning and maintenance – Edinburgh (Prestonpans) – £25,000 (STV Growth EDGE)

GoRoadie – A marketplace connecting learner drivers with qualified driving instructors – North-East (Dundee) – £40,000

IntelliPalp Dx – Biomedical engineering company developing devices for the early detection of prostate cancer – Edinburgh – £75,000

Matugga Distillers – An ambitious distillery producing an award-winning range of artisanal Scottish rum spirts – Livingston – £25,000

MI:RNA – Offering revolutionary diagnostic testing that identifies heart disease in companion animals using a blood sample- Edinburgh (Westfield) – £45,000

Ogi Bio – Start-up biotechnology company developing retrofittable devices to change the way that microbes are grown and managed – Edinburgh – £45,000

Origin Peptides – Manufacturer of peptides, for research, cosmetic and pharmaceutical use – Edinburgh – £35,000

Pillow Property Partners – International travel tech platform that matches holiday homeowners with quality guests from around the world – Ayrshire (Dundonald) – £25,000

Piseach, trading as Bubu Skincare – Creates unique skincare masks targeted globally at gen z/millennial customers – Highlands & Islands (Alness) – £35,000

Quosient, trading as Earth Blox – Earth observation data offering access to terabytes of space satellite – Edinburgh – £30,000

Seawater Solutions – Social enterprise seeking sustainable farming practices which uses seawater to grow salt-tolerant crops – Glasgow – £25,000 (Circular Economy EDGE)

Ten Bio Limited – Biotech spin-out company providing patent-pending human skin testing platform that closely mimics intact living skin– North-East (Dundee) – £65,000

Topolytics – An analytics platform which applies data science to make the world’s waste system more visible – Edinburgh – £45,000

Touchlab – Uses cutting-edge electronic-skin to build teleoperated robot avatars in outer space and hazardous environments – Edinburgh – £100,000 (Higgs EDGE)

Utopi – IoT enabled, smart building integrator to help businesses optimise space and performance – Glasgow (Hamilton) – £30,000

Wildcard EDGE:

Confidence Plus – £10,000

KelpCrofting – £10,000

Mygo4ward – £15,000

ReadSmart (Bright Page Technologies) – £10,000

Recycl8 – £10,000

Silver Lion Innovations £10,000

SolarisKit – £10,000

Young EDGE:

Bare Bones Chocolate – £10,000

BioLiberty – £15,000

Crover – £10,000

Hoko Design – £10,000

Knit It (Creative EDGE) – £10,000

MacIsaac – £10,000

Pomelo Collective Ltd T/A Reath – £10,000

Rafikï Coffee – £10,000

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