Edinburgh Innovations clients have triumphed at the prestigious Scottish EDGE awards, the UK’s largest entrepreneurship funding competition, taking a substantial share of the £1.1 million awarded.
Cell separation specialist uFraction8 won the Higgs EDGE prize for businesses focused on science, technology and engineering, and was awarded £100,000. The company provides scalable bioprocessing technology enabling biomass filtration, separation and dewatering, with no harm and no flocculants, unlike centrifuges, filters and membranes.
Edinburgh Innovations has worked closely with uFraction8 on making business connections and sourcing investment opportunities, including working with Managing Director Dr Brian Miller and Executive Director Dr Monika Tomacka on their successful Scottish EDGE pitch.
“We wouldn’t be here without the help and support of Edinburgh Innovations,” said Dr Miller, a microfluidics and biosensors PhD graduate of the University of Edinburgh.
Young and wild
In the main Scottish EDGE awards, contact sports tech pioneer Sansible Wearables won £50,000. Sansible is the creator of LiveSkin, a wearable sensor to aid decision making after impacts in contact sports.
Young EDGE winners GetGuided, which connects travel suppliers with local tour guides, and Microspray Technologies, which aims to revolutionise ultra-fine particle manufacturing, were awarded £10,000 and £4,000 respectively.
And two EI clients were among the Wild Card EDGE winners and took home £10,000 apiece: Casta Spes Technologies, which is developing its Mantis Blade ground-based drone, and Birthing Solutions, maker of a mirror for midwives and birthing mothers.
The awards, in their 11th round, were announced at the RBS Gogarburn headquarters on 14 December, after finalists in the main Scottish EDGE category each pitched their business plans in three minutes. The judging panel comprised Rob Jones of FanDuel, Jo Bucci of People’s Postcode Lottery, Andy Lothian of Insights, Petra Wetzel of West Brewery and Majella O’Boyle of Royal Bank of Scotland.
Scottish EDGE CEO Evelyn McDonald said: “The calibre of businesses we’ve seen pitching today has been exceptional and our judges had their work cut out deciding who should be awarded funding. We received a total of 242 applications for Scottish EDGE round 11 from around the country, representing businesses in every sector.”
Sir Tom Hunter, renowned Scottish entrepreneur and supporter of Scottish EDGE, said: “Through EDGE we’re seeing a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship developing in Scotland, heeding our nation’s proud tradition as innovators.”
Scottish EDGE funding is awarded as a 40% grant and a 60% loan, with the loan paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success. In addition, Scottish EDGE provides mentoring, training and access to professional support.