The Scottish EDGE Awards, the UK’s biggest funding competition for potential high growth businesses, has once again been dominated by startup companies supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the commercialisation service of the University of Edinburgh.
Many of the successful University of Edinburgh staff and student startups had a particular emphasis on social enterprise and environmental impact.
For example, Social Stories Club won the Social Impact top award of £65,000, while the top Wildcard EDGE Award of £15,000 went to Danu Robotics for developing a revolutionary robotic system for the recycling and waste management industry to significantly increase recycling efficiency.
In addition, earlier this month Bennu.ai won £50,000 at the Scottish EDGE COP 26 for his company developing a bin that sorts waste automatically. Bennu.ai guarantees to save companies 10% of their waste management costs, potentially as much as 40%.
Other awards included the Young EDGE Award of £15,000 to Rhizocore Technologies, £10,000 to Black Goblin Audio who also won the Creative EDGE award, and to non-alcoholic drinks business Quas.
We are thrilled to see so many of our Edinburgh students, graduates and staff win at Scottish Edge. It’s an incredibly competitive funding competition and to see so many EI clients triumph in this round is a testament to their innovation, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. Well done and congratulations to all.
Lorna Baird, Student Enterprise Manager, Edinburgh Innovations
Net AI, co-founded by Dr Paul Patras, Associate Professor at the University of Edinburgh also won £50,000.
Rhizocore Technologies produces symbiotic fungi that associate with trees.
HeadOn Health offers a digital therapy app proven to be effective in supporting concussion patients in their recovery.
Social Stories Club was created by Karis Gill and Aayush Goyal, when they were students at the University of Edinburgh. Previously supported by Edinburgh Innovations, Social Stories Club is an Edinburgh-based social enterprise which produces gift boxes containing products from social enterprises, each with a fascinating story of social impact and helping communities and the environment.
Black Goblin Audio, co-founded by Ana Betancourt and Gabrielle Haley, is an Edinburgh-based sound design and technology company. And Net AI is real-time AI-driven analytics company revolutionising the management of cloud-based virtual mobile networks and helping Telecom companies reduce their capital/operating expenditure.
Danu Robotics, founded by Xiaoyan Ma, is developing a revolutionary robotic system for recycling and waste management industry to significantly increase recycling efficiency. Danu’s robotic solution can reduce the contamination rate from current at least 10% to below 1% while saving on operating costs ranging from 30% to 100%.
And Bennu.ai is also tackling waste management with Janus, a bin that sorts waste automatically. Bennu.ai’s early projections estimate possible reductions of up to 40%.
This success follows an exceptional year from Edinburgh Innovations during which the company launched over 100 student startup companies, the highest of any Russell Group University.
A record-breaking 42 businesses from a range of sectors across Scotland were awarded a total of £1.5 million at the Scottish EDGE Awards Round 18.
As well as awarding businesses with funding, Scottish EDGE also provides a business support package that includes mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance. Its funding is awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.
Scottish EDGE is supported by the Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.