Three University-supported student startups took home top prizes of £100k each in the Scottish EDGE Awards last night, with another five businesses, including two staff companies, also named winners.
A total of 42 businesses with high growth potential from across Scotland benefitted to the tune of over £1.6million, after being rewarded in the twentieth round of the awards. This round’s guest speakers featured Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Minecraft founder Chris Van Der Kuyl, and philanthropists Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey.
Picture: Ryan Morrison of RIVAL SC with Elaine Morrison of Scottish Enterprise
One of the biggest winners of the evening was Edinburgh graduate Ryan Morrison of RIVAL SC, who won the Sir Tom Hunter Award of £100k for his tech platform that aims to revolutionise supply chain management for SMEs.
Edinburgh graduates Ross O’Hanlon and Rowan Armstrong from Bioliberty also won £100k for their soft robotic glove and digital platform to help stroke survivors with remote rehabilitation, and David Robertson of Thistle Rocketry took £100k for his space launch start-up, developing scalable rocket systems for cube satellites.
Picture: Mask Logic with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Staff Adam Stokes and Ken Stewart, working with Andy Coleman, formed startup Mask Logic, which won a Net Zero Edge prize of £50k. Mask Logic designs individual, bespoke, re-usable and scientifically proven facemasks to healthcare and other sectors.
Mask Logic, Bioliberty and Thistle Rocketry all received seed funding from the University’s Data-Driven Entrepreneurship programme.
The four other winners of £10k each were SENSEcity, an augmented reality platform for historic sites funded through the Edinburgh Creative Informatics programme, and three Young Edge Wildcard winners: Amin Rigi for Water Electronics, a sensor and robotics company for finding water leaks; Marise Tresender of AI software testing company DeepQA and Jillian Gordon for Bovine Dental.
Dr John Lonsdale, Head of Enterprise at Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, said:
The Enterprise team at EI is extremely proud to have supported such a high calibre of winners at EDGE this year. We look forward to following them as they continue on their innovation journey. ”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at the awards: “Ten years after it started, Scottish EDGE is now the largest funding competition of its kind anywhere in the UK, and I am immensely proud of everyone who has played a part in its remarkable growth.
“Recovery from the pandemic and the current cost crisis we are facing has caused huge challenges across our business sector - but the innovative ways businesses have adapted and reacted has been remarkable. Scottish EDGE epitomizes the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that we want to encourage, more widely, across our economy.
“The Scottish Government recognises the vital role new businesses and new ideas play in creating jobs and prosperity across Scotland, which is why we are delighted to supporting Scottish EDGE.”
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE added:
It has been humbling and rewarding to witness the continued creativity, resourcefulness, and resilience of Scottish entrepreneurship, despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.
“At a time when collectivism and civic mindedness are more important than ever, innovation and enterprise remain the beating heart of economic growth in Scotland. Running the awards for 20 consecutive rounds has not only been helpful to Scottish businesses but a privilege for our team who are able to learn something new every day. ”