Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Scotland's new spirit of entrepreneurship!

Finance Secretary John Swinney (centre) with Scottish EDGE  award winners.
A new spirit of entrepreneurship is developing in Scotland, says Scottish government Finance Secretary John Swinney.

He was speaking after funding worth a total of £540,000 was awarded to 17 of Scotland's brightest and most innovative start-ups in the first round of the Scottish government's Scottish EDGE Awards.

The Scottish EDGE fund aims to support and encourage entrepreneurial activity in Scotland. The Scottish government has worked closely with its enterprise agencies, Royal Bank of Scotland and business hothouse Entrepreneurial Spark in developing the new fund.


TWM Productions Ltd (Glasgow) £50,000
TWM helps parents/carers to develop their child’s vital motor skills through use of a four-in-one foldaway baby and toddler seat with recliner and angled tummy time platform. Funding will help establish production and make arrangements for financial management to support the company’s growth.

Thurso Cinema (Caithness) £50,000
Thurso Cinema Ltd operates cinema and bowling facilities. Funds will be used for the re-development of the full frontage of the cinema and to create a conferencing and events facility, as part of broader plans to establish a Digital Entertainment Centre in Thurso.

Shooze with Sole (Kilmarnock) £35,000
This footwear retailer offers a full fitting service and aims to educate parents on the benefits of wearing correctly fitting shoes. Funding will be used to open a fourth store on the West Coast of Scotland, creating employment in an area of high unemployment.

Talking Mats (Stirling) £50,000
Talking Mats uses a mat with symbols to help individuals with communication difficulties express themselves effectively. This funding will primarily be used to market and launch a digital mat.

Runners up

Relume (Perth) £20,000
Relume Design supplies products for use in Led lighting applications. Funding will enable the firm to purchase components to allow product sales to commence and undertake the necessary CE marking and EMC testing.

Freedom Brands (Glasgow) £35,000
Freedom Brands has developed Gococo, a healthy soft drink that is 100 per cent coconut water. Funding will be used to help Freedom Brands promote and market their product across retail outlets in Norway and Denmark.

Stormpods (Isle of Islay) £30,000
Stormpods produces fibreglass shelled pods that they can be part buried, covered in earth, turf, rock’s, etc.  and used as an alternative solution to a home extension or conservatory. Funding will be used towards the creation of a further pod, marketing support and employment to boost sales.

Micro Fitness (Lanarkshire) £25,000
The company provides fitness experiences and aims to inspire children to have a more active lifestyle. The company has built this up to include 15 fitness experiences and the funding will support plans to expand their business.

Glitter Beach (Lochwinnoch) £20,000
This company offers beach wear aimed specifically at consumers with Stoma bags and are finalising a new product aimed at improving wearability for users of Stoma bags. Funding will go towards plans to establish global sales.

SKG Europe Ltd t/a Hotbott (Glasgow) £40,000
The company sells Hott-Bott products which provide seat and hand heat solutions. With an impressive client listing including RBS, Celtic, Rangers, and Amazon, Hotbott are about to launch a new range of branded products. Funding will be used help Hotbott to create a global brand.

Stem Cloud (Glasgow) £10,000
StemCloud offer an online sound samples marketplace to producers and amateur ‘bedroom’ music-makers. Funding will be used to develop this audio synchronisation tool and accelerate the time to get the product to market.

Saloca Ltd t/a Appointedd (East Lothian) £30,000
This firm offers online business management software for salons and spas. The funding will be used to support the business on technical issues and business development.

Ladderlimb (Newton Stewart) £25,000
Ladderlimb is an innovative ladder accessory, which is available in the UK. Funding will be used to support the company with its growth plans.

Clear Returns (Glasgow) £30,000
Clear Returns offers ecommerce and multichannel retailers the chance to preserve as much of the basket value as possible post sale. Funding will be used to internationalise, provide sales support and support growth plans.

Quorate (Edinburgh) £20,000
Quorate makes audio and video searchable by keyword. Funding will ensure the firm can maximise the protection of their intellectual property and begin to develop the brand and proposition to take them through to sales.

Birthsparks (Ayrshire) £30,000
This firm creates innovative clinical products that are designed to support mothers during pregnancy and birth as well as babies within the first hour following birth. Funding will be used to complete testing and establish local manufacturing capability.

Eat Balanced (Glasgow) £40,000
This firm markets and sell food products that make it easier for everyone to achieve a balanced diet. They have produced their first range of pizzas and funding will support new product development and sales support.

Launched in October 2012, the competition received 235 applications and 100 of these were invited to an initial round of pitches in January. Applications for funding were considered by a Dragon's Den style investment panel, composed of Scotland's leading business people and entrepreneurs, who selected 20 finalists.

A final panel comprising Sir Willie Haughey (City Refrigeration), Sir Tom Hunter (Hunter Foundation), Julie Grieve (PSYBT), Alex Paterson (HIE) and Gordon Merrylees (RBS) selected the 17 finalists.

Mr Swinney said, "I am seeing a new spirit of entrepreneurship developing in Scotland, building on our nation's proud tradition as innovators and the inaugural EDGE Awards celebrates and supports fresh Scottish business talent.

"The Scottish government recognises that the private and public sector must work together to assist business growth in Scotland and that's why we established the £2 million Scottish EDGE fund to unlock investment for entrepreneurs.

"We are focused on maintaining Scotland's position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK. The EDGE has awarded 17 ambitious entrepreneurs with funds to establish or grow their business and contribute to Scotland's economic success.

"Entrepreneurial Spark has been a key part of this fund and the Scottish government has been excited to facilitate this innovative new approach to business support, which I consider will be crucial in developing some of the ambitious next generation entrepreneurs.

"I would like to congratulate the winners and the runners-up in this first round of funding. The 17 successful enterprises have demonstrated their growth potential and I wish them every success in the future."

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