Stem cell firm among latest Edge winners

Each winner will take home up to a six-figure slice of the prize pot and will receive a support package. Picture: Sandy Young.
Each winner will take home up to a six-figure slice of the prize pot and will receive a support package. Picture: Sandy Young.
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Several businesses are to share a prize pot of nearly £1 million after being selected winners in the latest Scottish Edge round.

Each will take home up to a six-figure slice and will receive a support package from Scottish Edge’s partner organisations to help them fast-track and grow their business.

The Higgs Edge Special Award of £150,000, the highest amount available, was won by scientist Kate Cameron, who set up Cytochroma, which uses automated technology to generate stem cell derived liver cells that model human physiology and accurately identify liver based toxicity, with a view to tackling increasingly expensive yet less effective practices of drug discovery.

The list of winning businesses arose from a whittling-down from 20 finalists who pitched to a panel including Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers, Steve Dunlop of Scottish Enterprise, and Maeve McMahon of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Renowned entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter said businesses that come through Edge “grow faster with less risk because Edge is not just about money, but the embedded support on offer”. He also described Edge businesses as the “lifeblood” of the Scottish economy. He told them: “Scotland needs many more like you.”

Scottish Edge chief executive Evelyn McDonald said: “Congratulations to the inspirational winners and also to our runners-up who worked exceptionally hard to get this far. We welcome the entrepreneurs awarded tonight to our high-achieving alumni of 293 previous Scottish EDGE winners who thus far have generated an additional £104.2m in turnover, secured £82.5m in additional investment and created 1,381 jobs.”

The Scottish EDGE winners are:

Aurora Sustainability - Sets up demonstrative Circular Economy Biorefinery in clusters for social, private and public organisations, offering mentoring and trainings on the CE business model. From: Moray | Amount: £45,000

Broker Insights – A platform that provides insurers with powerful search capabilities to direct their sales resources to the right brokers, at the right time, for the right business.From: Dundee | Amount: £75,000

Cearban – An adventure wildlife tourism business, offering transformational experiences, such as swimming with basking sharks around the Inner Hebrides.

From: Oban | Amount: £50,000

Guy & Beard Ltd - High quality barber shops made out of converted shipping containers in convenient locations, with free parking and affordable prices. From: Bishopton | Amount: £75,000

Just Venue Holding Ltd – An online platform that aims to socialise event space booking, by connecting event hosts and organizers with space owners and managers.From: Dundee | Amount: £50,000

MiAlgae Ltd – Developed a novel algae production to harvest Omega 3 oils from micro-algae grown on waste water. From: Edinburgh | Amount: £100,000

Novosound - Sells novel, printed, ultrasound sensors to the industrial inspection, medical imaging and dental imaging markets. From: Paisley | Amount: £50,000

The Little Herb Farm – A fine food manufacturing business creating a range of sweet fruit vinegars using mainly its own herbs and a range of chilled dips.

From: Fife | Amount: £40,000

The Start-up Drinks Lab Ltd - Provide manufacturing, packaging and storage solutions for small-medium sized soft drink companies for everything from "concept to shelf".

From: Glasgow | Amount: £75,000