The awards, an initiative of Napier University’s Bright Red Triangle enterprise hub, showcase innovative products and services developed by start-ups, spin-outs, fledging companies and entrepreneurs.
They will take place as a Facebook live event on the evening of Tuesday 14 April.
“Trailblazing” students, staff and alumni from across the university community will compete for more than £10,000 in prizes, with food, clothing, cleaning and media businesses among a wide range of projects hoping to impress the judges.
The 19 shortlisted enterprises across six categories will be assessed for everything from the viability of their ideas and clarity of planning to thoroughness of research and potential for growth.
Nick Fannin, head of Bright Red Triangle, commented: “The Bright Red Sparks Awards are a salute to all the enterprising students, staff and alumni from Edinburgh Napier University. We are in awe of the creativity, determination and energy of all of our university community to solve problems, to capture opportunities and to build businesses with purpose.
“Due to the current lockdown we have taken the decision to cancel the awards ceremony but we wanted to announce the shortlist in line with our original timeline as ultimately we want to be able to award the prize money at a time when businesses and self-employed people really need it.
“It’s great to be able to reward hard work and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing support from our generous supporters and sponsors, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Morton Ward, Graphic Designer Pro, Santander Universities and the Moffat Charitable Trust.
“The package of support that our sponsors have offered will help our winners at a time when they really need it. We expect great things from all of those shortlisted, so watch out for their names in the future.”
The 2020 shortlist was drawn up after scrutiny of the entrants’ online application forms, business models and video pitches.
John Morrison, senior associate at law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “This year’s shortlist only highlights the continued quality of Bright Red Sparks entries, a showcase of the drive and innovative thinking that we need, now more than ever, to build successful businesses for the future. Congratulations to the finalists for reaching this stage, and we wish you all the very best of luck.”
Ewan Morton, managing director at creative agency Morton Ward, said: “It is inspiring to see such bold, brave and brilliant ideas coming from the Bright Red Sparks finalists. Not only do these entrepreneurial ideas represent sound business thinking but they also offer hope for the future by embracing digital technologies, the circular economy and environmental sustainability.”
Bright Red Sparks Awards 2020 shortlist:
Bright Ideas (£2,000 prize + in-kind support)
CupClean cleaning product (Ross McFarland), 10T clothing brand (James Marshall), FoxBox tableware hire service (Linda Freimane)
Going for Growth (£2,000 prize + in-kind support)
MaRobert’s food and sauces (Maggie Mazoleka), High Tide film and video production (Alex Porter-Smith, Eathan Currie), Monstrous Regiment Publishing indie press (Lauren Nickoemus, Ellen Desmond)
Business for Good (£2,000 prize)
10T clothing brand (James Marshall), Fine Piece homeware from recycled materials (Kirsty McKain & Rebecca Subido), EQUIPLY supply chain equality (Wai Fong Lam)
Active Citizens (£1,000 prize)
Bloody Big Project period poverty awareness (Hannah Stevens, Brogan Henderson, Sam Calder), Towns of Today personalised guides (Rory Cotter, Morgan Tamplin), pRESPECT reducing child poverty (Viana Maya, Karsten Huttenhain)
Enterprising Educators (£2,000 prize)
Enterprise Partnership Initiative student entrepreneurship (Dr King Omeihe), Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme developing entrepreneurial thinking (Dr Christopher Cramphorn, Dr Rosemary Alford), Built Environment Exchange sustainable construction (Prof Robert Hairstans, Dr Mila Duncheva, Andrew Livingstone, Carola Calcagno, Wojciech Plowas), Design for Professional Practice career development (Ruth Cochrane)
Freelancer of the Year (£1,000 prize + in-kind support)
Loïc Bauméa web development, Bright Edge Media video storytelling (John Matheson), Charles Seed Media photographer and videographer