Scottish EDGE is focused on identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth entrepreneurial talent, and has already invested £20 million into more than 500 businesses.
Those behind the venture say the 20th round will include an additional prize for a top award winner in the main category of a day with Sir Tom’s investment arm West Coast Capital, including lunch with the renowned entrepreneur himself courtesy of The Hunter Foundation.
Oher changes include the Young EDGE category, which recognises entrepreneurs aged 30 and under, and the Wild Card EDGE category, which caters for pre-trading companies, sole traders and partnerships, each seeing an increase in the top prize award to £20,000 from £15,000.
Furthermore, the number of winners in the Young EDGE Category will again double to 14 as a result of further investment from Scottish Enterprise, while a reversal of the grant-to-loan ratio has been introduced for the Social Enterprise category supported by the Postcode Innovation Trust, which will now be 70 per cent grant and 30 per cent loan moving forward, amid the “greater challenges often faced by social enterprises to repay loans”.
The changes come after 2021’s awards that saw 40 early-stage businesses receive a total of £1.65m.
In addition, Royal Bank of Scotland is continuing its support of Scottish EDGE following the debut last year of the Net Zero Award, and firms demonstrating sustainable practices will also have the opportunity to be rewarded with the Circular Economy Award supported by Zero Waste Scotland.
The STV-supported Growth Award, meanwhile, includes airtime and a launch commercial in addition to funding support, while more broadly Scottish EDGE invites winners to sign up the EDGE Pledge to contribute a minimum of 1 per cent from exit proceeds back into the fund to help its sustainability.
Leah Pape, head of high growth Services at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Hot off the heels of the Scottish EDGE 19 winners being announced last month, it’s great to see the launch of EDGE 20.
"EDGE plays an important role in supporting innovative, high-growth-potential start-ups, and Scottish Enterprise is proud to continue our support for the Young EDGE category, which will nurture the next generation of talented entrepreneurs and help drive Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”
Also commenting was Scottish EDGE chief executive Evelyn McDonald who flagged the changes that are being introduced, including “the opportunity to chat over lunch with one of our biggest supporters, Sir Tom Hunter,” saying it is hoped that such steps will “appeal to what we’re sure will be an exciting group of entrants to Round 20”.
August 23 is the deadline for applications for the 20th round of awards, with finals taking place in December.
Separately, Scotland’s digital technologies industry body ScotlandIS is launching a Cyber Showcase to connect the Scottish cyber industry to prospective investors from across the UK.
At the day-long event, 12 Scottish cyber businesses will be able to pitch for investment from a panel of angel investors, with more in the audience. The deadline for applications is August 12, and the event takes place in November.