The Scottish EDGE final is always a highlight for our calendar and Round 8 did not disappoint. With a great turnout throughout the day, we found ourselves in a room filled with truly inspiring people from all different sectors.
The buzz around the RBS Conference Centre reflected the excitement surrounding what is a hugely important occasion for the 22 finalists pitching their ideas to an impressive panel of judges, along with of the Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE winners who were waiting to find out how much they had won. We know from experience that the help Scottish EDGE gives to all the finalists is invaluable and they do an incredible job helping the finalists to realise their goals of business success.
The day was kicked off by a short presentation from the CEO of Scottish EDGE, Evelyn McDonald before she handed over the reigns to the host for the day Fred MacAulay, who kept us all thoroughly entertained with his wit and anecdotes in between the pitches, though even Fred played second fiddle to the judging panel, chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin.
The pitches from the finalists were for wildly different ideas from diverse sectors but all had one thing in common, the passion they showed for their business. We heard pitches for products ranging from underwear, to robots, to windows, to sporting equipment; any audience member would find it difficult not to see something that made them think “I would buy that!”
We enjoyed a buffet dinner (the pies have returned!) while the judges deliberated and made their all important decisions. The awards ceremony was just as impressive as the day had been, with awards being given to 15 of the 22 finalists ranging from £25,000 to a whopping £100,000. £820,000 in total to the Scottish EDGE winners and £1.28 million taking into account Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE. One business, BLUSHO, even managed to win in two different categories after the introduction of the public vote competition this year. We were absolutely delighted to see a number of Harper Macleod clients scoop awards.
As the evening drew to a close, we reflected on the impact Scottish EDGE has on business in Scotland: since it began in 2012, Scottish EDGE alumni have generated an additional £31.8m in turnover, secured £28.36m in additional investment, and created 641 jobs! We look forward to our continued involvement and seeing these figures grow through to Scottish EDGE round 9.