The Scottish EDGE finals are always fantastic however Lucky #EDGE13, the finals of which took place this week, was something extra special. With every seat in the house taken at the Gogarburn Conference Centre, a record £1.8 million was awarded, with the judges announcing that the calibre of businesses has never been better.
The Scottish EDGE winners celebrate their awards at Gogarburn
In addition to a record winning prize pot, #EDGE13 broke just about every other Scottish EDGE record with:
- a record breaking 286 applications;
- a record breaking 18 days of assessor days with a record number of 113 assessors; and
- a record breaking 800 attendees over the course of the finals on 5th and 6th December.
The benefits of winning a Scottish EDGE award were highlighted when Sir Tom Hunter shared some Scottish EDGE statistics - in six years, and with a team of only five people, Scottish EDGE has awarded £11.5m. This has helped to create 16,052 jobs in companies generating over £130m in turnover and 90% of a winners are still trading.
The event really highlighted the potential that Scottish businesses have to grow and achieve great things. In addition to Sir Tom Hunter, there were excellent talks from Kate Forbes MSP, James Watt of Brewdog and Gareth Williams of Skyscanner. Together they offered incredible insight and advice to Scotland's budding entrepreneurs.
Brewdog served as an example that, despite popular opinion to the contrary, profit and giving back can go hand-in-hand. This tied in with the recognition that a wider social mission is what drives many modern Scottish entrepreneurs to succeed as well as profits. Gareth spoke about his journey with Skyscanner and offered advice on how he believes that having a prototype is invaluable to a startup business. He also gave the entrepreneurs advice on taking on investment and to always looking at the bigger picture.
It was an excellent night that was a real celebration of Scottish talent, achievement and most importantly, potential. We were also delighted to see that many of Harper Macleod's clients were among the winners.
However, in preparation for the Hamill Quiz at the Scottish Edge alumni event, I am also going to be sure to remember that EDGE is actually an acronym for Encouraging Dynamic Growth Entrepreneurs and #EDGE13 was the first round which had a father and son team pitch and identical twins pitch.
Finally, a huge congratulations to all the winners last night and good luck for the Scottish EDGE scale up and internationalisation awards.
Get involved in Round 14
If you were inspired by last night's events, it's not too early to start thinking about Scottish EDGE 14. Applications will be open 28 January 2019, so get going! We're looking forward to seeing the next round of innovative businesses and what they have to offer!
Find out more at scottishedge.com