After weeks of intensive pitching for all of the businesses involved, Scottish EDGE 14 returned one final time last Thursday night to reveal which businesses had made the cut to take home a slice of the hugely sought-after £1 million plus prize fund on offer.
Harper Macleod is delighted to be a Gold Partner of Scottish EDGE and took part in the judging for the many categories this year. So it was great to be in attendance as the winners were announced.
In traditional Scottish EDGE form, guests were treated to a delicious dinner and heard inspiring speeches from the likes of Sir Tom Hunter and Evelyn McDonald (CEO of Scottish EDGE).
Mindfulness and inspiration
Perhaps the most inspiring speech of the evening came from illustrator Johanna Basford, the creator of a series of adult colouring books that have proved hugely popular in the growing worldwide mindfulness community. After selling over 21 million copies of her books – with titles including Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest and World of Flowers - across the world, Johanna is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit that is celebrated and supported by Scottish EDGE and everyone in attendance.
Never giving up or taking no for an answer, even in the face of rejection, Johanna exemplifies what can be achieved when you're determined and driven. Despite repeatedly being told that selling an adult colouring book wouldn't work as a business, Johanna convinced her publisher to give it a go and the results are now clear for everyone to see – she was onto a winner.
Ending her speech with wise words that both she and her husband follow, she inspired many to not only chase after their dreams, but to actively go out and achieve them. As Johanna says, "your biggest opportunity is also your biggest challenge". New ideas are rejected all the time, so all that's left to do is go out there, do it on your own and never give up.
Beyond the speeches, it was time to get down to the nitty-gritty and the winners came from a wide array of sectors (and ages and backgrounds). You can see a full run-down of the winning businesses here.
The Scottish EDGE final was, as always, a demonstration of the excellent entrepreneurial talent we have here in Scotland and served as a reminder of why our ecosystem should be cherished. Needless to say we are looking forward to seeing how the winning businesses grow and evolve with the help of the funding they secured through EDGE 14.
Finally, in keeping with the entrepreneurial attitude of never giving up and never taking no for an answer championed by Johanna, we were delighted to see that across the night there were many winners who had been unsuccessful in previous rounds, reinforcing the message Sir Tom Hunter gives at every final to those who did not quite make it: "it's not no, it's just not yet".
After such an inspiring and fun-filled event, it's not long until EDGE 15 kicks off on July 29 and we start the process all over again.