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Finalists on EDGE

Last week I was delighted – even privileged – to watch the finalists at the ‘Scottish EDGE Live Pitching Finals’ make their cases for funding and mentoring in a Dragons’ Den style competition.

The finalists were an inspiring group of small and fledgling businesses, each seeking a cash injection of up to £150,000 into their start-ups.

I think it must have been quite a challenging (and probably also nerve-wracking) experience for the finalists, who had a mere three minutes to pitch their business plans and then address some well-researched questions from the expert panel of judges.

I couldn’t help but be impressed by the professional, and sometimes quite slick, pitches that were made. The standard was extremely high and, at risk of sounding overly clichéd, in my view they all were justifiably worthy of being winners. The judges will have a tough time on their hands!

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s entrepreneurs. It’s impressive to see that it has awarded more than £19 million to start-ups and created some 2,300 jobs since its inception back in 2013. I was particularly glad that it had returned to an in-person format, allowing an opportunity to be on hand to offer expert advice and talk all things IP, where needed. For budding entrepreneurs, such advice may have covered anything from basic guidance on whether a new invention may be patentable, to the many different ways one can leverage IP rights and brands.

An aspect that particularly inspired me was the sheer variety amongst the finalists. There were start-ups in AI-based customisation of cosmetics, authentic Clootie Dumplings (delicious, by the way), robotic solutions for the recycling industry, neuromorphic AI chips, organic beers, … the list goes on. You can find a full list of the finalists here.

The winners of Scottish EDGE are to be announced at an award ceremony on the 9th June, and I really do wish all of the finalists the best of luck. If Scottish EDGE is a bellwether of entrepreneurial spirit, then the future in Scotland is looking bright indeed.

 

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start-ups & spin-outs
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