ri news

Wowo's Wins £100,000 Scottish EDGE Award


The winners of Scottish EDGE Round 13 were announced last night with one of Inverclyde's newest businesses Wowo's taking home a £100,000 award to help the further growth of the company.

Owner Fraser Gordon started the business in August 2015 with the goal of manufacturing industrial chemicals, individually advanced nanotechnology coatings and formulas to be used in the automotive sector.

In 2016, the brand ‘Wowo’s’ was launched, quickly gaining high endorsement from industry leaders and moved to Riverside Inverclyde's  Kelburn Business Park earlier this year as part of the ongoing expansion of the business. 

Andrew Bowman, Head of Business Investment at Riverside Inverclyde said:

"This is fantastic news for Fraser and his team at Wowo's and we are delighted that their fantastic products have been recognised by this important national competition. 

"This is the second Scottish EDGE winner we've seen at Kelburn Business Park following the success of The Start-Up Drinks Lab in Round 12, and further proof of the exciting businesses emerging from the area."

Earlier this month, Scottish EDGE announced a £1 Million funding increase from Scottish Enterprise and twenty-four winners reaped the benefits with each taking home up to a six-figure share of the almost £2 million prize pot on 6 December 2018.  

£200,000 has been set aside for two additional prizes of £100,000 each of which will be awarded in March 2019 to existing Scottish EDGE winners who are seeking funding to scale-up or internationalise quickly.

Edinburgh charity, Turing Trust, took home the newly introduced £100,000 Social EDGE Award.

The winning businesses came from 39 Scottish EDGE finalists who pitched their business ideas to an expert panel of judges, chaired by Simon Hannah of Filshill and Kerry Sharp of the Scottish Investment Bank, live at The Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre over two days to accommodate the increased number of finalists.

The newly introduced Social EDGE Award of £100,000, which is supported by the Postcode Innovation Trust, was won by Alan Turing of the Turing Trust, a registered charity that reuses computers to help bring digital education opportunities to African schools. 

The Higgs EDGE Special Award of £150,000 went to Holly Butler and Mark Hegarty of ClinSpec Diagnostics who are developing fast, sensitive blood tests for early detection of cancer using our novel, infrared sample-slides and diagnostic software.

Stuart Lind, the founder of Stems, a maker-based construction toy that inspires curiosity and opens up opportunities for active discovery, took home £50,000 as the winner of the creative industry-specific special award, Creative EDGE, which is supported by Creative Scotland.

The highest amounts awarded in the Scottish EDGE category went to data management business, Platinum Informatics and flavour matching biscuit producer, The Drinks Bakery, each of whom received the maximum amount for of £100,000.

Additional awards of £10,000 were given to 6 winners in the Young EDGE category, for entrepreneurs under the age of 30, with the Harper Macleod Young EDGE award of £15,000 going to Zsolt Stefkovics of Fellow Creatures, an innovative vegan chocolate company with a focus on indulgent treats suitable for those with alternative diets or dietary restrictions.

A further seven awards were given in the Wild Card EDGE category for businesses who have yet to commence trading, with Nikki Welch of Quenchable, a digital training tool for the hospitality industry, taking the top £15,000 prize and the remainder receiving £10,000.

As the UK’s most significant business funding competition, Scottish EDGE has awarded over £11 million thus far with prizes given as a 40% grant and a 60% loan and a maximum award of up to £150,000. The loan is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success. Both the Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE awards are grants of up to £15,000. 

Evelyn McDonald, Scottish EDGE CEO, said: 

“The past two days have been the perfect end to an excellent round for Scottish EDGE. As an organisation collaborating with others to make Scotland the best place for business, finding ourselves in the position to support so many inspiring entrepreneurs is an incredible outcome.

“Congratulations to the inspirational winners and also to our runners up who worked exceptionally hard to get this far, our judges had a challenging task narrowing down the 39 remarkable businesses who pitched down to just 24. 

"We welcome the entrepreneurs awarded tonight to our high achieving alumni of 313 previous Scottish EDGE winners who thus far have generated an additional £131.29 million in turnover, secured £108.33 million in additional investment and created 1,652 jobs.” 

Sir Tom Hunter, renowned Scottish entrepreneur and supporter of Scottish EDGE said: 

Scotland has a proud heritage of innovation and through EDGE we’re seeing a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship developing. I’m continually encouraged by the ambition and ingenuity that we see presented on the EDGE stage in a day and age where an original idea is increasingly difficult to come by.

“We are resolute in supporting Scotland’s future leaders of business, and that’s why this is never just about money, all entrants, win or lose, receive vital support packages to help them on their way and come back again to EDGE when they are ready to do so.

“To further that support, I’m delighted to say The Hunter Foundation will be offering every EDGE winner a leadership development programme from Spring 2019 onwards.”

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship for Royal Bank of Scotland said: 

“We are both delighted and extremely proud as a bank to have been a founding supporter of Scottish EDGE since its inception in 2014 and a principal funder for almost four years as part of our overall desire to help Scottish entrepreneurs start, scale and succeed.

“Congratulations to all of the 39 finalists for making it through to the last stage of the competition, which in itself is a tremendous achievement. These finalists showed that the calibre of Scottish entrepreneurs continues to flourish and the winners announced tonight are a wonderful endorsement of the exceptional entrepreneurial talent and spirit cultivating the Scottish ecosystem.”

Above: The winners from Scottish EDGE 13

For the Full list of winners click here

For more information on Wowo's click here.

For more information regarding Scottish EDGE click here.

Published: 7 December 2018