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Businesses showing cutting edge share in £690,000 funding

BUSINESSES have shared in more than £690,000 of funding in the latest Scottish Edge Awards.

There were 21 recipients who got backing ranging from £15,000 to £50,000 with the judging panel for the third round of the scheme including entrepreneurs Lord Willie Haughey, Marie Klin and Hermann Twickler as well as representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Glasgow-based mobile gaming company Mental, cashmere sportswear firm Dhu, lingerie maker Gilda & Pearl, the Borders knitwear company ERIBE, gluten free biscuit producer Angelic, swimming pool lift business Poolpod and bib specialist Cheeky Chompers all took home the top sum.

Other winners included Isle of Barra Oysters, Jenier World of Teas, The Big Cheese Making Kit, gardening supplier Kabloom and natural skin care provider JustBe Botanicals.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Scottish EDGE targets ambitious entrepreneurs wishing to establish or grow their business and will provide real opportunities for them to contribute to Scotland's economic success.

"It's been exciting to see such a wide range of talent come out of this final round of funding and I wish all the finalists every success in the future."

There were more than 300 applications for funding with 30 businesses shortlisted to make their pitch. There had been concerns raised about the award after it emerged 28 of the 58 companies under consideration to make it to the final stage were under the wing of the Entrepreneurial Spark organisation, which also receives backing from RBS and Lord Haughey.

Among the EDGE winners with links to E-Spark this time were underwear companies Dick Winters and Cahoonas, Mental, exercise business Yoga Bellies, JustBe Botanicals, software company Zapcoder, baby class organiser Alphabet Babies and rapeseed oil producer Supernature. Mr Swinney said E-spark had been a key part of the EDGE fund and added: "The Scottish Government has been delighted to facilitate this innovative new approach to business support, which I consider will be crucial in developing some of the ambitious next generation entrepreneurs."

Around £1.2 million has already been distributed to more than 30 companies through EDGE funding.

Jim Duffy, of E-Spark, said he thought the level of pitching on display at the latest awards was "world class" and he was delighted with the number of early stage businesses showing potential to grow larger.

For those winners in E-Spark Mr Duffy indicated he and his team will be putting them through a "disciplined" regime to make sure they make the most of the public money they have been awarded.

He said: "They will be subject to milestones before they get drawdowns but we want to make sure they know exactly what they are using this money for."

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