EDGE Alumni Good News — September 2016

After July and August’s bumper instalment of Alumni Good News, we worried that this Month’s would pale in comparison. Thankfully however, our Scottish EDGE Alumni have once again outdone themselves – from great market entries to successful company exits. So grab a coffee, get comfortable and enjoy this jam-packed edition of Alumni Good News.

EDGE’s first successful exit
Last month, we reported on Pulsetta Foods’ landmark full loan repayment. Well, continuing the pioneering entrepreneur trend, Edinburgh basedIntelligent PoS have become the first Scottish EDGE winner to exit successfully. The company – who won both Young and Scottish EDGE in Rounds 5 and 7 respectively – was acquired by iZettle, one of the fastest growing technology companies in Europe and EMEA.

The acquisition sees the two disruptive businesses joining forces – resulting in a ‘one-stop-shop’ for commerce in-store and on-the-go. Intelligent PoS CEO, Robin Knox, said; “We’d like to thank Scottish EDGE for all their support which has been instrumental to our growth. Intelligent Point of Sale has been acquired by disruptive payments company – iZettle, testament to the strength of both their investment and confidence in start-up tech companies like ourselves”.

Converge Challenge Awards 2016
The Converge Challenge Awards evening proved a night of successes for Scottish EDGE alumni. The first of three accolades went to Round 7 Young EDGE winner MindMate, led by Susanne Mitchske, who were jointly awarded first place – valued at £73,000.

Next up, Round 8 Wild Card Alumni, Chris Hughes of Estendio – a company aiming to revolutionise the educational development of people with dyslexia – was awarded the respectable runner-up prize of £15,000 in cash and £14,000 in business support.

Finally, Dr Alexander Enoch – Founder of Robotical (more on that below) – was awarded the prestigious Design and Creativity prize, in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

More than just a pretty (inter)face
When Marty the Robot walked onto the Scottish EDGE Round 8 final stage (yes, he actually walked on himself), he instantly captured the attention (and the hearts) of even the toughest of EDGE judges. Unsurprisingly then, the company responsible for creating the 3D printable, fully programmable AI, has just closed a £68k crowdfunding campaign – securing 480 global pre-sales of the unit. Alexander Enoch, founder of Robotical, hopes to reach 600 presales by January 2017, when the first Martys will be shipped.

It’s in the bag!
Still on the subject of crowdfunding, EDGE Alumni Phoenix Instinct, who secured EDGE funding and support in Round 8, is on the cusp on closing a 33 percent (accurate at the time of writing) overfunded Kickstarter campaign. The company, formed by renowned wheelchair designer Andrew Slorance, aims to develop life enhancing travel products for the active wheelchair user. This latest round of funding will set the wheels in motion to begin production on the world’s first wheelchair compatible luggage.

Shot Scope’s on par with Series A investment
Round 6 EDGE Alumni, Shot Scope Technologies, have hit a hole-in-one – or rather, one-point-six! The company – which has designed, manufactured and launched a wearable performance tracking system for both the amateur and professional golfer – announced this month that it has closed a Series A funding round of £1.6 million. This round of investment allows Shot Scope to continue to grow the business – expanding the team, scaling up manufacturing and entering international markets.

Arising from the ashes
Dragon’s Den viewers among our subscribers may have spotted EDGE Alumni – Alison Grieve – presenting her product, the G-Hold, to the Dragons earlier this month. The notoriously fiery Dragons delivered a nasty burn to Alison, with all five declaring themselves “out”. Alison, however, has watched the sales flood in, bringing in revenue of £150,000, since filming took place – double the amount she had looked to raise in the Den. Her company has scaled up rapidly, moving to larger premises in August and increasing its assembly team to produce 10,000 G-Holds monthly – the number required to meet demand.

A ‘wheelie’ big deal
We are delighted to share the news that Round 7 Alumni and award winning founder of FINDRA, Alex Feechan, has secured a £200,000 growth investment from TRICapital, Investing Women and The Scottish Investment Bank. Alex, who formed her women’s cycling clothing line five years ago, noted: “It’s an exciting time for Entrepreneurs in Scotland right now, with a great deal of support available for start- ups. I have fully embraced these opportunities having come from a background in the textiles industry which is sadly in decline, I feel passionate about building FINDRA into a truly global brand from our Scottish base in Innerleithen”.

Double Distribution Delight
September saw a double-whammy of EDGE Alumni achieving nationwide distribution of their products. Firstly, Edinburgh based Bellfield Brewery – who won Wild Card EDGE funding and support in Round 7 – has secured distribution with a number of UK-wide operators. As the UK’s first dedicated gluten-free microbrewery, its two beers – Lawless Village IPA and Bohemian Pilsner – have been taken on by Scottish-based wholesalers, including; Craft Beer Clan Scotland, Gordon & MacPhail, Inverarity Morton, Food and Drink Hub for Scotland and Green City.

Also this Month, Scottish EDGE Round 3 winners, Supernature Oils, announced that it will start selling its multi award-winning Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil products to foodservice giant, Brakes Scotland. The deal will see the Midlothian-based company distribute cold pressed rapeseed oil as well as four infused oils and Black Truffle oil to the distributor, which has over 11,000 customers throughout Scotland.

In a Galloway far, far away…
Galloway born Scottish EDGE Round 4 winning Alumni, Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets, have secured a Smart:Scotland grant of £100,000 to create a commercial prototype of their 3D projection technology product – which can recreate images similar to the talking hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars. The project, creatively titled, “Help Me Obi”, will be on show on 5th October as part of Dumfries and Galloway business week.

That’s it for this month’ Alumni Good News, but you can always stay up to date with the latest news from the Scottish EDGE and our alumni by following us on TwitterFacebook or by subscribing to our newsletter (on page footer).