EDGE Alumni Good News — December 2016

It’s been a little while since we last reported on our alumni’s achievements. What with our HIGGS EDGE, Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE finals, and our Scottish EDGE semi-final all taking place last month, not to mention the return of our Wild Card EDGE Public Voting competition, we thought it best to hold off on reporting on the ever impressive achievements of our alumni so that we could do them the justice that they deserve. So, to get you in the mood for the Round Nine Scottish EDGE Final NEXT WEEK (last chance to get your free ticket here), it’s time for a bumper instalment of Alumni Good News. Enjoy!

Oh, Snap!
Round 6 Scottish EDGE winner, Snap 40, have set a landmark record – securing £2 million in funding in what is thought to be the largest ever seed round by a Scotland-based startup. On a clear mission to change healthcare globally by enabling hospitals to catch deteriorating health earlier using its own medical-grade vital signs monitoring wearable arm-band, the company will use the investment to grow its team by four, complete its clinical trial, achieve regulatory approval and generate first sales.

Snap40 CEO, Christopher McCann said; “This investment is based on the strength of our product and the progress of our amazing team. We are excited to work with Par Equity and the rest of our shareholders as we build snap40 into a dominant player in the global people-health monitoring market.” Further commenting on the role that Scottish EDGE has played in the company’s journey thus far, Christopher stated; “EDGE was the very first money we really brought into the business. We wouldn’t be here without its support.”

Going Global
CEO of Appointedd, Leah Hutcheon, is a prime example of the entrepreneurial spirit needed to be a successful leader in the fast-moving world of startups. Recently named both in Business Insider’s “40 under 40” and “20 women to watch” lists, it comes as no surprise that her company has spectacularly broken into the global market – having partnered with Alliance Business Centers Network (ABCN), the world’s largest network of serviced offices and co-working centres. With over 700 locations spanning 52 countries, ABCN services more than 500,000 businesses. Commenting on the deal, Leah said; “It is a game-changer, not just in financial terms as our biggest ever deal, but it also represents us really breaking into the global market”.

Business Women in Scotland Awards
A host of inspirational Scottish EDGE Alumni picked up top awards at the prestigious Business Women Scotland Awards last month. The awards, run by Business Women Scotland Magazine, reflected business success in different areas such as potential growth opportunities, innovative ideas and practices, staff and customer engagement, and leadership. Round 6 winner, Victoria Hamilton, won the New Entrepreneur of the Year award for innovation; Tanya Ewing, took home the New Business of the Year prize; and International Growth of the Year went to Appointedd’s Leah Hutcheon. Well done to all!

A Solid Launch
EDGE Alumni, Particle Analytics, has recently launched its first, fully commercialised product to market. Iota-Suite is intelligent software that allows organisations across a range of industries to simulate the movement of bulk solids and particles in a more advanced, efficient and cost effective way. Prior to its launch, Dr Carlos Labra, CEO and co-founder of Particle Analytics said: “Our software is already delivering significant benefits for the businesses we’re working with, helping them gain greater insights into their simulation activity. Feedback has been resoundingly positive.”

Belieb the Hype!
Scottish entrepreneur and Round 8 Young EDGE winner, Siobhan Mackenzie, is living the American dream…from her base in Glasgow! Fast becoming one-to-watch on the fashion scene, Siobhan’s innovative bespoke kilts have become the must have garment of today’s fashion elite. Not only has she recently featured in a money-can’t-buy (well, perhaps a LOT of money) spread in Elle Magazine, she also hit the headlines when she provided pop icon, Justin Bieber, with his bespoke kilt for the Scottish ‘leg’ of his tour. We can’t wait to see where Siobhan’s tartan masterpieces end up next!

Making Waves with Innovative New Product 
Round 6 EDGE Alumni, Sealboards, is testing the water for its latest power paddle product, Seal Blades. Company founders, Alex and Sorcha O’Connor, have generated £10,000 of advance sales on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, and are aiming to launch an e-commerce operation later this year. The driver of the Kickstarter campaign was not to offer equity in the business, but to put their Sealblades product in the hands of surfers – the product’s target market – and seek feedback on it.

That Winning EDGE
Scottish EDGE Round Six Alumni Alex Papanikolau has won £30,000 in the Stelios Award for disabled entrepreneurs 2016. EasyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and leading international charity, Leonard Cheshire Disability, announced that Alex had secured the top prize as part of its 10th-anniversary celebrations. Alex’s business, Freedom One Life, has developed a next generation power wheelchair, designed to offer a step change in reliability, performance and support in the power wheelchair market.

Equally impressive on the competition front, and fresh from her Best Branded Store win at the Natural Beauty Retail Awards 2016, Round Five EDGE Alumni, Jo-Anne Chidley of Beauty Kitchen, is celebrating her finalist position in the 14thAnnual NatWest Everywoman Awards. Jo is one of 22 extraordinary finalists whose vision and tenacity have driven their entrepreneurial success. No stranger to the award circuit, Beauty Kitchen’s game-changing natural beauty product innovation has resulted in an enviable run of accolade acquisition since the company’s launch in 2014.

That’s it for this month’s 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.