Like many businesses, our operations were disrupted with the onset of COVID-19 and it continues to impact on how we operate in general. Nevertheless, we're pleased to now be in a position to return to doing what we do best - supporting Scotland's next great entrepreneurs with awards of up to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 for the Higgs EDGE award) and all-encompassing packages of support.
The Round 16 online application form can be accessed via scottishedge.com and businesses will have TWO WEEKS to start a new application or update a previous application submitted to Round 16. All applications must be submitted no later than 2.00pm on Thursday 23rd July 2020.
As with every round of EDGE, we have some new updates to report:
- Move to a 50% grant / 50% loan split: When we initially launched Round 16 in January, the proposed funding split for Scottish EDGE category awards was 70% loan and 30% grant, however, in recognition of the recent challenges many businesses have faced and thanks to our friends and key funders at Scottish Government, this has now been changed to 50% grant / 50% loan.
This amendment, which is agreed for Round 16 only, outlines another step by Scottish government in partnership with our other Scottish EDGE partners to offer valuable support to Scotland's early-stage entrepreneurial talent. The expected overall prize-pot for Round 16 of the competition will be £1m. All Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE awards will remain as Grant only awards.
- STV Growth EDGE: We're delighted to advise that the STV Growth EDGE Award which we announced earlier this year will remain an integral part of Round 16. The STV Growth EDGE Award is an exciting addition to the suite of existing awards which include the core Scottish EDGE, Young EDGE and Wild Card EDGE categories, as well as the specialist category awards: Higgs EDGE, Creative EDGE, Social Enterprise EDGE (supported by Postcode Innovation Trust) and Circular Economy EDGE (supported by Zero Waste Scotland).
The STV Growth EDGE Award, introduced in partnership with STV, offers support to a winning consumer-based product business. The award comes in the form of £75,000 worth of airtime and a launch commercial to help grow the businesses, and this in-kind award comes in addition to any monetary Scottish EDGE prize.
- COVID-19 Question – It is widely recognised that the growth strategy for most businesses, irrespective of age and stage, will have been impacted by COVID-19. This impact will often result in new opportunities and a revised business plan. As such, we have decided to introduce a new COVID-19 specific impact question to the application form. This new question must be completed by all applicants.
- Assessment Panels and Live Pitching – To reflect current circumstances and challenging business conditions we have had to make several amendments as to how we will deliver this round of the Scottish EDGE competition. Firstly, we have had to condense the full delivery timeframe of the competition - from the usual 20 weeks down to 12 weeks, which will better place us to award funding to the competition winners in October/November rather than in January 2021.
However this shortened timeframe means that we have had to adjust our assessment process. Our First Stage Assessments will now be carried out internally by the Scottish EDGE team. For those businesses who progress to the live pitching stage - our Scottish EDGE Semi-Finals, Wild Card EDGE Final, Young EDGE Final and Social Enterprise EDGE Final - all will all be delivered virtually via Zoom and an independent assessment panel will be in place.
We are planning on delivering an in-person live Scottish EDGE Final, which will be held in a closed environment (no audience in attendance) but will be broadcast via live online streaming.
So, it’s fair to say things have changed, for all of us, but we guarantee to strive to provide the same high standard of competition that we and our partners have worked hard to build. We look forward to supporting the next batch winning Scottish EDGE alumni.
It’s good to be back!
9th July 2020 - Application window opens
23rd July 2020 - Application window closes at 2.00pm
5th Aug 2020 to 19th Aug 2020 - 1st stage assessments undertaken
By 21st Aug 2020 - 1st stage Assessments results sent out
2nd Sept 2020 - Wild Card EDGE Final
7th, 8th, 9th & 10th Sept 2020 - Scottish EDGE Semi Finals
17th Sept 2020 - Social Enterprise EDGE Final
22nd Sept 2020 - Young EDGE Final
30th Sept & 1st Oct 2020 - Scottish EDGE Live Final
7th Oct 2020 - Scottish EDGE Awards Ceremony