• Is the product / process / service novel or being delivered in a novel manner?
  • If the product / process / service is not novel, is the applicant applying an innovative way of delivering the product/service to stand out from their competitors?
  • Has the key innovative element of the business offering been developed by the applying business?
  • Has the unique product / service aspect or delivery model been clearly defined?
  • Is there a recognition and awareness of other similar and competing products, and has the applying business clearly articulated what makes their product / service better and more appealing to customers?
  • For businesses still in the development stage, is there a clear strategy to evidence they can progress towards commercialisation?

Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Does the business leader demonstrate spirit, ambition, drive and determination?
  • Does the individual or team evidence that they know what skills are needed to grow their business?
  • Has a team been established to drive the business forward? If not, have the key skills gaps in the business been identified?
  • Does the business leader display the leadership skills required to motivate and coach a team to deliver high-growth success?
  • Can the business leader call on any past business successes or failings to help in the current entrepreneurial journey?
  • Does the business leader have any industry specific qualifications to support the business ambitions?
  • Has a network of business support advisers/mentors been established? Do they add value?
  • What core values and culture has the business leader set out for the business?
  • Does the business strategy convey any environmental, social or “giving something back” benefits?

Business Growth Potential

  • Does the business leader clearly articulate their business growth strategy to achieve the projected turnover in three years?
  • Is the business projecting to achieve the minimum level of £200,000 cumulative turnover across the next three years and are the plans for how to achieve this realistic?
  • Are there clear plans in place to continue to grow the business from within Scotland across the next three years and beyond?
  • With Scottish EDGE assistance, does the application suggest the ability to create new, sustainable Scottish jobs?
  • Can the business leader clearly define what success looks like for the business across the next three years?
  • For pre-trading businesses, is there a realistic assumption of when the product/service will be ready for market?
  • For specialist sector businesses, is there a strong commercial strategy and a realistic timescale of when they will have a market ready proposition?
  • For socially-focused businesses, is there a clear sustainability strategy in place and realistic details of the positive impact the product/service will deliver.

Customer Focused

  • Is there evidence that the company’s product or service has sufficient customer demand to allow for business growth?
  • Has sufficient customer/market research been undertaken to suggest customers would purchase the company’s offering?
  • Does the business leader know the demographics for their perfect target customer base?
  • Does the applicant have confirmed interest from buyers? If so, at what stage is this interest and will it lead to confirmed sales?
  • Does the business leader know the number of product sales needed to grow over the next three years to achieve the projected turnover levels? Are these numbers realistic and achievable?
  • Does the company demonstrate a plan to offer their product/service beyond a localised market?
  • Has the applicant clearly demonstrated how they will approach and maximise the wider market opportunities?
  • Does the business see Scotland or an export market as the strongest customer base going forward?
  • Does the business leader understand the best marketing strategy to reach the key customer base?
  • How important is a social media focus to the growth of the business?

Utilisation of Funding

  • Does the proposed Scottish EDGE award spend breakdown relate to the key essential areas to influence business growth?
  • Will the proposed spend breakdown help take the business forward in their entrepreneurial journey?
  • Will the proposed spend plans have an overall impact on Scotland’s economy?
  • Have the proposed spend costings been researched and evidenced as realistic?
  • Is further funding (other than via Scottish EDGE) required to achieve the growth set out in the application – if so how is this progressing?
  • If investment/grant funding support has already been received, has this been used to drive business growth and is the use and benefit of the proposed EDGE funding clearly defined and differentiated from any other funding received?
  • Are the people in place or to be recruited with Scottish EDGE support, in order for the company to achieve its business ambitions?

Risk Awareness

  • Is there a clear sense that the key business risks are understood and can be addressed?
  • Has the business leader articulated a strong understanding of the competitive nature of the market they are operating in and shown what will allow them to positively stand out?
  • Is there a clear understanding of the funding and people requirements to ensure this business delivers on their business growth ambitions?
  • Does the business have the plans and relationships in place to ensure a steady product supply chain and have a strategy for effectively managing any proposed manufacturing process?
  • If IP is required, is clear ownership and freedom to operate demonstrated?
  • Is the product / service easily replicated, and has the business demonstrated how they will alleviate concerns about being copied?

Scoring Range

  • 1 or 2 – little evidence of the characteristic being demonstrated or lack of clarity
  • 3 or 4 – some evidence of the characteristic being demonstrated, but lack of clarity
  • 5 to 7 – some evidence of the characteristic being demonstrated, and information presented appears robust
  • 8 to 10 – clear evidence of the characteristic being demonstrated and information presented is of a high level