Triple success for Strathclyde in Scottish EDGE Awards

Strathclyde Scottish EDGE winners with Head of Investment Dr Poonam Malik (second right). Left to right: Matthew McLean, Airspection; Janani Prabhakaran,  Unbaggaged; Dr Stuart Hannah, Microplate Dx)

Three start-up and spinout companies from the University of Strathclyde have scored successes in the Scottish EDGE Awards pitch competition for businesses.

Start-ups Unbaggaged and Airspection, and spinout Microplate Dx, received a total of £120,000 in the awards, which are designed to support young firms with high growth potential.

The largest share, of £70,000, went to Microplate Dx, which is developing a rapid, low-cost, antibiotic susceptibility test. The win follows the company’s recent double success at the OBN Life Sciences Awards, in which it received the Best Start-up Medtech Company and BioSeed 'One to Watch' prizes.

A £40,000 award was made to luggage storage company Unbaggaged. It is the world’s first on-demand luggage management network, connecting travellers wanting to be free of their bags, with taxi drivers who can pick them up and return them where and when needed. The award follows the naming of the company’s founder, Strathclyde alumna Janani Prabhakaran, in the Daily Telegraph’s 100 Female Entrepreneurs To Watch list.

A £10,000 prize in the Young EDGE category was won by Airspection, which is developing a long-range drone for inspecting offshore wind turbines. The company was also recently named as a winner of the Stephen Young Entrepreneurship Award, presented annually to support Strathclyde’s emerging entrepreneurs, and of the Santander Universities Award.

The companies have all received support from Strathclyde Inspire, the University’s flagship entrepreneurship programme, which supports and encourages entrepreneurship in all its forms, offering entrepreneurial opportunities and training to all students, staff and alumni.

Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at Strathclyde, said: “As a former judge of Scottish EDGE, I have seen the high calibre of applications that this competition receives year on year.

"With such a diversity of sectors and propositions represented, to have Strathclyde led start-ups and spinouts in amongst the finalists and winners at each round truly reflects the entrepreneurial spirit, drive and determination of our innovators.”

Since 2017, 47 start-ups and spinouts supported by Inspire and its predecessor, Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network, have been awarded nearly £1.8 million in total of Scottish EDGE funding, from a total of just over £14.4 million. Strathclyde has had finalists in the competition each year since then.