Entrepreneurs with links to Strathclyde scooped more than a quarter of a million pounds in a competition for funding.
Firms who struck success at the Round 14 Scottish EDGE final include social enterprise Seawater Solutions, who won £10,000 in the Young EDGE category. Founded by Yanik Nyberg, who completed an MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde last year, it introduces sustainable farming practices which use seawater to grow salt-tolerant crops.
The competition is aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.
The winning businesses came from 37 finalists shortlisted from 289 applicants, who pitched their business idea live at Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and Edinburgh’s RBS Conference Centre.
Other winners included ScreenIn3D, which provides screening services to help drug developers validate the effectiveness of their compounds, and was awarded £50,000. The company is a prospective spin-out from the University, based on research by Dr Michele Zagnoni, a senior lecturer in EEE.
Biotechnology company SiMologics, founded by Mohammed Al Qaraghuli, a former research staff member in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences, won £45,000.
Strathclyde chalked up a total of six wins, with funding totalling £265,000, more than a fifth of the total funding awarded. So far, more than £1 million has been awarded to Strathclyders over Rounds 10-14 - an average of £220k per round over five rounds.
Other successes stories include R3-IOT, which collects sensor data wirelessly to enable organisations to gain insight into their operation, and won £100,000.
The firm was co-founded by Allan Cannon who did a BSc and MSc at Strathclyde, and he said: “‘R3-IOT has been supported by the university in a variety of ways - through the fantastic Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network and the iGAP programme at the business school.
“We’ve hosted two student projects from Design Manufacture & Engineering Management and the Business Clinic that have helped move our business forward and allowed us to support some amazing students.
“We’re also lucky enough to be supported by the UK Space Agency hosted by the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications.
“From day one this programme has enabled us to base ourselves in the centre of the Glasgow City Innovation District at the Tontine Business Incubator.
“Our Scottish EDGE win comes at the perfect time for us as we are getting ready to grow our team and roll out our technology with some key initial customers. “
Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation & Industry Engagement at Strathclyde, said: “Scottish EDGE is a longstanding partner of the University and our supported start-ups have received more than £1 million in funding since Round 10 of the competition.
“I’m delighted that Strathclyde was chosen as Glasgow’s first host of the competition and it was great to see first-hand the incredible amount of work that went into each and every pitch.
“The start-ups recognised in this recent round of EDGE are a testament to the strong entrepreneurial culture we are cultivating here at the University and within the wider Glasgow City Innovation District.”