A RECORD £1.5 million has been invested in more than 40 businesses with innovative entrepreneurial potential, as the winners were revealed in the Scottish EDGE Awards – the UK’s biggest competition for prospective high-growth firms.

Hundreds of applications were received and, after two days of pitching, the winners included OrganLike, which develops hyper-realistic organ models for surgical training.

It received the biggest award of £100,000 to help aid their revolutionary surgical training using synthetic tissue and augmented reality technologies.

Creag Dhu Ltd, which creates the single malt of the same name, received £50,000 plus £75,000 advertising spend through the STV supported STV Growth EDGE Award.

North Uist Distillery, which currently produces an award-winning range of “Downpour” gins, picked up a £70,000 award to help it expand into whisky production within the next year.

As the standout business from the regenerative sector, Crack Map received £40,000 as the winner of the Circular Economy Award, supported by Zero Waste Scotland, for its ground-breaking contactless inspection technology, applicable to a range of areas.

In the Social Enterprise category, Social Stories Club received £50,000 for its range of food-based services that re-invests profits back into the community.

Scottish EDGE is supported by the Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

Evelyn McDonald, Scottish EDGE CEO, said: “It has been inspiring to see the talent and passion we have among start-ups in Scotland, which was demonstrated impressively through our latest funding round.

“It is a privilege for Scottish EDGE to support such exciting Scottish entrepreneurial talent and help companies and individuals access pivotal funding to accelerate their growth and development. This in turn helps drive forward Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”

Scottish Enterprise CEO Adrian Gillespie said: “It’s great to see such a high calibre of passionate entrepreneurs participating, and so many Young EDGE applicants securing funding in this round.”

Sir Tom Hunter, founder of the Hunter Foundation, added: “Once again Scottish EDGE has proven the absolute need that quality businesses have for growth finance but as importantly the amazing wrap-around support EDGE offers, the secret sauce if you will.

“These entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy and alongside scale-ups will be pivotal in providing the jobs and opportunities necessary for Scotland’s Covid recovery.

“Quality demand from businesses far outstripped supply so our development agencies need to step in and step up with more funding.”