Funded by the Scottish Government, the 2018/19 cohort of RSE Unlocking Ambition (UA) Enterprise Fellows celebrated their successes on completing the year-long RSE programme of funding, training, mentorship and support from Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Their achievements are impressive: between them, in the first year alone, they have employed over 50 people; appointed 37 new board members; secured over 2,700 customers, contracts and users; negotiated 16 investment deals; and won 19 award nominations. They have also realised important business milestones, including spin-out company formation, market research to inform product development, establishment of scalable business models, development of prototypes to viable product launch, and identification of new commercial markets.
The budding companies include an insect breeding company creating high performance genetics for the insects-as-feed industry; a social enterprise that gifts bespoke clothing parcels to women in clothing crisis; and a company that has created a digital companion to support carers of people living with dementia.
The Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee joined the event at the RSE, saying he was, “Delighted to celebrate the graduation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellows today. They deserve every success for their hard work, and have very exciting futures ahead.”
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee. Photo: Ian Georgeson
As Scotland’s national academy, the RSE encourages enterprise, innovation and the commercialisation of technology-based ideas developed from academic research. Under the Unlocking Ambition initiative, the RSE’s programme has been designed specifically to support the development of new, innovative high-growth businesses based in Scotland.
Professor Dame Anne Glover, RSE President said:
“Scotland has a global reputation for innovation, and we need to maintain that entrepreneurial spirit. It’s vital that we have a sustainable approach to supporting start-ups that create high quality jobs, boost the Scottish economy and change lives through new ideas.
The RSE’s Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellowship was designed with those goals in mind and participants have grasped the opportunity, with some fantastic results after just 12 months. Time, money, and expert advice and guidance are key to turning a bright idea into a viable business with long-term potential and our programme has offered all of these to early-stage businesses with masses of potential. These companies are the employers of tomorrow, innovating for the future, and we have helped them to take huge strides forward in their growth journey towards being Scotland’s business success stories.”
Find out more about the RSE Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellows and their businesses.
Photos of the event can be found here.
Read the press release.