Three Biotechnology businesses supported by the five-figure sum

The quality and quantity of exceptional biotechnology start-ups to emerge successful from the latest round of Scottish EDGE has seen the entrepreneurial funding competition receive a £77.5K funding boost from The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).

A total of 33 businesses with high growth potential from across Scotland have benefited to the tune of £1 million after being named as winners at the Scottish EDGE Awards, held virtually, which featured keynote speakers UK bioscience entrepreneur Professor Sir Christopher Evans, Alison Rose, CEO NatWest Group and Poonam Gupta OBE of PG Paper.

As well cash funding the overall winner of the IBioIC EDGE Award, Ogi-Bio, a business offering affordable and innovative solutions for automation and analysis of microbial culturing, will benefit from membership of IBioIC and mentoring to enable them to maximise the opportunity for growth both in the UK and overseas.

Two other businesses, Ten-Bio, a human skin testing spin‐out company from the University of Dundee; and MI:RNA, a company providing a unique and cost effective diagnostic assay that identifies heart disease in companion animals, will also receive a share of the funding.

A total of £155,000 will be shared among the three winning businesses, with IBioIC covering the £77,500 loan element with matching grant funding from Scottish Government.

Today’s awards ceremony brings the total pot of money awarded through Scottish EDGE to support early stage, high growth businesses to over£16 million in the 16 rounds now completed.

This year, Scottish EDGE received a record-breaking 327 applications. The 23 finalists including the subsequently announced IBioIC EDGE winners pitched online to judges on 29 and 30 September in front of a virtual audience.

Scottish EDGE is the UK’s biggest funding competition for start-up and growing businesses. It supports Scotland’s most innovative, high-growth potential early stage businesses with up to £150,000 in cash. It also provides a business support package that includes mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance. It is awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.

IBioIC has over 120 member organisations, working across Scotland, the rest of the UK and Europe to find innovative solutions to modern problems. As one of Scotland’s seven Innovation Centres, IBioIC has ambitious targets to grow the industrial biotechnology sector in Scotland to over £900 million in turnover, with over 200 companies operating in the sector by 2025.

Ian Archer, Technical Director at IBioIC said: “IBioIC is delighted to support three truly exciting biotechnology businesses through collaboration with Scottish EDGE. This funding award rightly focuses on support for innovative start-ups in biotechnology.

“For a greener and more sustainable economy, this level of support is essential as biotechnology holds one of the keys in unlocking the change we need to move from an economy largely reliant on fossil fuels, towards the Net-Zero targets.

“Ogi-Bio, Ten-Bio and MI:RNA will join Scotland’s efforts in growing the bioeconomy. I look forward to supporting each company on their individual journey and continued growth.”

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE said: “We know that Biotechnology as an industry will have an essential role to play in the rebuilding and reshaping of our economy if we are to create a more sustainable future for all.

“This generous support from IBioIC will benefit not only three promising, high-growth potential businesses operating within the crucial bioeconomy space, but also EDGE as an organisation as we look to embed impactful entrepreneurship as a key criteria for support in the future.”