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Final of Dragon’s Den competition to be held at Stirling

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The final of the UK’s largest business funding competition – similar in format to the hit TV show Dragon’s Den – will be hosted at the University of Stirling, it has been announced.

Scottish EDGE – a contest that identifies and supports the country’s up-and-coming entrepreneurial talent – will take place at the Macrobert Arts Centre on Wednesday 29 May.

The University and the Macrobert are hosting the event – expected to attract 600 attendees – in partnership with Stirling Council and Forth Valley College. It will see 20 businesses pitch to an expert panel of judges, chaired by Jim McColl OBE, in a bid to win a slice of the £1million prize pot.

Liam Spillane

Liam Spillane, the University's Director of Commercial Services, is delighted to welcome the high-profile event to campus.

There will also be a number of keynote speakers and business support exhibitors.

It is the first time that Scottish EDGE has left its Edinburgh home since its inception in 2013 and the University’s Director of Commercial Services, Liam Spillane, is delighted to welcome the event to campus.

Scottish EDGE logo

Scottish EDGE is leaving its Edinburgh home for the first time - to come to Stirling.

He said: “Stirling Venues is delighted to attract such a vibrant and high-profile event to the University of Stirling campus, which is itself a thriving hub of research and innovation.

“We’re always keen to encourage collaboration between industry and the academic community and this is a great opportunity to showcase to incubator companies our breath-taking location and unique event facilities.”

Mr McColl, of Clyde Blowers, will be joined on the panel by Steve Dunlop, of Scottish Canals; Simon Hannah, of Fishill; Maeve McMahon, of Royal Bank of Scotland; and Carol Beattie, of Stirling Council.

Businesses are able to win up to £150,000, with a total of £1million on offer.

Now in its twelfth funding round, Scottish EDGE – which is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Hunter Foundation, and the Scottish Government – has provided a springboard to almost 300 businesses.

Past winners have, to date, created an additional 2,660 Scottish jobs, generated an additional £79.78m in turnover, and received additional investment to the sum of £67.44m. In the last round of Scottish EDGE, cash prizes of £1.07m were shared amongst 38 winners across three different categories.

Scottish EDGE CEO, Evelyn McDonald, said: “For us, Stirling is the perfect location for EDGE’s first venture away from its native Edinburgh venue. The city’s pro-business attitude and fast progression towards being a centre of excellence in start-up innovation, aligns perfectly with our agenda to attract and support the best entrepreneurial talent Scotland has to offer.

“With businesses from CodeBase Stirling and University of Stirling’s Sporting Chance Initiative occupying finalist and winner places in the past three Scottish EDGE Finals, it has been impossible for us to ignore the quality of start-up business that Stirling is producing. We’re looking forward to experiencing first-hand that highly driven entrepreneurial culture.”

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