COMPOSTABLE tableware made from eggshells and a state-of-the-art filtration unit that cuts water use in manufacturing are just two of the innovative products that earned fledgling companies and entrepreneurs top honours at Edinburgh Napier University’s inaugural innovation and enterprise competition Bright Red Sparks.
The five winners, chosen from 18 finalists, were announced at an awards dinner at the Hub on the Royal Mile on Saturday and will now share £12,000 prize money and £17,000 of legal support from the law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn.
The keynote speaker at the awards was Edinburgh Napier alumnus Kevin Dorren, former chief executive of one of Scotland’s first listed tech companies, Orbital Software, and one of the founders and entrepreneurs behind Move Fresh, an investment company for e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods brands.
The winners were chosen in the following categories: Bright Ideas, Going for Growth, Staff Superhero, Business for Good, and Innovative Intrapreneur. Shepherd and Wedderburn supported the Bright Ideas, Business for Good, Staff Superhero and Going for Growth categories and John Morrison, an associate in the firm’s corporate finance team, joined the judging panel in the Going for Growth category.
The winners in each category were: Going for Growth – uFraction8, a Heriot Watt University spin-out, which has developed a niche filtration system that reduces water usage and increases efficiency in the production of pharmaceuticals, food additives and other products across a wide range of sectors.
Business for Good – Alterwaste, an Edinburgh-based start-up developing a range of eco-friendly products from waste by-products. The company is currently developing disposable tableware made from industrial eggshell waste under the Colleggtion brand name.
Bright Sparks – Campar, a concept online booking tool for camper vans and camp sites, developed by Madalina Dichiu.
Innovative Intrapreneur – Alex Porter-Smith, founder of video production company High Tide Media, which specialises in providing online visual content for clients including Edinburgh Beer Factory, Hidden Door Festival, Creative Scotland and Rettie & Co.
Staff Superhero – Maria Gauci, founder of Partem Astra training & consulting. Gauci has developed industry-led MSc modules and standalone, intensive lab skills courses to help university graduates secure industry jobs.
Spokesman John Morrison, of Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “The quality of entries in the Bridge Red Sparks competition was extremely impressive.
“All the finalists deserve to be commended.”