Stormpods, a local Islay business, has got themselves through to the final of a new government run competition to win £50,000 in a dragons den style funding initiative to boost entrepreneurial businesses in Scotland. "A key feature of the fund will be an Investment Panel drawn from Scotland's leading entrepreneurs and business people, including Sir Tom Hunter and Sir Willie Haughey, who will use their extensive business experience to consider the business proposals and pitches for funding". It is the first time something as ambitious as this has been done through the Scottish Government.
The Scottish edge award attracted 235 applicants from a variety of different start up businesses, all of which had to submit a detailed application highlighting their plans for growth over the next three years. A one minute video pitch was required as part of the initial application and had to be uploaded to YouTube.
Naal el-Nakla from Stormpods said: "In order to qualify for the 2nd round of the competition we had to make it into the top 100 of all the applicants. Based on our application and video pitch we were successful in doing this. The second round of the competition involved the top 100 companies pitching their idea/business/product in a dragons den style pitch at one of three regional events, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness. We pitched at the Glasgow event along with 34 other companies. The event had some of Scotland's leading entrepreneurs present all keen to showcase their new ideas; there were some excellent pitches made and some fantastic new idea's heard. Nerves were at an all-time high as our time slot to pitch drew closer; pitching to over 70 people didn't seem such a daunting task when we submitted our application. Then, in what seemed like only moments we had done our three minute pitch and answered five minutes of questions. It proved that if you know your product and business inside out then there is no need to get tied up with the formality of pitching as it will be easy when it comes to it." Continue reading.....
"Once all three of the pitching events were completed the judging panel had the difficult task of deciding which companies have the greatest potential to be a success. Fortunately we were part of the final 20 companies, our pitch that we done in Glasgow had secured us a place in the final round of the competition. The top 20 companies will now go to Edinburgh on the 12th February to the final which includes a three minute pitch and 10 minutes of questions in front of a panel which includes some of Britain's best and highly respected business figures. It is this pitch alone that will determine whether we are successful or not; based on the recommendation of the judging panel the Scottish Government will award the companies that are successful with the appropriate funding needed in order to propel their business to the next level. "
The following week there is a celebratory event to be held in the RBS business school in Edinburgh which will be host to the 20 finalists, it is at this event where awards will be presented and all the hard work will pay off. We are confident in our product and business and so if we give our best at the Edinburgh pitch there is no reason as to why we can't be one of the finalists who pick up an award."