The Enterprise Challenge Finalists Announced

Five in running to be named Scotland's most promising start-up

An 'ebay for plants', a corporate chiropody agency and a company which organises humanist wedding and naming ceremonies have been named among five finalists in a competition to find Scotland's most promising start up business.

Organised by business support specialists LESL and officially launched by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism on May 1st, the Enterprise Challenge 2013 called for entries from any Scottish start up with a business plan already at an advanced stage and with the capacity for rapid growth.

The five finalists revealed today are:  Plantedd, Corporate Chiropody, MJJ HVAC Solutions, Fuze Ceremonies and Busy Box.

 

Plantedd (www.plantedd.com)

Glasgow-based Plantedd is an online marketplace where the UK's independent horticulture nurseries can sell their plants. While an average garden centre sells roughly 300 different types of plant, Plantedd currently offers a range of more than 6,000 and is adding many more varieties every month. With more than 8 million gardeners in the UK and a market worth in excess of £2 billion per annum, Plantedd is a start up business with serious growth potential.

 

Corporate Chiropody (www.corporatechiropody.co.uk)

Corporate Chiropody, based in Glasgow, provides on-site staff chiropody services to Scottish organisations, including the Scottish Government, BBC, STV, Dell, Scottish Power and a variety of hospitals. The company provides qualified Podiatry graduates with work opportunities and allows employers to provide staff with a valued healthcare service while incurring minimum disruption to the business.  This business model is predicted to disrupt the existing chiropody market which is currently fragmented and localised.

 

MJJ HVAC Solutions Ltd

Blantyre-based MJJ HVAC has developed and patented a revolutionary turbine component which can be used to replace conventional electric motors. The turbine does not require power to run, offering cost savings, added safety benefits and huge potential environmental advantages. When commercialised, the new technology will have immediate commercial applications in the heating and refrigeration industries, with several additional applications anticipated.

 

Fuze Ceremonies (www.fuzeceremonies.co.uk)

With a team based throughout Scotland, Fuze Ceremonies offers a range of fixed price, all-inclusive ceremony packages including legal Humanist marriages (Scotland), naming days, non-legal Humanist marriages, same-sex affirmations (UK) and re-affirmations of vows. Meeting the need for low-cost, low-stress ceremony planning, the company plans to expand rapidly, initially in Scotland, then throughout the UK. Less than 100 humanist weddings were performed in Scotland in 2005, but following changes in legislation, the market has experienced a dramatic increase.  In 2011 alone, 2,864 couples opted for humanist ceremonies, and this is now in fact the third most popular form of marriage in Scotland. 

 

Busy Box

Edinburgh-based Busy Box is a pre-launch smart phone app that allows small businesses to create a reward points system for their customers, removing the hassle and cost of building an app themselves. Customer can view businesses that are signed up to Busy Box and search by business type, name or location. Geo-positioning alerts can also be used to alert a customer whenever they are in the vicinity (roughly 50m) of a business signed up to Busy Box.

 

The prize for the winning company will include a minimum six month rent-free period in one of the three business incubators managed by LESL (Alba Innovation Centre, Hillington Park and the Atrium Incubation and Innovation Centre) plus a full business support package with expert mentoring and specialist business advice, introductions to potential sales routes and investors, free business software, and free legal, financial and HR advice.

Ronnie Smith, CEO of LESL, says: "The eclectic mix of companies chosen as our finalists demonstrates the depth and breadth of up-and-coming business talent we have in Scotland. All of the finalists are highly original ideas with huge potential for rapid growth. The original plan was to have only one winner but, depending on the deliberations of our expert panel of judges, we may yet end up having two companies win."

The winner(s) of the Enterprise Challenge 2013 will be announced in mid-August.

Ends

For more information please contact Emma Bain :: emma@hottinroof.co.uk :: 0131 225 7800

About LESL

LESL is an Enterprise Trust and therefore a not for profit social enterprise, committed to providing benefits to the economy by delivering services to both public and private sector customers. LESL also brings its private sector skills and knowledge to a wide range of strategy and policy discussions.

LESL has contributed to the performance of the Scottish economy and the development of "entrepreneurship" for 25 years. LESL was formerly Lanarkshire Enterprise Services, but evolved its branding some years ago to reflect its widening area of operations.

The winner will receive a range of support measures including:

  • intensive business advisor support
  • specialist mentoring
  • rent-free accommodation in one of the following LESL incubation centres:

o   Alba Innovation Centre

o   Hillington Park

o   Atrium Incubation and Innovation Centre

  • introduction to sales channels
  • free legal advice from Morrison's
  • free accounting software from FreeAgent
  • free HR software from GravitateHR
  • free PR support from Hot Tin Roof
  • free branding support from If Looks Could Kill
  • fast track to loan and investment funds including access to the six figure Trust Fund established to support Enterprise Challenge Winners.