Over half of the 2023 winners were women-led Scottish businesses

SUA Scotland - allstartupwinners-3

The best startup firms in Scotland have been revealed at the Scotland Start-Up Awards, which were held at the SWG3 Studio Warehouse in Glasgow and saw 24 different awards given out to new businesses in categories such as Digital StartUp of the Year, Global StartUp of the Year and Innovative StartUp of the Year. 

This year, over half of the awards were won by women-owned businesses including the Startup of the Year for Scotland, The VR Hive. The VR Hive is an ambitious start-up delivering a holistic approach to learning. The company offers immersive learning experiences combined with health and wellbeing resources, an animated AI coach and automated assessments.

Anne Widdop, the founder and CEO at The VR Hive said:

“I am immensely proud of our team for their dedication and hard work, which has led to this momentous accomplishment. The VR Hive is driven by a mission to harness the power of AI and immersive learning to create a better future for all, and these awards are a testament to our work towards this goal. We will continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and we are honoured to receive this recognition to validate our efforts.”

The StartUp Awards were established in 2022 to highlight the success of start-ups across ten UK nations and regions and to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy. The Scotland awards are sponsored by First Port for Social Entrepreneurs and Glasgow City Council as well as a range of national sponsors including Starling Bank, Blackfinch Group, British Business Bank, BT, Creative Ideaz, Dream Factory, GS1 UK, Jeeves, Join Talent, Mountside Ventures, OVH Cloud, the Purposeful Project and ScoreApp. 

Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer at Starling Bank said: 

“Huge congratulations must go out to all those businesses that have entered this year’s awards, and not just to the winners. It’s been inspiring to see how resourceful Scottish entrepreneurs are and to know that their work is contributing to Scotland’s economy. From the designers creating products to soothe aches and pains, to an ambitious start-up offering immersive learning experiences and the bikers who want to share their passion for bikes and love of touring, we’ve been blown away by the standard of entries.”

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, creator of the awards, said the events have celebrated the best new firms in the UK and recognised the amazing entrepreneurial talent across the nation. 

“In the second year of the Scotland Startup Awards, we have seen yet again the incredible contribution of new businesses to job creation, innovation, and prosperity across the whole of this entrepreneurial nation. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to read the stories of the finalists from across Scotland who have spotted the opportunity and taken the risk to launch their own venture, especially at a time when the economy is still fragile after the Covid pandemic. 

A huge congratulations to all the category winners and it’s great to see that more than half are from women-owned Scottish startups including the Scotland Start-up of the Year, the VR Hive. With learning and skills becoming even more important to the success of businesses across the World, the VR Hive’s unique approach to virtual reality training, combining cognitive science, psychology and the latest technology, is creating powerful, life-changing experiences for individuals and organisations.”

The full list of winners at the 2023 Scotland Startup Awards are: 

The VR Hive – Overall Winner

Integro Design Engineering Associates - Business to Business Services StartUp of the Year

Selki Store - Consumer Services StartUp of the Year

The VR Hive - Creative StartUp of the Year

Ethical Intelligence - Digital StartUp of the Year

Nuisance Drinks - Drink StartUp of the Year

Studio Lutalica - Edinburgh StartUp of the Year

Predictiva - Fintech StartUp of the Year

Frangipane Bakery - Food StartUp of the Year

GCM Recruitment - Glasgow StartUp of the Year

Rutland Square Gin - Global StartUp of the Year

Grand Bequest - Green StartUp of the Year

The VR Hive - Innovative StartUp of the Year

OK Positive Ltd - Medtech & Healthtech StartUp of the Year

Raven Botanicals - Online Retail StartUp of the Year

Locum Scottish Health Ltd - Professional Services StartUp of the Year

Minerva Innovation Group - Rebel StartUp of the Year

GLORIAH - Rising Star Award

Gutsy Health - Rising Star Award

Great Glen Distillery - Rural StartUp of the Year 

Man On! Inverclyde - Social Enterprise StartUp of the Year

Unbaggaged - Technology Services StartUp of the Year

Megan Keith of Stretch Social -Young Entrepreneur of the Year