In the picture, from left to right: Zoi Kantounatou (Co-founder and Operations Director at FutureX), Scott Weir (CEO of Pillow Property Partners and winner of this year's Startup Summit Competition), Chris Neumann (Early-stage investor), Simon Pink (Cognitive & Data Leader at IBM) and Bruce Walker (Co-founder and Managing Director at FutureX).
The three finalists included Present Pal creator Chris Hughes; co-founder of MyWay Digital Health, Debbie Wake; and CEO of Pillow Property Partners, Scott Weir.
From 100 candidates, the judges had whittled that figure down to eight outstanding semi-finalists, then further narrowed that to the final three who pitched at today’s final at FutureX’s Startup Summit 2018 in Edinburgh.
And The Winner Is…
The panel named Weir the overall winner for his work on Pillow Property Partners, a short-term accommodation and holiday lettings provider with managed properties around Scotland.
He will now receive substantial business support from IBM, STV, Adopt An Intern and Johnston Carmichael. He will also receive a place on FutureX’s Silicon Valley Accelerator Programme. In total, the prize is worth £200,000.
Weir said of his win: “My fellow finalists were fantastic and probably deserved to win just as much as me, so I am overjoyed to be picked. The team will be thrilled that their efforts have been rewarded.
“I am very pleased about the tech support we will receive. That will be invaluable to me as, right now, I do all the tech. Having that professional and knowledgeable support is going to be amazing.” - Scott Weir
Touching on his upcoming trip to Silicon Valley, he commented: “Our business is doing really well this year. Last month we won Best New Startup, so I feel I need to get my leadership skills to a world-class level, which this programme will help me do.
“Speaking to all the CEOs from the various businesses will be really helpful and help me up my game.”
A Tough Call
Judge Chris Neumann said: “Picking a winner was really tough. They were three really strong founders, each of which was doing an interesting and important business. But we were excited and happy to award the prize to Pillow Property Partners.”
Startup Summit organiser, and Managing Director at FutureX, Bruce Walker said: “Everyone who pitched today deserved to be on the programme.
“Frankly, the judges had an unenviable task of choosing a winner but we are looking forward to having Scott on the programme. He is a very deserving winner.”
Zoi Kantounatou, Founder and Operations Director at FutureX, said: “I really felt for the judges. I don’t know how they made their choice, the calibre of the finalists was very high.”
Judge Melinda Mathews, CEO of CodeClan said of the finalists: “Each company had such a passion for their unique client base. That is the key to success and it was a pleasure to get to know them. Only one company can win, but they all are going to be amazing companies.”