Promising blindness prevention start-up recognised

Scottish business receives £150k to aid the development of a monitoring and screening tool which could identify eye diseases that cause long-term vision damage

Promising blindness prevention startup recognised

A Scottish start-up which is developing a mass market monitoring and screening platform that can identify eye diseases that cause long-term damage and blindness, has been awarded Scottish EDGE’s largest prize to date of £150,000.

Founded in 2011, Epipole develops intellectual property in a number of medical imaging areas, and has brought one product to market to date. The portable, low-cost tool called epiCam is designed for use in either tele-medicine applications in the field or the clinic. The company believes the device is particularly useful for diabetic retinopathy.

The award was part of £1.245m in funding which was awarded to Scotland’s most promising start-ups by the Scottish EDGE Fund last Monday (7 December). These awards take the total amount that the fund has given in grants and loans to start-ups to over £5m since it was established in 2013.

The Scottish EDGE funding is awarded as a 50% grant and 50% loan, and, in addition to the funding, provides mentoring, support and signposting to alternative funding.

Commenting on the award, founder of Epipole, Dr Craig Robertson, said: “Receiving this accolade is the highlight of our year, coming as it does at the crunch point for any small business, the transition from start-up to fully fledged company.

“For us, it is less about the funding – which was both unexpectedly substantial and extremely happily received – and more about the recognition that Epipole is doing something good in the world.

"We are entrepreneurs and we realised early that reaching the necessary scale to tackle the problems of debilitating eye disease would only come from a successful approach to business. Scottish EDGE is helping us fulfil that strategy and we thank them wholeheartedly for their support.”