« View all news

Pupil entrepreneur wins grant from Scottish Edge

Strathallan pupil Robbie M has won a grant to help get his business up and running from Scottish Edge.

Robbie has invented the Flux blow pipe – designed to stop moisture getting into bagpipes, which causes the wood to crack and affects the instrument’s sound quality.

It cools and condenses the moisture in a piper’s breath through difference in pressure, and draws it out the main air way where it’s then absorbed. Microwaving restores the Flux blow pipe’s original capacity and it can be reused.

Reducing the effects of excess moisture improves the pipes’ sound and reduces piper lung disease, which can be caused by excess moisture building-up to create mould.

Robbie reached the final of the entrepreneurial competition called Scottish Wild Card Edge from 189 applicants. The application including 8 different areas including innovation, business growth entrepreneurship and utilisation of funding. Each area had its own assessment criteria and Robbie had to provide 500 words per section.

The final of 15 applicants took place at RBS in Glasgow. Robbie to give a three minute business pitch to a panel of five on his product, followed by a seven minute Q&A session. Robbie was successful and has won a grant to help grow his business.

Angus 3D solutions helped make the Flux blow pipe and all the prototypes for the competition. He made the contact through a Design and Technology (DT) lesson, when the company came in to give a talk to pupils.

Robbie, Head boy of Strathallan and Ambassador for Young Enterprise Scotland, speaks about how the School supported him:

“A lot of the support from the School came through contacts, getting me in touch with Scottish Enterprise and the Princes Trust. It was Scottish Enterprise who made me aware of this competition.

Also, in the early stages of development if Angus 3D Solutions hadn’t come in to visit I would have never made that connection. Mr Wiles helped me a lot, when I went down to Worcester for an engineering design competition he helped me to prepare for my presentation. I went on to win that competition, so that was pretty good.

The publicity the School has given me has been brilliant. Getting my name know for entrepreneurship, I have been known for piping but I want to push it further into business.”

Robbie is planning on attending university while running his business on the side, using the grant to get his product out to a global market. If this is successful he hopes to apply his method to other instruments to build up is portfolio.

He has been in contact with Business Gateway to develop a strategy. After finishing his exams he will go to support workshops, classes and lectures to further his business knowledge.