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StartUp award recognition for Turriff business PJ Gaul and Co

By David Porter

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Scotland’s most promising young businesses which began during the pandemic have been recognised at a new awards ceremony, including a Turriff start-up which is serving the farming and forestry sectors.

The StartUp Awards National Series debuted this year to highlight the dynamic start-up scene across the country and saw a total of 23 awards given out.

Claiming the title of rural start up of the year was locally based PJ Gaul and Coof Meikle Whiterashes, just north of Turriff.

Alan Gaul has been part of his family’s 200-year-old Little Whiterashes farming business all his working life, but saw the need to diversify and adapt for the future and back in January 2020 with the support of his family he launched an offshoot business, drawing on his past experience in the agriculture plant and machinery industry.

Just three months later the pandemic hit and the massive increase in working from home proved a boon to the fledgling enterprise.

Now two years on from that point, the company has seen continued increase in its hire, supply and managed services which in particular cover forestry and firewood processing.

Commenting Alan said: "There was a real opportunity to look after the smaller scale farmer and forestry wasn't well catered for in the north-east.

"We major in items such as wood chippers and equine arena equipment through our four main suppliers from Sweden and the UK and small holders and firewood processing have taken off in particular.

"There is also great interest in our equipment and services from the arboricultural sector, including tree surgeons who are in high demand.

"Our managed services such as felling trees and tree surgery has been very busy post storms and offering the ability to hire, to buy or for managed services using our equipment has proved valuable as a one-stop shop and has helped us build a good hands-on relationship with our customers."

The overall Scotland Start-up of the Year was won by Potr, which provides busy plant-lovers with self-watering plant care via flat-pack pots and vases, delivered through their letterbox.

The system allows plants to self-regulate their water intake for up to three weeks and the flat-pack design cuts the carbon footprint associated with transport.

Creator of the awards, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, said the inaugural event not only celebrated the best new firms in Scotland, but recognised the amazing entrepreneurial talent across the nation.

He said: “We’re so proud of the amazing reception the first year of the StartUp Awards National Series has had across the country, from initially calling for entries right up to awards night.

“There are some exceptional stories of dedication and passion from Scotland’s new entrepreneurs, and it was an honour to showcase them and their achievements."

The full list of winners-

Scottish start-up of the year - Potr.

Business-to-business services start-up of the year - IDM Safety Solutions.

Consumer services start-up of the year - The Black Box Approach.

Construction and building services start-up of the year- PMA Recruitment Services.

Creative start-up of the year- Make Things Happen Design Studio.

Digital start-up of the year- Ethical Intelligence Associates.

Edinburgh start-up of the year- Noisy Clan.

Fintech start-up of the year - hubb.

Food and drink start-up of the year- Savora Drinks.

Glasgow start-up of the year- hubb.

Global start-up of the year- Freight On Worldwide.

Graduate start-up of the year- Two Raccoons.

Green start-up of the year- Potr.

Innovative start-up of the year- Welcome Eyecare.

Manufacturing and engineering start-up of the year- Adalec.

Medtech startup of the year- Lenus Health.

Mobile and emerging technologies start-up of the year- DragonflAI.

Online retail start-up of the year- Second Cashmere.

Professional services start-up of the year- Richard Jennings Mortgage Services.

Rural start-up of the year- P J Gaul and Co.

Social enterprise start-up of the year- Social Good Connect.

Tourism and leisure start-up of the year- FreeFlow Technologies.

Young entrepreneur of the year- Madeline Riddell of MADFITT.

Rising stars- WearYourSmile, Shaka Social.

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