Free one to one appointments with a business adviser

1-2-1 MeetingAs a student at the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh College of Art, you can book meetings with LAUNCH.ed business advisers to discuss your business ideas and get advice. At your first meeting, you will be asked to describe your idea and its commercial potential, and also to describe your current circumstances and aspirations. Your start-up or spin-out idea will be kept confidential. At this meeting, an assessment will be made of the next steps needed to explore your idea and the potential funding options available. Depending on the nature of your business and the stage you are at, you may be invited to subsequent meetings as appropriate.   Book a 1-2-1 meeting

For ideas related to your field of study

When a student intends to start a business related to their area of study, the student must have a disclosure meeting. This meeting is attended by the student, their supervisor, and a member of the University’s Business Development or Knowledge Exchange team. Your business adviser at LAUNCH.ed does not usually attend this meeting. The objective of the meeting is to consult the student’s supervisor to ensure that all intellectual property to be used in the business is owned solely by the student and that the business is not using IP, data, or any other information or assets that belong to the University.

We also need to determine whether there is a conflict of interest between the business idea and academics in the school. With the exception of this one-off meeting, a student does not need the ongoing participation of their supervisor to pursue a business idea. If you have a start-up idea that is related to your area of study, you should come speak to a LAUNCH.ed business adviser as outlined above; however, the next step will be for you to complete an invention disclosure form and provide supporting documentation so that we can arrange your disclosure meeting. LAUNCH.ed will provide you with these forms.

The disclosure meeting is a basic checking process and is part of our due diligence when we meet with a student who has a business idea related to their area of study. Although we cannot prevent you from taking your idea forward, we cannot advise or help you further without holding this meeting.

Workshops, Bootcamps, and Competitions

Throughout the year there will be opportunity to attend various workshops. Our workshops cover everything from, business planning, start-up finance, market research, sales and marketing. Generally our workshops last 90 minutes and are open to students and recent alumni with a business idea.


Your business from idea to pitch on the final day. We cover market segmentation, customer development, business models, market research and pitching among other topics. The bootcamp is free to attend and we provide food and refreshments you’ll need so that you can focus on the work at hand. LAUNCH.ed run a series of Bootcamps that are designed to help you accelerate your start-up idea into a clear communicable business model. Over the course of the Bootcamp you will learn to:

  • Speak to some of your prospective customers.
  • Identify your business model and iterate it based on customer feedback.
  • Launch the beginning of your start-up marketing strategy.

Don’t wait, sign up for the next LAUNCH.ed bootcamp.

Business Competitions

Competitions are a great way to get feedback on your idea, and discover useful contacts to help you develop it. We run a number of business competitions throughout the year where you can win cash to help fund your start-up:

  1. The Business Ideas Competition opens in the autumn semester and is open to all students with an early stage idea. With £100 in prizes and free advice always available from our business advisors there’s no better time to start.
  2. The Innovation Cup is for high-growth potential businesses and has a top prize of £5000

We can also help you apply for external competitions. Our students have regularly won national business competitions run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Santander Bank, that has resulted in students securing several thousands of pounds of investment.

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As your ideas turn into action you may find a mentor helpful to focus your efforts and to act as a sounding board for your ideas. A mentor has unique life and business experience, and is willing to share their skills and their contacts. Mentoring is not available to all students. Only students with a strong idea and proven commitment, and who have completed a thorough market assessment and business plan, are eligible.

Funding Your Start-up

In some cases Launch.ed is able to help with funding your start-up. There are various aspects of your early stage start-up that we can support you raise funds for, such as:

  • IP protection (patent, design right, etc)
  • Prototyping
  • Market research
  • Legal costs
  • Customer development

Something not on the list above? Get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.

Access to free Accounting, Tax and Legal advice

Have an accounting, tax or legal issue or question?  Fear not!  LAUNCH.ed can connect you with some of the country’s foremost legal and accounting practitioners.  Please speak with your LAUNCH.ed advisor to get your question answered.


Tier 1 Visa’s for International Students

Students currently studying under a Tier 4 Visa are restricted in setting up a business in the UK. Students may research and develop their ideas, but if they wish to form a company and start trading, they need to secure an alternative visa after graduation. The University of Edinburgh is a partner university for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa endorsement scheme operated by UK Visa and Immigration. The University can endorse up to 20 international graduates each year to apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa to enable them to develop a business in the UK. Learn more>>



If you’re an alumni and have graduated from the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh College of Art in the last 2 years, you’re eligible to receive free support and advice from the Launch.ed Team. Get in touch with us for more details at

The University of Edinburgh

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