Inspire Launch Grow Awards at The Univerisity of Edin | LAUNCH.ed

The prestigious Inspire Launch Grow awards reflect the service Edinburgh Innovations provide to staff, students and recent graduates throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

We support you from the beginning, with or without an idea, we encourage that first innovative spark and help you sustain it. Our events, workshops, competitions and 1-2-1 meetings with a business adviser can help you startup or spinout and then develop further so you thrive. More than a competition, Inspire Launch Grow is one route to this unique and dedicated service at the University of Edinburgh.

The award has a total prize fund of £20,000 with a top prize of £5,000. Winners will be able to use the prize money flexibly to support their idea, research or studies. It’s entirely up to you!

How to enter

To apply, you must complete the form before the deadline of 9.00am on Monday 1 April 2019. There is just one application form. Please read eligibility and tips on what the judges are looking for from the guidelines.

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Important information and dates

Shortlisting process

All applications will be reviewed by the shortlisting panel, made up of the Enterprise Services team. They will assign entrants into the most appropriate category. In some cases, a business adviser may nominate an entrant if they are already working with the team.

For the Emerging Innovation Award for students and staff the winners and runners-up will be selected by the shortlisting panel and announced by Wednesday 1 May 2019.

For the Enterprise Award, Social and Environment Award and the Innovation Cup the Enterprise Services panel will shortlist and notify finalists no later than Wednesday 24 April 2019. Finalists will need to prepare a pitch to a panel of expert judges.

Unsuccessful applicants can receive feedback on their application and further advice by booking a meeting with a business adviser.

“Finalists get a free professional photoshoot and the cash prize is not attached to any particular spending, which is extremely helpful compared to other competitions.” Anton Puzorjov – ILG Social and Environment Award Winner 2018, One Cherry

Benefits of applying

All finalists, as well as the winners and runners-up from the Emerging Innovation Awards for staff and the Emerging Innovation Awards for students, win a professional photography package. This is a fantastic opportunity to help promote yourself as an entrepreneur and your business/social enterprise. You will receive a portfolio of photography that you can keep and use however you wish as well as a pop-up banner.

Previous finalists have used this photography for social media, their website, promotion to various media and news outlets, in communication with investors and as part of their business plan. In order to take advantage of this opportunity you must be available from Wednesday 24 April – Friday 26 April 2019 at King’s Buildings Campus, Edinburgh.  Please note we cannot guarantee to photograph your entire team/company.

A pop-up banner will be created using your photoshoot photography and will be waiting for you at the Awards Ceremony.

Important deadline dates

We would suggest you take a screenshot or photo of this list to help with your application:

  • 1 April 2019 | 9.00am – competition deadline
  • 24 April 2019 – successful applicants notified
  • 1 May 2019 – Emerging Innovation winners notified
  • Week commencing 6 May 2019 | 6.00pm – 9.00pm – Pitching finals
  • Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 April 2019 – Finalists’ photoshoot
  • 6 June 2019 – Awards Ceremony

“Inspire Launch Grow highlights the talented people and fantastic projects that come out of the University of Edinburgh. Winning helped me launch Cytochroma.” Kate Cameron – ILG Runner-up 2018, Cytochroma

Finalists pitches

This is not a pitching competition and you will not be judged on your pitching skills. However you will need to successfully communicate your research/startup/business or social enterprise and answer questions from the judges.

A panel of expert judges from external organisations and businesses will listen to and evaluate your research/startup/business or social enterprise proposal.

Each category will have its own judging panel made up of those with the most relevant experience. Previously our judges have come from; Mercia Technology, Scottish National Heritage, Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland, Scottish EDGE and Archangel Investors.

This will be a closed ten minute pitch (with no audience) and an additional ten minutes for questions from the judges. We offer a virtual workshop to help you prepare for the pitch.

Finalists Pitches will be held in the week commencing 6 May 6.00pm – 9.00pm at King’s Buildings Campus. A 20 second version of your pitch will be recorded, on the same night, so that a brief video can be prepared for the award ceremony.

Awards Ceremony

The winners will be announced at our prestigious Inspire Launch Grow Awards Ceremony on the evening of Thursday 6 June 2019. This is our annual celebration of enterprise and Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and other various VIPs from the University and beyond will be in attendance.

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