Student entrepreneur services | What we do | LAUNCH.ed

About us

We have a wide range of events, workshops, competitions and opportunities to help you startup. No matter the stage of your idea, we can help. If you are a current student at the University of Edinburgh, or you are a recent (in the last two years) University of Edinburgh graduate,  you are able to join us for all our events and competitions.


Free one-to-one appointments with a business adviser

You can book a meeting with a LAUNCH.ed business adviser to discuss your ideas. At your first meeting, you will be asked to describe your idea and its commercial potential, and to describe your current circumstances and aspirations. In this one-to-one meeting your idea will be kept confidential. We can meet you at our offices at Kings Buildings Campus, the Main Library, the Outreach Centre or the Edinburgh College of Art.

Book a 1 2 1 meeting

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Events and Competitions

Throughout the year we hold various events and competitions for various stages of the startup process. These cover business planning, startup finance and funding, market research, pitching, sales and marketing. While we try out new events and workshops each year, below are some of our favourites:

  • Find your Startup Idea is a new workshop taking place over a couple of hours to help you find your perfect business or social enterprise idea.
  • Bootcamps are designed to transform your idea into a fully-fledged elevator pitch in just one day. Join us for our entrepreneur bootcamp or social enterprise bootcamp
  • 3 Day Startups are our most popular events and take place around March and October time. Come with, or without, a business or social enterprise idea and have a crash course on entrepreneurship.
  • Freelance workshops are perfect for those thinking about freelance careers. Learn everything you need to know about self-employment.

We also run networking sessions, hackathons and support programmes alone and in partnership with industry. Check out our events page for current opportunities or sign-up to our communications so you don’t miss out on any of these great opportunities!

There are two main competitions each year.

  1. The Business Ideas Competition and news to this year, the Business Ideas Competition for engineering students – runs in semester one for early-stage ideas with a cash prize
  2. Inspire Launch Grow Awards – runs in semester three for staff, students and recent graduates at the University. For those who have started a new business, social enterprise or turned their research into a business opportunity.

Access to funding

We are committed to providing access to various funds, investment, programmes and grants depending on the stage of your idea, research or business. Our extensive network means we are aware of the latest and best opportunities for our clients. You can find external competitions and funding on our social media pages or speak to your adviser for further information and support. We offer advice and support when applying for external competitions, funding and investment. Our clients regularly win these and can secure several thousand pounds of investment.


Programmes and awards

Startup Summer Entrepreneurship Programme

This 12 week, Santander sponsored programme helps early stage potential startups increase their chance of launching. Receive expert mentorship, coaching and hot-desk space as well as £3,000 to help you startup.

Edinburgh Award for Enterprise 

We have teamed up with the Careers Service to create the Edinburgh Award for Enterprise. Network and learn from business professionals, learn new skills and have a great entry for your CV all while studying.



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.


Access to free legal, accounting and IP support

Have a legal, accounting or IP question?  Fear not!  Supported by Ellis IP with can help with any of your inquiries. Please speak with your LAUNCH.ed adviser 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.

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