Student entrepreneur services | What we do | LAUNCH.ed

Free one to one appointments with a business adviser

As a student or recent graduate at the University of Edinburgh you can book meetings with LAUNCH.ed business advisers to discuss your business or social enterprise ideas and get advice. At your first meeting, you will be asked to describe your idea and its commercial potential, and to describe your current circumstances and aspirations. Your startup or spinout 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 or social enterprise and the stage you are at, you may be invited to subsequent meetings as appropriate.

  Book a 1-2-1 meeting


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Events and Competitions

Throughout the year we hold various events and competitions for students and recent graduates at any stage 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.
  • 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.

We also run networking sessions, hackathons and support programmes alone and in partnership with industry.

There are two main competitions each year.

  1. The Business Ideas Competition – 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.

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.


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 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 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.



If you’re alumni and have graduated from the University of Edinburgh in the last two years, you are 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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