Edinburgh Innovations’ new Student Enterprise Hub has proven a hit with entrepreneurial students and recent graduates.
The Hub, by the entrance to Appleton Tower on Chapel Street, is a space for students to meet and work on their enterprises, as well as a venue for EI to deliver events and services, such as one-to-one business adviser meetings.
Having opened in time for Welcome Week, the Hub has already hosted startup and social enterprise workshops and a “Welcome to Your Student Enterprise Service” event.
‘Exactly what I need’
MSc Translation Studies student Victoria Velasco arrived in Edinburgh in September and hopes to launch her own translation service at the end of her studies. She attended the Welcome event and found an energetic community of like-minded students.
“I know nothing about business yet, but I’m interested in setting up. What I’ve heard today about workshops and talking to people one-to-one is exactly what I need.
“I think coming here is going to be really useful.
– Translation Studies masters student Victoria Velasco.
Collin Powers is a fourth-year undergraduate studying Business with Enterprise and Innovation and an existing EI client as founder of Ellyra, a startup developing a virtual reality tennis training product.
Already a successful student entrepreneur who recently completed EI’s Startup Summer Accelerator programme, he has been a regular at the Student Enterprise Hub since it opened at the beginning of semester.
“The space itself is incredible – it’s a really interesting combination. I can really focus and get a lot of work done, but I can also just chat to someone across the table. There’s a really great welcoming environment.
“Once I’m finished with my latest software build, I can just ask someone right there to test it and give me their thoughts. It’s been really helpful.”
– Collin Powers, undergraduate student and founder of Ellyra.
An important function of the Hub is to serve as a space for students to meet independently, discuss their business ideas, get feedback and even find co-founders.
Bobby Pembleton, from EI’s Enterprise Services team, says a need met by the Hub is simply physical space “for people to get together and make these connections”.
“On day one we wondered how we would persuade people to come in. On Day two we had so many we were wondering if we might have to triage who comes in here.
“There has been immediate take-up of the space.”
– Bobby Pembleton, Enterprise Officer.
The Student Enterprise Hub will host a busy calendar of workshops throughout semester, including three meetings in October of the newly formed EdinburghPALS, the latest of the University’s Peer Assisted Learning Schemes.