" /> New support for international entrepreneurs — Edinburgh Innovations

Edinburgh Innovations has become one of the UK’s 43 endorsing bodies for the Innovator Visa, which enables entrepreneurs from outside Europe to establish businesses in the UK.

EI is already an endorsing body for the Startup Visa, typically issued to student entrepreneurs who want to remain in the UK after graduation. The Innovator Visa is for more developed entrepreneurs: a next step for those previously on a Startup Visa or a first step for someone looking to build a startup in the UK.

Applicants may include student and staff entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs looking to participate in the University’s accelerator programmes; and international clients who are looking to establish in the UK, through schemes such as the International Campus.

EI is able to endorse 25 Innovator Visa applications each year. The visa is for people from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

“By becoming an endorsing body, EI is able to extend its support for our graduate entrepreneurs and expand our services to a wider group of entrepreneurs wishing to launch businesses in the UK.”


– Ross McLennan, Enterprise Development Executive, Edinburgh Innovations

Record of support

The University of Edinburgh and EI have a long record in supporting international entrepreneurs. Cognihealth, Mocean Energy, Get Guided, Two Big Ears, Wootzano, Social Stories Club, SymbaSync, Crover and REOptimize Systems are among recent successful businesses whose entrepreneurs have benefited from our visa endorsements.

Until 2019, international entrepreneurs applied for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa and then directly to the UK government for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. With the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa now replaced with the Startup Visa, entrepreneurs wanting to continue their activity in the UK need the new Innovator Visa, which requires endorsement.

Related links

Contact the EI visa team

Innovator Visa (government website)

EI services for students and recent graduates