The Enterprise Development team is here to encourage entrepreneurship among University staff. We have supported the formation of more than 400 companies over the past decade.


We have the expertise and experience to provide practical support at every stage of setting up a company.

We help you understand the commercial potential of your idea, offer practical and confidential advice and help find the funding and facilities that your business may need.


Our range of online courses for staff, students and recent graduates from the University of Edinburgh will help you on your entrepreneurial journey. These include courses to help kick-start your business or social enterprise, carry out customer discovery and validation as well as helping you understand legal structures and financial compliance.

Courses are accessed through Learn, the main e-learning platform at the University. Our business advisers can monitor your progress and provide support.

Find our courses:

  1. Log in to Learn
  2. Go to the self-enrol tab (top right-hand corner)
  3. Browse catalogue
  4. Search ‘Edinburgh Innovations’


It is important to engage at an early stage of the commercialisation process to help validate the opportunity. The Enterprise Development team can offer individual guidance and advice on the company formation process.

We can help develop plans to fully commercialise the intellectual property involved in your startup or spinout proposition. Once the plan is established we will also support you to gain the necessary University approval. We will make the transition from research to commercial enterprise as easy as possible.

If you are interested in forming a spinout then download our EI Spinout Support Guide for a comprehensive guide to the steps involved. The guide covers the basics of what you need to do before you set up your business such as identifying and managing IP, business planning, market research, building your team, and raising funding.


The Enterprise Development team is dedicated to sourcing early stage capital to support Edinburgh’s pipeline of technology-based projects. This funding is critical in the early stages of project development, and delivers significant benefits to the local economy.

We are committed to providing access to various funds, schemes, programmes and grants depending on the stage of your idea, research or business. Support schemes for Edinburgh’s staff entrepreneurs include the Scottish Enterprise High Growth Spin-out Programme, Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships, SMART Scotland, Scottish Edge and many others. The University also has its own growth investment fund, Old College Capital.



Our network gives you access to experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts who can advise and support the University’s brightest projects. From providing guidance and direction through to hands-on practical support the role of these advisers is invaluable.


Where required, we can help find the right people for your company’s board and provide contacts that can help you with shareholder agreements, human resources advice and other personnel matters.


We host regular surgeries with a range of professionals from legal and accountancy firms to provide advice on incorporation of a company, shareholder and partnership agreements, IP protection, branding and trademarks as well as general employment and accountancy practices.


Our annual Inspire Launch Grow competition and awards ceremony celebrates enterprise at the University of Edinburgh.


There are a number of dedicated incubation centres on and around the University’s campuses.

Edinburgh Innovations can provide high-spec office accommodation to your spinout or startup company offering:

  • Flexible, low-cost accommodation
  • Focused and progressive business development services, matching your needs as you grow
  • High-quality data and telecoms provision at no extra charge
  • Access to common facilities such as meeting rooms and kitchen areas

Offices are based at Murchison House, on the King’s Buildings campus, and in the Appleton Tower in the Central Area campus. We also offer virtual office facilities and access to specialist equipment.


Particle Analytics


A new software platform offers a step change in modelling the behaviour of granular materials – sand, rocks and chemical products.



Li-Fi uses standard LED lighting to transmit data, offering advantages over conventional Wi-Fi.



Two PhD students set up an award-winning company that makes surgical simulator tools to help surgeons improve their skills.

Speech Graphics


Two informatics entrepreneurs created a leading audio-driven facial animation solution for speech in gaming and other applications.



A spinout delivers enzyme-free DNA and RNA analysis for faster identification of infections and improved tests for cancers.



A leader in hyper-local, indoor positioning without the need for GPS has applications ranging from retail to airports.



A spinout company has created a new musical instrument that gives severely disabled children the chance to express themselves.

Blackford Analysis


First developed for astronomy research, a big data algorithm is finding uses in sectors ranging from medical to seismic surveillance.