Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, held a dinner last night at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to celebrate the success of student enterprise activity at the University.
The Princess Royal was joined by University leaders, the student enterprise team from the University’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations (EI), and 15 of the hundreds of students and graduates they have supported to become startup founders.
Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, spoke about the significant success of student enterprise at the University of Edinburgh, noting that the University is top in Scotland for student enterprise and second in the UK Russell Group of universities, with 105 startups formed last year, attracting record investment of £30.5m.
The 15 founders present are building businesses as diverse as audio technology (Black Goblin), cattle dentistry (Bovine Dentistry) and a skin patch that enables diagnosis (SynSense).
Several are focussed on harnessing technology for sustainability, such as robotic waste sorting companies Danu Robotics and Bennu.ai and onshore wind turbine builders Myriad Wind Systems, or subsea robotics company Rocoean and nature-inspired gamers Yaldi Games.
Others are working on digital health, such as wearable tech for older people (Smplicare) or assistive robotics company Bioliberty.
Recent graduate and tech entrepreneur Marise Treseder formed DeepQA after finishing a master’s in artificial intelligence, to automate the process of testing for bugs in software.
It’s been a pleasure to come together and celebrate the successes of our student enterprise team, alongside other founders that benefit from their support. “The University and EI have helped my co-founder and I to accelerate our thinking and test our ideas in a relatively low-risk way. From structured ideation to high quality feedback, student services have helped lay the foundations for DeepQA to become a sustainable business that is able to thrive. “At DeepQA, we take a similar approach and enable developers to focus on innovation by providing access to technology that helps them learn quickly from their mistakes, ultimately delivering better business outcomes.”“
I’m inspired every day by the ideas our students are developing, and by their determination to use enterprise as a vehicle to make the world a better place. It’s my great pleasure to celebrate their success with The Princess Royal, our Chancellor. I’m also extremely proud of my team, and to be part of an ecosystem at Edinburgh that supports students every step of their journey to becoming founders.”“
Dr Catherine Martin, Vice-Principal of Corporate Services, welcomed the Chancellor alongside Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Mathieson and Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations.
The dinner held by The Princess Royal has been a fantastic recognition of the strength and vitality of our University’s student enterprise activity. We have a growing entrepreneurial culture here at Edinburgh that is becoming central to our student and staff experience, and we recognise that innovation – the translation of cutting-edge research and ideas into real world solutions – is key to meeting the challenges society faces today. I look forward to celebrating more and more student and staff success in this arena.”“