Startup Summer Accelerator

Learning how to start up a company is one of the best summer jobs you can have.


We have teamed up with Santander Universities to bring you the Startup Summer Accelerator. This 12-week programme will help early-stage and potential startups increase their chances of launching.


  • You must be a current student from the University of Edinburgh or have graduated in the last two years
  • You must be able to dedicate at least 40 hours a week to your business
  • Exhibit enthusiasm for working on a startup idea
  • Be able to communicate ideas clearly and concisely

What is startup summer?

Startup Summer is an accelerator programme that provides you with £3,000 in funding while learning what it takes to manage your own business or social enterprise. Develop your skills with weekly workshops and meetings where you’ll learn about market validation, product development, finances, pitching and digital marketing skills. There will be additional, optional workshops, such as resilience building and specialised sessions focusing on social enterprises and high growth enterprises.

Successful applicants will also receive expert mentorship and coaching, peer to peer sessions, and gain industry insight through weekly events featuring top entrepreneurs and investors from Edinburgh’s startup community.

Important deadline dates

11 February 2019

Applications open

11 March 2019

Applications close at midnight

25 – 27 March 2019

Interviews take place

31 May 2019

Induction Day

3 June 2019

First workshop

12 September 2019

Demo day


Startup Summer is now closed to applications.


There are many benefits to taking part in the programme. Here’s a look at some of last year’s success stories.


Read the story

Lorn Jean is an award-winning Scottish fashion designer crossing between the realms of garment design and jewellery construction design.  Since 2016, Lorn has been devoted to the invention and application of new forms of designed jewellery within exquisitely executed garment and accessory design.  By combining the most traditional and specialised skills in garment drafting, Lorn combines this with new, creative materials and jewellery to realise her unique vision.

Thanks to the support of Startup Summer Lorn Jean received a permanent installation in the National Museum of Scotland.

Startup Summer has allowed me to really focus my energy on making my business a reality and given me the support to pursue this. One of my showpiece dresses is now in the permanent collection of The National Museum of Scotland.

Lorn Jean

2018 Startup Summer participant, Lorn

Read the story

Polling re-invented. ThisThat is an app to help you choose. Post your question in a This or That format and get instant answers from your friends or the public. From everyday simple questions to the big decisions post your question and make a choice.

ThisThat secured their first investment with help from the accelerator.

£1,000 a month allows you to reduce your part time job hours to focus on your startup. We got investment which was great – we grew the team and launched a prototype.

Max Osborne

2018 Startup Summer participant, ThisThat

Read the story

In rural Kenya today 65% of women are unable to afford sanitary products and are thus forced to dangerously engage in transactional sex with older men or are resorting to unhygienic alternatives. School girls with a lack of income and lack of awareness surrounding menstruation will often drop out of school as a result severely hampering their life prospects. After seeing these difficulties first hand Alison Wood set up an Enactus project, Lilypads.

Lilypads is a growing social enterprise providing accessible, affordable and sustainable sanitary pads along with innovative menstrual health education to women and girls within Kenya.

With the help of Startup Summer Lilypads were able to ship their first product.

Startup Summer provided me with the time and finances to grow, which put us in a better place for launching the product -we had our first sales in Kenya.

Alison Wood

2018 Startup Summer participant, Lilypads