For students

Inspire Launch Grow Awards

Inspire Launch Grow is our annual celebration of entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh.

Inspire Launch Grow banner 2023

We are excited to celebrate all the innovations, creativity and successes, while also recognising the resilience, ambition and accomplishments of the entrepreneurs from the University.  

Enter the Inspire Launch Grow Awards competition and be in with a chance of winning part of £20,000 prize fund plus the choice of either a photography package or a custom-made pitch deck.  Now closed

2023 Finalists

Inspire - Emerging Innovation Award
  • Joseph French – Whimsylabs
  • Victor Perez Prieto – Carbon Glance
  • Kamila Malysz – Excellio Labs
  • Aliyu Dala – Raygonal
  • Florentina Winkelmann – SynSense
Launch - Impact Award
  • Wu Huang – NucBarcoder
  • Ashley Stein – Alt Milk Academcy
  • Felix Mekila Ngwambe – Sunsave Solutions
  • Rist Van de Weyer – Ujamaa Spice
Grow – Growth Innovation Award
  • Alexander Speakman – E.V.A Biosystems Limited
  • Adam Harris – Myriad Wind Energy Systems
  • Niall McGarth – Robocean
  • Janek Kolaczyk – Clastify



We have a total prize fund of approx. £20,000 with a top prize of £5,000 for each of the three categories and £500 for runners-up. If you are successful the prize money can be used at your discretion. 

All finalists will win their choice of a professional photography package or a professionally created pitch deck.   

Video: ILG 2022 winner Farai
Previous winner of Inspire Launch Grow, Farai, discusses his win and why you should apply for the next ILG Awards.


All applications will be reviewed by the shortlisting panel, made up of the Enterprise Services team. They reserve the right to move you to a different category than the one you applied for if they believe this would benefit you. In some cases, a business adviser may nominate an entrant for Inspire Launch Grow if they are already working with the team. Please also note that each category will have different judging criteria – the criteria for ILG 2023 can be seen below:


Inspire - Emerging Innovation Award
  • For technology-based businesses, social enterprises and ideas with outstanding commercial potential who are at an early stage. The finalists have been judged to have a novel, interesting or unique idea, along with their business model. Emerging innovations will be currently in development but will have a promise for high growth as well as scalability and the potential to create jobs and have an impact on the local economy. In this category, judges are looking for strong customer validation and those who are at the start of their entrepreneurial journey. The enterprises should not have generated more than £50,000 in any form of funding.  


Launch - Impact Award
  • Designed for enterprises focused on change for the common good. Judges will be looking for those with the potential to benefit communities or the environment. The winning enterprise will be led by its social mission and be able to measure its impact. However, it should not stop there.  Finalists must demonstrate a financially sustainable business model. This category invites those whose mission is to make the world a better place. 


Grow - Growth Innovation Award 
  • This award is for teams with a strong market fit, who are at the launch stage or beyond. This award is for technology-based businesses, social enterprises, and ideas with high growth potential. The initial concept, feasibility testing and market validation must be established and a product or prototype must have been developed. The enterprises should not have generated more than £200,000 in the form of funding. 

Unsuccessful applicants can receive feedback on their application and further advice by booking a meeting with a business adviser via our website


Awards Ceremony

The winners will be announced at our prestigious Inspire Launch Grow Awards Ceremony on 8th June, 3pm - 6.30pm at Potterrow – The Dome. It is expected that all finalists will be there in-person. 

 This is our annual celebration of enterprise and a chance for Inspire Launch Grow applicants, finalists, and winners to pitch and talk about their business with the wider enterprise ecosystem. 

We aim to make this event a celebration of our students and alumni entrepreneurial success while giving attendees the opportunity to connect and form new partnerships and collaborations. Invitees include University of Edinburgh entrepreneurs, alumni, entrepreneurial organisations, business people, partners, investors, and university colleagues. 


Inspire Launch Grow Awards 2022 collection
ILG 2022