For students

Inspire Launch Grow Awards

The annual celebration of entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh.

ILG 2024 banner

 

Digital brochure for the Inspire Launch Grow Awards 2024

To reduce our climate footprint the brochure is only available digitally: 

 

 

The Oscars of entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh: the Inspire Launch Grow Awards – is back for 2024 and is offering double the prize fund! 

Inspire Launch Grow is about recognising innovation, creativity, and successes as well as the resilience, ambition, and accomplishments of entrepreneurs from the University of Edinburgh.

Accelerate your startup with the Inspire Launch Grow Awards with support, pitching advice and cash prizes to help take your startup to the next level. With three main categories to help kickstart your early-stage startup, nurture your social enterprise or accelerate your established startup. Enter now and be in with a chance of winning a share of the £48,000 prize fund.

 

2024 Inspire Launch Grow finalists 

Inspire - Emerging Innovation Award Finalists 

Student name Startup name School 
David Bourne SimPat Innovations Current student from Edinburgh Medical School
Joe Bradley QuantiPoly Current student from School of Physics and Astronomy
Rosie Tooby 2B Jumps Alumni from Moray House School of Education & Sport 
Sebastiaan Schalkwijk Solarsub Current student from the School of Engineering 
Sol White  SeaSat  Current student from the School of Engineering 

 

Launch - Impact Award Finalists 

Student name Startup name School 
Aliyu Dala Raygonal  Alumni from the School of Engineering
Brittany Newfer  Sunsave Solutions Alumni from the School of Social and Political Science
Laura Higham Vet Sustain CIC Current student from the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems
Lizzie Smith  Gradatim  Alumni from the School of Social Sciences

 

Grow - Growth Innovation Award Finalists 

Student name Startup name School
Amin Rigi Eyesight Electronics Current student from the Institute of Integrated Mirco and Nano Systems
Conrad Kissling  Taste Don't Waste Alumni from the Business School
Elijah Hoole RoadGauge  Alumni from the School of Informatics
Ifeanyichukwu Ezinmadu SymphoMe  Alumni from Edinburgh College of Art 

 

 

Competition categories 

Category Description Prizes Application process
Main ILG - 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 £100,000 in any form of funding.

One winner will receive £10,000 and finalists will receive £500. Plus all finalists will get the choice of either a photography package or custom pitch deck. 

Complete the application form by the deadline. 

Give a 10 minute pitch to a panel of judges. 

Main ILG - Impact - 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.

One winner will receive £10,000 and finalists will receive £500. Plus all finalists will get the choice of either a photography package or custom pitch deck. 

Complete the application form by the deadline. 

Give a 10 minute pitch to a panel of judges. 

Main ILG - Grow - Growth Innovation Award 

This award is for technology-based businesses and social enterprises, with a strong market fit and investment potential. The initial concept, feasibility testing and market validation must be established and a product or prototype must have been developed.

One winner will receive £10,000 and finalists will receive £500. Plus all finalists will get the choice of either a photography package or custom pitch deck. 

Complete the application form by the deadline. 

Give a 10 minute pitch to a panel of judges. 

Emerging Female Entrepreneur

This award will be open by nomination – the nominator can be a friend, peer, employee or business adviser.  Nominations are open for all students and recent graduates (two years) from the University of Edinburgh who identify as female, including trans-women. You can be nominated even as a past Inspire Launch Grow winner.

One winner will receive £10,000 

Complete the application form by the deadline. 

Moving Mountains - Creative Enterprise of the Year

Are you a freelancer, a creative small business, an Etsy seller, or maybe you have a stall at a market? If so, we want to hear about you and your business and how your creativity helped you along the way.

One winner will receive £1,000 Share your story by the deadline. 
Moving Mountains - Best Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Initiative

How does your business lead the way in creating an inclusive, fulfilling work environment that represents the wider society and is a truly welcoming place for marginalized groups? Our judges would love to hear about you!

One winner will receive £1,000

Share your story by the deadline. 

Now closed for applications.  

 

Digital Badging 

All winners and finalists will receive a digital badge for recognition for this amazing achievement. This badge will be supplied by the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Innovations, revolutionizes how student achievements are acknowledge beyond traditional academic qualifications. These badges visually represent students' accomplishments in diverse learning contexts, including courses, projects and extracurricular activities. The initiative aims to recongize a broad spectrum of achievements, fostering lifelong learning and enhancing employability. 

Who can enter?

  • Inspire Launch Grow is open to all student and recent graduates (two years post graduation) from the University of Edinburgh. 
  • To apply you must complete the application form before 10am on 25th March 2024 GMT
  • Please note you will not be able to save your progress on the application form 
  • If you are alumni and do not have the UUN credentials, you can still submit your application 
  • Unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback on their application
  • If you have any questions, please contact Christina at Christina.Starko@ei.ed.ac.uk 

Application process 

Finalists for main Inspire Launch Grow Awards (Emerging Innovation Award, Impact Award and the Growth Innovation Award) will need to pitch to a panel of judges on 25th April 2024. This will be a closed pitch with no audience and held online. Finalists will then give a one minute pitch on stage at the Inspire Launch Grow Awards and winners announced at the event on 6th June. 

The Emerging Female Entrepreneur Award and the Moving Mountains Micro Awards will be application only, winners announced before the event and then winners sharing their stories at the Inspire Launch Grow Awards on 6th June. 

Judging process 

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 2024 can be seen below:

This award is the culmination of many brilliant members of the Edinburgh Innovations team guiding me along this journey, and I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to every one of them. The support this award provides also opens the door for some very exciting work over the next few months, and I am beyond excited to get started.

ILG 2023 Winner

Awards Ceremony 

The Oscars of entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh will, of course, conclude with an awards ceremony! The winners will be announced at this prestigious event on 6th June. 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 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. Drinks and catering will be provided. The after-party will take place at the Student Enterprise Hub with a BBQ and more drinks available. 

 

Inspire Launch Grow - the University of Edinburgh Entrepreneur of the Year - this award will be nominated by the Edinburgh Innovations team and the winner will be invited to become the Inspire Launch Grow Awards keynote speaker. 

 

No better inspiration for tech companies starting off now than to hear from someone who has been there and done it. 

ILG Awards attendee
ILG collage

  

Why not try...

Business Ideas Competition 

Win a share of £1,000 just for telling us about your idea. Do you have an idea for a business, social enterprise, charity or freelancing proposition? Tell us about it and you could win money to work on your idea. Running a couple of times a semester. Find out more and enter now. 

 

Startup Summer Accelerator 

Join our accelerator programme for more structured support and to receive £3,000 in funding to work on your idea over the summer. With mentors, investors and others in the startup community to help you along the way. You can enter ILG and Startup Summer Accelerator and the application forms are the exact same to make it easier to apply! Find out more and apply now.