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Startup Festival showcases social innovation

Businesses innovators from leading social enterprises are headlining a festival of free events celebrating entrepreneurship.

This year’s festival  on Wednesday (7 March) includes representatives from a range of startups including FreeAgent, Sticky Heelz, Mallzee and Mercat Tours.

Social enterprises Tribe Porty and Edinburgh Tool Library are also attending.

Entrepreneurship Club

The festival includes a pitching competition from the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club (E Club).

Budding startups can compete for £5,000 cash prizes in pitching competitions for novel ideas and venture development.

Previous winners include James Turing, great-nephew of celebrated mathematician Alan Turing and founder of the Turing Trust, and Sonny Charles, founder of drinks company, Tipple Box.

Drop-in clinics

The festival offer sixteen free events including drop-in clinics on marketing and fundraising and one-to-one sessions with startup experts.

Drawing from the city’s thriving social enterprise ecosystem, the festival includes talks from FanDuel, Skyscanner, EIE Scotland and University of Edinburgh spin out companies.

A networking lunch will provide a chance to meet members of the entrepreneurial community, with food and drink from social enterprises Edinburgh Larder and Bon Accord Drinks.

Supporting business

The Startup Festival is part of Startup Europe Week.

Professor Wendy Loretto, Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, said:

Universities are a hotbed for founding companies and as a business school we’re really pleased to be playing our part, from offering entrepreneurship and innovation courses for STEM PhDs to tutorials for arts, informatics and engineering students. The Startup Festival is a chance to bring students and the startup founders together, and celebrate Edinburgh as a great place, with a thriving system of incubators, vibrant young companies and a huge amount of support on offer, all against the backdrop of our world-leading University.

Professor Wendy LorettoDean of University of Edinburgh Business School

Startup Festival