News (from Edinburgh Research and Innovation)

Celebrating the University’s top entrepreneurial talent

  • 10 June 2014
Celebrating the University’s top entrepreneurial talent

The University of Edinburgh is set to celebrate its top University entrepreneurial talent at the 2014 Inspire Launch Grow Awards for Enterprise.

Keynote speaker at the Awards will be Gregor Lawson the co-founder of highly successful Scottish start-up Morphsuits. Gregor will address a crowd of hopefuls competing for over £15,000 worth of prizes in cash and in kind support.

The Inspire Launch Grow awards will start in the afternoon seeing 12 early stage university start-ups pitch against each other for top prizes. They day will culminate in an awards ceremony where the public will have an opportunity to see the entrepreneurial talent at the university and hear Gareth’s story. Three awards will be given out to top talent; the Enterprise Award, the Innovation Cup and the Entrepreneurial Achiever Award. 

The University of Edinburgh is among the most successful in the UK at creating high-value knowledge-based companies and consistently produces some of Scotland’s top academic entrepreneurs.

Morphsuits is a company based in Edinburgh that started out with a vision to make life more fun with costumes. Morphsuits are high quality spandex costumes that cover the body from head to toe. Co-founder Gregor Lawson will be inspiring the audience his story of entrepreneurialism turning a 3K investment into a business turning well over a million pounds annually.

Morphsuits now have customers in 30 different countries and supply over 300 different types of costumes including Spider-Man with augmented reality super-powers. Gregor will surely inspire the next generation of talent spinning out of the University of Edinburgh.

The University’s commercialisation arm, Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), has been proactively supporting the entrepreneurial ambitions of staff and students for over 15 years, resulting in over 300 new business ventures, including MTEM, Blackford Analysis, sensewhere, FanDuel, Speech Graphics, Peekabu Studios and pureLiFi.

Grant Wheeler, ERI’s head of company formation at Edinburgh comments; “This event will showcase the abundant enterprise activity at this University and highlight big success stories of the past such as Gareth’s and that of Actual Analytics who will be receiving the Entrepreneurial Achiever Award. These companies are a great example of the impact that the University’s activity has on the Scottish economy and growing entrepreneurial culture in Scotland.”

Further information

Enterprise Award

This will be the inaugural year for the Enterprise Award which is a business competition for non-permanent staff associated with the University of Edinburgh with innovative business ideas.  The winner will receive a £5000 prize with two runners up prizes of £1000.

Entrepreneurial Achiever Award

The Entrepreneurial Achievement Award is an accolade presented annually as part of the Universities recognition of University supported Entrepreneurial Achievement. The award will be given to a University of Edinburgh alumnus who has made a major impact through entrepreneurship to the world of business. The award goes to a University of Edinburgh Alumni who has moved out of University incubation and onto significant turnover, profit, and/or employees. The award winner is someone who must inspire future generations of student and staff entrepreneurs while also regularly giving back to the entrepreneurship community through events or mentoring.

Innovation Cup

The innovation Cup is an annual business competition for researchers, students and graduates of the University of Edinburgh with research or technology-based business ideas or young business ventures. Applicants must intend to build a business in Scotland within the next 12 months, OR within 12 months of their graduation. The winner receives £5000 cash towards their business. Two runners up will receive £1000 towards developing their business.

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