Innovation and Enterprise

The University of Stirling’s Enterprise Programme equips students, staff, and recent alumni to embrace entrepreneurship and drive innovation. 

Operated by the Innovation and Enterprise Team, within Research and Innovation Services, the Programme provides a comprehensive offering of activities and services that support individuals across the institution to develop skills, create and grow new business ventures and commercialise research.

The Develop Activity Stream

Open to all students, staff, and eligible alumni, the Develop Activity Stream supports idea generation and business model development, entrepreneurial skills-building and research commercialisation.

The ‘Develop’ stream provides weekly semester-time skills workshops, discussion panels, business engagement opportunities, and an annual business idea competition, ‘The Entrepreneurial Quest’. Emerging entrepreneurs also benefit from year-round access to individual business advice.

One-to-one business advice

The Enterprise Programme provides a full advisory service covering all aspects of idea development, business creation and growth. Staff, students, and qualifying alumni with an idea, new business venture or desire to explore research commercialisation, can contact our team to make an appointment. To book, simply email us at

Entrepreneurial Quest 2022

The Entrepreneurial Quest is the University of Stirling’s annual ideas competition. Taking place every March, “Quest” contestants deliver three short elevator pitches with the aim of winning a full year’s residence in The Hive, our on-campus business incubator. In the course of one evening, expert judges help participants to navigate the three-stage Quest by sharing their professional advice in the areas of marketing, finance and business planning. Regardless of your subject of study, we aim for all participants to leave with valuable feedback and a boost of motivation!

The Entrepreneurial Quest 2022 will take place on the afternoon and evening of Thursday 17 March 2022. Please note that all interested students and eligible alumni must register and attend the mandatory online Information Session on Thursday 24 February 2022 at 5pm in order to participate in the competition. Registration for the Information Session will open in January 2022 via TARGETConnect.

Workshops and events

View our full schedule of Develop workshops, discussion panels and other events. You can register for all upcoming events via TARGETConnect.

The Launch Activity Stream

Open via application to eligible students and alumni, the Launch Activity Stream supports emerging entrepreneurs to develop viable business models and prepare to launch new ventures. 

The ‘Launch’ offering includes an accelerator scheme, 'SEED', the University's annual business start-up competition, 'Pitch & Progress', UKVI Startup visa endorsement, and endorsement for The RSE's Enterprise Fellowships.

SEED (Student Enterprise Enhanced Development)

The SEED (Student Enterprise Enhanced Development) scheme is an accelerator programme offering multi-faceted support to a cohort of promising student and alumni early-stage entrepreneurs to develop and launch viable, innovative business ventures. Running from November to April each year, SEED consists of intense one-to-one business mentorship, individual professional advice, bespoke training sessions and end-of-year Santander Universities UK funding awards.

Applications are now closed for the 2021/2022 SEED cohort. 

Pitch and Progress 2022

Taking place in March, Pitch and Progress is the University’s annual start-up competition. Following the format of the BBC’s popular Dragon’s Den television series, contestants pitch their start-up to a panel of judges for the chance to represent the University at Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, competing for a share of their impressive national prize pot!

Pitch & Progress 2022 will take place on the afternoon of Monday 14 March 2022. Please note that all interested students and eligible graduates must register and attend the mandatory online Information Session on Thursday 24 February 2022 at 5pm in order to participate in the competition. Registration for the Information Session will open in January 2022 via TargetConnect.

If you have any further questions, please email

Start-up visa

The Start-up visa scheme is designed to support early-stage and high potential entrepreneurs to start a business in the UK for the first time. The University of Stirling is an endorsing body and will accept applications for this scheme from University of Stirling graduates.

Students aiming to move onto this visa following completion of their studies must evidence a minimum engagement threshold of three unique instances of participation with our Enterprise Programme (e.g., attendance at workshops, meetings with the Business Advisor, participation in the SEED accelerator scheme, etc) during the six months prior to an application being developed.

Endorsement Panels are normally held in September and December each year.

To find out more information about the endorsement process, or to register your interest, please email

Visa specific enquiries should be sent to

The Grow Activity Stream

Open via application to eligible students and alumni, the Grow Activity Stream supports emerging entrepreneurs to launch and grow young business ventures.  The offering consists of start-up incubation and growth-oriented support.


Based at the University of Stirling Innovation Park, The Hive is the institution’s student and alumni business incubator, supporting the launch and growth of innovative and viable start-ups.  As an innovation hub, ‘incubees’ benefit from the following:

  • Allocated individual desk and storage within The Hive’s co-working space
  • Access to free wifi, office equipment, and 3D printer
  • Access to Santander Universities UK funding awards
  • Professional advisory services
  • Regular individual business advice
  • Investor-readiness sessions
  • Bespoke training sessions

Championing the University’s ethos, The Hive encourages entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities and wider society.

To find out more or apply please contact us at

Social Shifters

Social Shifters - Supporting students who want to change the world for the better.

Have a great idea that solves a social or environmental problem, but don’t know where to start? Want to create change, but don’t have an outlet?

Whatever change you want to make, it doesn’t happen without help.

That help starts here.

Our time for change - a collage of polluting factory chimneys beside someone brainstorming on a whiteboard.

University of Stirling has teamed up with Social Shifters - empowering you to explore, start, and grow your ideas. Whether you want to solve a local or global problem, these free resources will enable you to explore, test, and grow your ideas so you can make a difference.

Social Shifters aims to support and grow change activity in universities across the UK, because all change starts with one thing — an idea.

Whether you want to solve local or global problems, Social Shifters enables you to explore, start, and grow ideas that can change the world.

Our time for change is now. Be part of the social shift.

Other support and competitions

We work in collaboration with a number of enterprise support agencies to benefit entrepreneurs at all stages. Though far from exhaustive, some of the major organisations we work with include:

Connect with the Innovation and Enterprise team