students with business award

Innovation & Enterprise

The Enterprise Programme supports students, staff and recent graduates to develop innovative business ideas and launch viable start-ups, as well as to build skills for the future world of work.

Develop your skills

We offer a range of services and activities to assist aspiring entrepreneurs and their start-up businesses. The in-semester schedule consists of a weekly skill-building workshop series, masterclasses, the SEED accelerator scheme, as well as annual idea and start-up competitions. Access to one-to-one business advice and on-campus incubation opportunities at The Hive are also available all year long.

Regardless of your starting point, the Enterprise Programme has something to support your entrepreneurial journey and help you make a difference! Please access our schedule of activities for 2020/2021 via TARGETConnect.

The Enterprise Programme is generously supported by Santander Universities UK.

Connect with the Innovation and Enterprise team

student and lecturer in library

One-to-one business advice

The Enterprise Programme provides a full advisory service covering all aspects of idea development, business creation and growth. Students and qualifying graduates with an idea, start-up or desire to explore entrepreneurial activity can contact our team to make an appointment.

To book, simply email us at

 Students working in a study space

Workshops and events

The Enterprise Programme delivers a variety of skill-building workshops and events over the academic year. For more information or to register for our upcoming events,

The Enterprise Programme delivers a weekly skill-building workshop series, masterclasses, competitions and other events over the academic year.

Find out more about our schedule for 2020-21 and register for upcoming activities and events via TARGETConnect.


The SEED (Student Enterprise Enhanced Development) scheme is an accelerator programme offering comprehensive support to a cohort of student and graduate early-stage entrepreneurs to develop, launch and grow viable and innovative start-ups.

Applications for the 2020/2021 SEED cohort are now closed.

If you require any further information about SEED, then please email


The Enterprise Programme runs two annual internal competitions for students and recent graduates; The Entrepreneurial Quest and Pitch and Progress.

Entrepreneurial Quest 2021

The Entrepreneurial Quest is the University of Stirling’s annual ideas competition. Taking place every March. “The Quest” allows contestants to compete for a full year’s residence in the Hive, our on-campus business incubator.

Due to the current ‘stay at home’ guidance across mainland Scotland, we will not be hosting a live event this year. Instead, contestants will be required to record and submit a three-minute elevator pitch, and complete online entry registration. Our expert judging panel will assess the submitted elevator pitches in relation to marketing, finance, and business planning and select a winner. Participants will be invited to attend a virtual award ceremony on Thursday 18 March from 6pm to 7pm.

Regardless of your subject of study, we aim for all participants to receive valuable feedback and a boost of motivation!

How to apply 

To take part in The Quest 2021 just follow these steps:

  1. Attend the mandatory Information Session on Thursday 18 February 2021 at 5pm. This session will be delivered via MS Teams and you can register through TARGETConnect.
  2. Complete the application process by submitting your recorded elevator pitch and completing online registration by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 8 March 2021. You can complete your online registration at Quest – Registration and Terms & Conditions. Your recorded elevator pitch should be sent by email to
  3. Attend the virtual award ceremony on Thursday 18 March from 6pm to 7pm. Participants will be invited to this private MS Teams event following their successful registration.

Please note that the Innovation and Enterprise Team aim to provide all contestants with their individual judging feedback within ten working days of the award ceremony.

If you have any further questions, please email

Pitch and Progress 2021

Also 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 and Progress 2021 will take place on the afternoon of Monday 8 March 2021. Please note that all interested students and eligible graduates must register and attend the mandatory Information Session on Thursday 18 February 2021 at 5.00pm in order to participate in the competition. Registration for the Information Session will open in January 2021 via TargetConnect.

If you have any further questions, please email

Lunch with a Leader

Returning for a fourth year, this time in a virtual format, ‘Lunch with a Leader’ is an initiative that facilitates engagement between students and leaders of Scottish businesses from a variety of sectors, furthering understanding and awareness of entrepreneurship and enterprise. Up to three interested students will be selected to attend a virtual lunch with a local entrepreneur/business leader during the months of November, January, February and March.

By attending any Enterprise Programme workshops or events in a given month, students gain automatic entry to be selected for Lunch with a Leader.


Based at the University of Stirling Innovation Park, The Hive is the institution’s student and graduate business incubator; supporting the creation of innovative and viable start-ups.  As an innovation hub, ‘incubees’ benefit from free office accommodation, access to professional advice, business support services and much more. Championing the University’s ethos, The Hive encourages entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities and wider society.

The incubator has successfully helped many start-up businesses over many years. Access to The Hive for the period of 12-months is awarded as the prize at our annual Entrepreneurial Quest competition and shorter term access is available by open application throughout the year. To find out more or apply please contact us at

Aerial photo of the campus

Stirling University Innovation Park

The Stirling University Innovation Park (SUIP) situated on campus gives innovative companies and organisations the perfect business location. Find out more about the Stirling University Innovation Park.

Other support and competitions

We work in collaboration with a number of enterprise support agencies to ensure students have as much support and as many opportunities as possible to pursue their ideas. For more information on the support and competitions each organisation can offer, please use links below to access their websites and/or email for more information or to speak with a member of our team.

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 (eg attendance at Enterprise Programme workshops, meetings with the Business Advisor, participant of our SEED programme 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

Get in touch

Any questions? Contact the Innovation and Enterprise team and we'd be happy to answer them.