a strathclyde entrepreneur chats with two businessmen

Strathclyde Entrepreneurial NetworkFunding and support

Accessing external support for your business

We work closely with a variety of external support organisations to help our start-ups access appropriate funding. Our team can help with applications for grants and competitions to get your business to the next stage of growth. This list is not exhaustive and is always changing, so be sure to check back for updates!

Converge Challenge

Converge Challenge is a high profile Scotland-wide company creation competition and entrepreneurship development programme aimed at creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in Scotland. 

Converge Challenge has four categories:

  • Converge Challenge - £100,000+ prize fund
  • Creative Challenge - £30,000+ prize fund
  • Impact Challenge - £30,000+ prize fund
  • KickStart Challenge - £15,000+ prize fund


Converge Challenge is open to all staff and students at any Scottish University. It's also open to recent graduates from any Scottish University up to 24 months after graduating if supported by a University.

Application Timeline

Converge Challenge is currently closed for applications. More details and information on how to apply can be found online here.

Applications for the main competition are accepted March through April each year, with training and final business competition taking place between May and September. The next application deadline for Converge Challenge will be March 2020.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships enable promising science and technology researchers to develop into successful entrepreneurs.

Awardees get to focus on refining their business ideas, while receiving one year’s salary, expert training in entrepreneurship and access to mentorship from business Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) along with other successful entrepreneurs in the business community.

Enterprise Fellows are hosted by a university or research institute for the 12-month duration of the Fellowship. Strathclyde has its own internal process for supporting applications. Please click here to learn more aobut this process.


Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowships

Enterprise Fellowships support the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies. These awards provide up to £60,000 in funding, as well as 'money-can’t-buy' bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring from the Academy’s Fellowship.

The Fellowship is composed of some of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry. Fellowships are available to both university-based academics of any experience level who wish to spin out a company, and also to recent graduates wishing to create a company.


University Enterprise Fellowships

Applicants must be working in research at a UK Higher Education Institution, in an engineering department (or engineering-focused research area), and must have a PhD or equivalent experience. The Host Institution must be committed to transferring and exploiting the particular technology via a spin-out, in which the Enterprise Fellow will be playing a leading role (CEO/COO).

Graduate Enterprise Fellowships

Applicants must be based in the UK and be currently studying for, or have been awarded their very first degree, no earlier than 1 January 2012. The degree must be in engineering, design, IT, or a related discipline. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply but must receive their degree before they start the Fellowship.

Application timeline

The deadline for Stage 1 applications was 19 August 2019, with successful applicants who applied to this stage to complete an application for Stage 2. This submission deadline was 16th of September, 2019.


Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Each year Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN) looks for the University’s top entrepreneurs to take part in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards: the UKs largest student and graduate business pitching competition.

Apply for our internal round of the competition and you could be nominated to represent Strathclyde in the national Santander Entrepreneurship Awards and win up to £25,000 in business support in two categories:

  • Technology
  • Non-Technology


All University of Strathclyde students (undergraduate, MSc and PhD) and alumni within 5 years of graduation.

Application timeline

The deadline for the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards has since closed.

Scottish EDGE

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.

Scottish EDGE has four categories:

  • Scottish EDGE – for incorporated companies which have been in operation for no more than 5 years
  • Higgs EDGE – for high growth and scalable businesses with a key focus in the Science, Technology or Engineering Sector
  • Wild Card EDGE – open to all companies or sole traders/partnerships who are pre-trading
  • Young EDGE – for companies or sole traders/partnerships who’s Directors are all aged between 18-30 years old

Application timeline

Scottish EDGE Round 15 has since closed for applications.


Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) Fresh Ideas Competition

The SIE Fresh Ideas competition allows you to develop your business idea into a real business venture.

The process is designed to help you develop your business know-how and show you how to turn a good idea into a successful new business. So even if you’re not a winner, you’ll still benefit from our help and be in a great position to take the next steps.


Students or recent graduates (within 2 years) at a Scottish University or College

Application Timeline

Monthly winners are chosen for 10 months every year.   Stage 1 will be judged 10 months of the year, and the winners and best of the other entries will be invited on to stage 2. Stage 2 runs in February and March, and the winners of which will be announced in March.