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About the Startup Festival

The Startup Festival invites everyone to celebrate Edinburgh as a great city for starting up. Over the course of one day and through 17 free events, the University of Edinburgh Business School is offering inspiration, networking opportunities, knowledge & skills to entrepreneurs, students who are curious about their potential, and anyone in the city who plays a part in making Edinburgh a great place to live, study and work.

Through storytelling, workshops, games and debates we are showcasing the entrepreneurial DNA and know-how across all walks of life. Covering a range of sectors, including tech, retail, food & drink, finance, creative industries, and energy, the festival is unpacking a whole range of entrepreneurial creations, from businesses to community-building projects.

The Startup Festival is a University of Edinburgh Business School production, in association with EClub, Edinburgh’s Entrepeneurship Club.

Our history

In 2016, we marked the 10 year anniversary of the University of Edinburgh’s E Club (Entrepreneurs Club) by hosting an all-day festival. It was our first startup festival, celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit through supporting the interest, ideas, business or simple curiosity in entrepreneurship and innovation.

The E Club Startup Festival 2016 programme included 11 events over 14 hours with 1200 keen student and entrepreneur attendances. Innovators, business owners and startup minds attended the event to share why and how they started, and what they learnt from it. We celebrated failure, showcased social enterprises and ran the E Club’s pitching competitions.

Speakers on the day included James Watt (BrewDog), Jackie Waring (Investing Women), Jamie Coleman (Codebase) and Jonathan Moules (Financial Times), and many more.

Watch unmissable moments from the E Club Start-up Festival

We celebrated again in 2017 with Startup Festival 2017 and even more events and speakers from across Edinburgh and the globe!

The day began with a panel on the topic of building a startup city. Speakers from Lisbon, and Waterloo, Canada – including Catherine Bischoff from the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Centre at University of Waterloo – joined us to talk about what makes their respective cities the perfect place for entrepreneurs.

Seventeen free events saw speakers and participants from across a range of industries and sectors, including fintech and civtech, social enterprise and the third sector, food and drink, education and consultancy. Speakers were leaders from the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the companies they represent included Nucleus Financial, The Melting PotEdinburgh Student Arts FestivalThe School of Social EntrepreneursFreedom Bakery, Game Dr.FreeAgentEdinburgh LarderRemade in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh University Students Association.

Watch unmissable moments from the Startup Festival 2017