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THE UNLOCKING AMBITION CHALLENGE for early stage entrepreneurs

THE UNLOCKING AMBITION CHALLENGE for early stage entrepreneurs


The Unlocking Ambition Challenge will invest in a group of up to 20 early stage entrepreneurs who will be chosen, mentored and led by some of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs. They’re looking for early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs, innovators, academics and researchers with innovative projects who want to form start-ups in Scotland, as part of the first cohort of this inaugural challenge.

Successful applicants will start a 12 month programme to build their business, mentored by world leading experts from our partner organisations.

You’ll receive grant funding (around £45,000 per person), business training, tailored support for areas such as your financial plan, business plan, spin out/start-up process, marketing and sales – and visiting status with an agreed university or research institute. You’ll also get access to international networks.



“The Unlocking Ambition Challenge offers innovative entrepreneurs everything they need to take their business to the next level: time, money and amazing support from world-class organisations. It’s an extraordinary opportunity that will unearth the game-changers of the future and I’m excited to be a part of it.” – James Watt, Co-Founder of BrewDog


You’ll have access to a wide ranging group of mentors including:

  • Professor Steve Beaumont OBE, FRSE, Emeritus Vice Principal, University of Glasgow
  • James Watt, Co-founder, BrewDog
  • David Lane CBE FRSE, Founding Director, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
  • Professor Sara Carter FRSE, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • Judy Wagner, Co-founder & Director, FWB Park Brown
  • Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne FRSE, Founder and Research & Product Development Director, Genius Foods
  • Cally Russell, Founder, Mallzee
  • Chris Van der Kuyl, Founder, 4J Studios
  • Amy Livingstone, Co-founder, Cheeky Chompers
  • Leah Hutcheon, Founder, Appointed