05 August 2019

Edinburgh, Scotland:  Edinburgh Innovations (EI), a subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh (UoE), formerly known as Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), is currently holding another “Startup Summer Accelerator”.  The programme runs for 12 weeks, and is sponsored by Santander Universities, an arm of Santander Bank, which is owned by Santander Group of Spain. Each student entrepreneur receives GBP 3,000 for the summer.  StudVent has reached out to the organizer of the Startup Summer, but she has declined to be interviewed.  Thus, we have gathered what we can from online research. The website for Startup Summer states the following:

“Successful applicants will also receive expert mentorship and coaching, peer to peer sessions, and gain industry insight through weekly events featuring top entrepreneurs and investors from Edinburgh’s startup community.”

To be eligible for the program, the website states the following:

  • “You must be a current student from the University of Edinburgh or graduated in the last two years
  • You must be able to dedicate at least 40 hours a week to your business
  • Exhibit enthusiasm for working on a startup idea
  • Be able to communicate ideas clearly and concisely”

StudVent is building a database of summer accelerators hosted by universities around the world and seeking to cover the student startup stories and entrepreneurs who participate in them. We find them interesting for a few reasons, the first being that there is usually a vetting process for entry. Second, the student entrepreneurs that enter these summer programmes are at least halfway serious about their new ventures, or the prospects of them, and dedicate an entire summer to working on them under a structured or at least semi-structured format. Third, most of the summer programmes provide some sort of financing, often in the form of grants, to the participants. Forth, sponsors tend to be organizations and individuals with an interest in student entrepreneurship for either strategic or philanthropic reasons. And finally, well, let’s face it, working as a student entrepreneur on one’s own startup for the summer is a whole lot cooler than 99% of the summer jobs out there, many of which entail getting paper cuts or burned by grease splashes.

Its still early in our research into this trending phenomenon of summer accelerators. Many universities are now establishing them, such as Cornell University’s Life Changing Labs , Babon’s Summer Venture Program, and Penn State’s Summer Founders Program.  However, from what we can glean thus far, the average programme runs for 12 weeks and offers each student entrepreneur or team approximately USD 10,000 for the summer. Thus the University of Edinburgh’s is on the lower side at USD 3,600 (GBP 3,000).  Most of the programmes seem to carry between 5 and 12 participants. Last year’s cohort was 8 in size at the University of Edinburgh.

If you are a student entrepreneur or part of a startup team that is participating in a summer accelerator programme delivered by or through a university, please be in touch as we’d like to talk with you and possibly interview you as well.  We are also interested in learning more from organizers and funders of summer student startup accelerator programs.