The University of Edinburgh is expanding its Venture Builder Incubator (VBI) programme, which helps turn research and innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) into commercially viable start-ups.
This year, the VBI will support 26 new businesses, due to match funding support from Barclays Eagle Labs through the UK Government’s Digital Growth Grant.
For the first time, it will offer tailored support for robotics and hardware start-ups across all of Scotland.
The latest group of early-stage companies will have the opportunity to receive a share of £100,000 and mentoring from industry experts, as well as interactive workshops, professional networking events and access to the Bayes Centre’s facilities in central Edinburgh.
Now in its fourth iteration, VBI is for the first time working with the National Robotarium, a data-driven innovation hub based at Heriot-Watt University, to offer tailored support for robotics projects.
Duncan Martin, head of entrepreneurship at the Bayes Centre said: “Working with Barclays Eagle Labs and funded by the UK Government, we can include entrepreneurs working in hardware and robotics from across Scotland for the first time.
“This will build upon Venture Builder Incubator’s existing programme which has supported more than 60 founders and firms across climatetech, AI, agritech, fintech and health since launching in 2021 – and where we continue with our oncology sub-cohort in partnership with Cancer Research Horizons.”
Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy Paul Scully added: “Start-ups in Edinburgh are at the forefront of innovation in robotics and AI, poised to redefine global technology standards.
“The Digital Growth Grant will help the University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator empower researchers to transform cutting-edge science into viable commercial ventures, boosting the UK’s reputation as an incubator for advanced technology.“