Unlocking Ambition

The Unlocking Ambition Challenge Programme will invest in a group of up to 40 entrepreneurs who will be chosen, mentored and led by some of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs


We’re looking for 20 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

Royal Society of Edinburgh

The inaugural RSE Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellowship programme is led by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, with support from Scottish Enterprise, based on the highly successful Enterprise Fellowship programme that the RSE has been running for 20 years. Please visit the RSE website to read more about the programme, find out more about the benefits and submit your application.


Scottish Enterprise
The Royal Society of Edinburgh
Scottish Edge
Future X Innovation
Converge Challenge
Cultural Enterprise Office
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
Entrepreneurial Spark
Entrepreneurial Scotland
RGU Aberdeen
Universities Scotland
Virgin Start Up
Royal Bank Of Scotland