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Innovation Support

Scotland’s Universities and Colleges are full of disruptors, inventors, visionaries and technical whizzkids.  We are here to help from day one when your idea may be no more than a hunch right through to launch and beyond. Our advisers bring a wealth of commercial nous, contacts and common sense – a sounding board and impartial, trusted partner providing honest and constructive advice and helping you make informed choices at a pace that suits you.

We will ask you questions like:

  • Who are your customers and why would they buy?
  • Is there a way to test this idea out with minimal funds?
  • How might you protect your idea and what are the commercial implications of this?
  • Business model – do you have the right one?


New skills and networks

For those of you most committed to developing your ideas, we have SIE Entrepreneurs –  a ‘by invitation’ group offering bespoke training and networking for students and new graduates across Scotland.  Frequently, we ask some of our previously SIE supported businesses to return as guest speakers at our networking dinners providing inspiration and candid advice and you will make some great contacts too.


Commercialising Your Idea

Making decisions about the right route to market can be daunting and your adviser is there to guide you through this.  We may also be able to provide some financial support to help with the commercialisation of your idea through our Innovation Fund as well as tapping into the wealth of knowledge offered by our sponsors, leading patent attorney, Marks & Clerk and one of Scotland’s top ten law firms, Morton Fraser.


To find out more about how SIE can help you, contact your local advisor.


Dawn Shand (Aberdeen, Dundee, St Andrews  & North) has over 25 years’ experience in business and ran her own Marketing, PR and Business Development consultancy for 10 years. A Chartered Marketer, Dawn has also worked as an Account Director in a design and advertising agency and a Marketing Manager for a large commercial law firm.  Dawn also worked with the Centre for Design and Innovation at Robert Gordon University on a project to encourage more innovative thinking in businesses in Scotland.


Jonathan Tait (Glasgow & West) is a qualified lawyer with an MBA and through varied roles has experience with companies of all sizes in the private sector as well as academia and local and national government. Previously, Jonathan was Director of Food and Drink for Scottish Enterprise, successfully started up his own businesses, provided management consultancy to a select group of corporate clients, has extensive Venture Capital experience and has lectured in law and business management at University and College. He has particular knowledge and experience of the food and drink industry.