The Incubator opened by The Duke of York will provide a free and safe harbour for early stage businesses to validate their ideas and identify suitable markets for their products.

Firms accepted to the Incubator range from innovators in remote monitoring for elderly care, to a wedding gift cash registry and geothermal energy specialists.

In total, nine businesses have been offered a free of charge residency for one year. During this time, the companies will have access to fully equipped offices, training and workshops, and will have the opportunity to work with a mentor.

Kallum Russell is Chief Enterprise Officer of Acorn Enterprise, which will be co-ordinating the Edinburgh Business School Incubator. He is also a supporter and champion of entrepreneurship in Scotland. Kallum, said:

“I passionately believe that the addition of this new Incubator on campus will help to cement entrepreneurship and innovation at the very heart of the Business School and the University.

“Edinburgh Business School’s Incubator offers a flexible provision for firms at a variety of stages of start-up, from proof of concept through to early trading. We will also be on hand to offer mentoring and advice for our entrepreneurs and provide access to business training and speaker events. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a new business community.”

Professor Heather McGregor, Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School and the strategist behind the Incubator, said:

“We are very excited that our first cohort will include alumni of Heriot-Watt, as well as other businesses new to the University.

“The range of talent in this first cohort is impressive, including firms that are using technology to make social contribution, through to sports fashion and business consultancy.

“The Incubator has been in the planning for some time and we’re honoured that HRH who champions entrepreneurship was here to open it.

“We set this venture up to support entrepreneurs and their companies during the crucial, forming stages of their business path and we hope that they will benefit from this opportunity and make real progress over the coming year.”