Young innovators are being offered prize money of up to £50,000 for winning business ideas.
Students and apprentices are eligible for the challenge to create a successful business plan.
Winners will receive cash to help bring their idea to life plus a year's dedicated business support.
A total of £300,000 is up for grabs in the Young Innovators Challenge launched on Wednesday by First Minister Alex Salmond and youth employment minister Angela Constance.
The competition is open to people aged 18 to 24 who are in their final year of college or university, taking part in a national training programme or studying for a modern apprenticeship.
Mr Salmond said: "Scotland's young people have talent, ingenuity and dedication in abundance, and they are going to play an increasingly vital role in growing our economy in the years to come.
"Our students and modern apprentices have the ideas and the Young Innovators Challenge offers the funding and practical support - in partnership with leading industry figures - to help turn those ideas into reality."
Ms Constance said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for the finest business minds of the next generation to get professional support and turn their ideas into something that really makes a difference."