A successful Imperial startup creates benefits for the founders, the local and national economy, and Imperial College London. Imperial’s position as one of the global top-ten universities relies on its proficiency in producing pioneering research. If the College can also commercialise the IP that is generated from this research then it stands to enjoy long-term financial as well as reputational rewards.

The College invests its IP as well as significant infrastructure and resources to aid the creation and support of Imperial startups. In return, as an investors in its staff, IP and other resources, the College receives equity in startups and a share of long-term royalties.

Startups also provide a clear demonstration of societal impact, important for REF and KEF. Startups tick a lot of boxes in these assessments: they move products towards the market, create jobs and encourage local economic development.

Startups are also a valuable source of employment options for postdoctoral researchers. In addition, many undergraduate students now expect and demand support for entrepreneurial activity and startups offer a useful network of experienced people willing and capable of providing valuable mentorship and advice. This supports the further expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, to the lasting benefit of the College.