Imperial College London

Techcelerate to open its doors to a new cohort of change-making researchers

by

Dr Clementine Chambon

Dr Clementine Chambon of Oorja

Applications have opened for Techcelerate, a programme for enterprising postdocs who want to take their research out of the lab and into the world.

The programme is in its third year of helping participants identify commercial opportunities where their research can add value and create impact in developing and existing industries. It focuses on customer discovery within various technological sectors, allowing researchers to leave the lab and take their first steps on an entrepreneurial journey.  

For a taster of the programme, researchers can register for the 28 October ideation workshop via Eventbrite.

Entrepreneurial success

Alumni of the programme include Dr Clementine Chambon, co-founder of the social enterprise Oorja. Oorja provides clean, reliable and affordable energy to communities in rural India by installing solar powered irrigation systems, cold storages and mini-grids to enable marginal farmers and agribusinesses to transition away from diesel fuel use in agriculture. Oorja has recently been awarded the Grand Prize in the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, which includes $100,000 to continue business and product development.  

Dr Ola Hekselman is another alum of the programme and has been supported by the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service at the Enterprise Lab. Earlier this year, she was awarded an Entrepreneurial Fellowship by the Faraday Institution for her eco-friendly method of recycling lead-acid batteries.  

As well as developing entrepreneurial skills over the three-month duration of the programme, the participants are also given funding to ensure they can take time out to meet customers and validate their market. 

Dr Hekselman said, “Techcelerate allowed me to step away from the lab bench, get exposure to the industry and validate that our technology is truly useful. What is in an academic paper may not always translate well into commercialisation, which is why speaking to stakeholders and potential customers has been so valuable.”  

Applications open until 8 November 2019

Applications to the programme will close on 8 November 2019, with the programme starting in January 2020.  

The Techcelerate team will be holding an ideation workshop hosted by Paul Sturrock on 28 October for researchers to explore how the programme can specifically benefit their research, with details of the event to be announced shortly.   

Researchers can apply for Techcelerate via the programme website.

For a taster, researchers can register for the 28 October ideation workshop via Eventbrite.

Reporter

Eleni Assargiotis

Eleni Assargiotis
Enterprise

Tags:

Climate-change, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, Postdoctoral-researchers
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