At Imperial Enterprise Lab we’re passionate about inspiring the next generation of student innovators and entrepreneurs and are the first port of call if you’re looking to test an idea, tackle a pressing social or environmental challenge, develop new skills to help your career, start a business or join a community of people who want to make a difference.
We help students to think outside the box, break boundaries and dare to be different. We think anyone can be an entrepreneur and believe diversity is a competitive advantage not a tick box.
Each year we work with over 2,000 Imperial students and alumni. You can read about some of them here, and you can even get support from us now. We’ve opened up our Idea Surgeries to offer holders, so if you have an idea you’d like some advice on or are already working on something and want some advice, book in with one of the team here.
From competitions to speaker events and hackathons to skills seminars, co-working spaces and expert mentors, we offer all the support you need, free of charge and accessible to everyone.
Here are just a few of the ways we can support you on your entrepreneurial journey.
Our co-working space in the basement of the Sherfield building is open to all students from 10am-6pm to get some work done, work on your business idea or take a break in our chillout corner with a free coffee.
Whether you’re looking for inspirational speakers, community events or want to see our teams take to the stage to pitch for prizes, we have the event for you.
We run a range of regular events including:
- Community Collider - Imperial Enterprise Lab’s monthly community get together where students from different departments and faculties across the college can come together, collide, and form interesting new pairings and connections!
- Startup Masterclasses - on a range of entrepreneurial topics such as pitching and financial modelling!
- Imperial BE - an entrepreneurial leadership series of events for students of Black and mixed Black heritage.
Check out all upcoming events here.
This summer, we have our Global Challenge Lab - the chance to join students from across the world to form international teams and generate solutions that address the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action across a 10-day programme of workshops, guest speakers and mentoring.
We also recently held our annual Venture Catalyst Challenge - Imperial’s flagship entrepreneurial competition for Imperial students and alumni to develop an innovative idea for commercialisation AND win big! We’re talking 7 intensive weeks of evening masterclasses, 1-1 coaching, and meetings with experts, all with one aim – to help you bring your idea to commercial reality while growing your knowledge, skills, and network. It’s a unique opportunity not to be missed!
All of our programmes are listed on our website if you want to find out more of what we have on offer.
In addition to the above, we offer expert 1:1 advice for students and recent alumni at all stages of their innovation journey from:
- Idea Surgeries - your first step to unlocking all the amazing resources on offer at the E-Lab. We help you understand what you need to do next, give you practical suggestions and assess what resources would benefit you the most. It might be some one-to-one coaching or applying to an Enterprise Lab programme.
- Experts-in-Residents - a group of advisors with tons of real-life startup experience ready to pass on their knowledge, answer your questions and help you develop your understanding and confidence.
- Imperial Venture Mentoring Service - a mentoring service that’s open to any Imperial student, alumni or staff member that can show us that they’re ready to take the big step from idea development to business launch.
Business School case studies
David Watkins, COO, (FT MBA 2020)
Jamie Milroy, CEO, (External)
A big problem we face today is moving people around in cities in an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way. Public transport is expensive and requires a lot of infrastructure, but private vehicles face issues of congestion, air pollution and a longer travel journey. We believe the electric bike addresses this issue.
The UK Government has tried to incentivise cycling in the past with the Cycle to Work Scheme, but the programme is underutilised. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bikes purchased under the scheme was a mere 7%, even though the legislation allows users to take the cost of the bike off their pre-tax salary, resulting in a 30% saving. We believe the scheme should be used more.
DASH Rides is a B2B service, accessed by a digital platform, that offers e-bike subscriptions for companies and employees as a way of decongesting roads, reducing emissions, enabling healthier lives, resolving operation inefficiencies and making businesses more profitable. To make it as easy as possible to get people on e-bikes, we’ve included servicing, maintenance and insurance in the price, and provided a free helmet. DASH Rides also offsets the carbon of every bike by 400%, making a positive change to the environment, and leading the way to an efficient and sustainable future.
As a subscription-based service, our product removes the high cost of ownership for the user, leading to more people cycling. We’ve positioned DASH Rides as a B2B company, as we believe employers are a great way to pull people in and distribute the cost of accessing e-bikes. By using our service, companies are combating obesity by encouraging health and wellbeing in the workplace, while also meeting their sustainability targets. Our users are moving around cities efficiently, saving money and improving their health and wellbeing.
Elena Rueda, Co-founder & CEO (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management, 2020)
Paulina Cecula, Co-founder & CPO (BSc Management 2020, MBBS 2022)
Current contraceptive methods available to women globally, often come with harmful side effects, including blood clots, migraines, irregular bleeding, loss of libido and mental health related problems. This is well known and more frequently being spoken about in the media, press and medical journals as we become more educated around the topic. For example, you may have heard about the comparisons of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the contraceptive pill earlier in 2020? Studies spotlighted that in the UK, blood clots occurred in people taking the AstraZeneca vaccine at a rate of roughly one in every 250,000, whereas blood clots caused by the pill are estimated to affect one in every 1,000 women each year. Data which we have known about for years but that no-one really batted an eye to.
We believe that the future of women’s health will be personalised medicine. Dama Health is revolutionising the way in which women are matched to their contraception. We have created contraception matching tests which consist of digital and genetic screening to identify the most suitable contraception type and formulation for your individual needs. The ultimate product will utilize our digital screening test and at-home testing kit to gather pertinent data such as medical history, personal preferences, and genetic differences that can be incorporated into evidence-based and truly personalized recommendations of the most suitable contraception type and brand.
Our products are being developed with doctors and female health experts and based on the newest scientific evidence. Our proprietary screening tests take into consideration the patient’s medical needs, personal preferences, previous experience as well as the different side effect profiles of hormonal contraceptives. Our genetic panel helps to take things one step further, and identify potential risks and predispositions to personalise the recommendation even further, for example by informing users and clinicians if they are at higher risk of developing specific side effects or lower effectiveness of hormonal medication.
Listen - Black & Found Podcast
Black & Found is Imperial Enterprise Labs new podcast dedicated to hearing the voices and experiences of black and black mixed heritage founders. The podcast explores the entrepreneurial journeys of individuals at different stages within the Imperial Enterprise eco-system and beyond.