Imperial Enterprise Lab

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Whether you are interested in starting your own business, consulting on innovation or leading the innovation agenda in an established organisation, Imperial’s dynamic, enterprising culture provides a unique opportunity to develop the entrepreneurial and future-focused mindset needed to take the next step in your journey towards making your vision of the future a reality.

Maybe you’re starting out with an idea, testing a new product against the market or looking to scale up a successful business. At the Business School, you will find a range of programmes, resources and events that offer opportunities to develop your ideas, turn your ideas into a prototype, test the commercial viability of an idea, pitch to and network with possible collaborators or investors, hear from industry leaders and experts on the future of innovation in STEM and receive coaching and mentoring from experts.

Imperial Enterprise Lab is a facility for enterprising students, which consists of hangout and work studio spaces, with interactive screens and whiteboard walls, for you to use with your teams to work on projects and startups. The Enterprise Lab team brings together staff and students from all disciplines, with its global community of alumni, friends, partners and businesses, to stimulate and support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Enterprise Lab team works closely with the Business School to run a number of events, programmes and competitions for enterprising students as well as offering support for competitions through bootcamps and workshops. Flagship programmes include the WE Innovate @ Imperial programme for female entrepreneurs and the Venture Catalyst Challenge, a science and technology pre-accelerator, which allows you to test the commercial viability of your idea, university project or research.

The Innovation Pitch series offers the opportunity to pitch innovations, your ideas and skillset with people from the world of Design, Business and Engineering, and network with potential investors.

Imperial's Enterprise Week is a week of events to showcase the outcomes of enterprising student initiatives across the College, including the Venture Capitalist Challenge and the WE Innovate programme.

As well as running weekly Idea Surgeries, The Imperial Enterprise Lab is also the home of the Venture Catalyst Challenge. The annual Venture Catalyst Challenge puts participants through an intensive programme to prove their business idea has commercial viability, with the opportunity to pitch for a share of £80,000 at the Grand Final.

The WE Innovate @ Imperial Programme is a personal and professional development programme aimed at women entrepreneurs. The programme consists of a series of workshops designed to help students develop their enterprising idea and includes high-profile speakers and tailored one-to-one mentoring. Once the programme is complete, all participants can opt to submit their ideas to the WE Innovate @ Final Showcase to pitch for a £30,000 prize fund.

Pitch ‘n’ Mix is a rapid-fire, micro-pitching event where Imperial College London students pitch themselves or their ideas in 60 seconds to get feedback, build a team and win prizes. It’s the ideal environment to meet future collaborators and pick up tips and tricks to sharpen your pitch!

Power-up your business ideas and put them to the challenge in a bootcamp programme especially for Business School students.

Six teams will be selected to participate in the IB Pitch summer programme and receive tailored coaching sessions and workshops, as well as a £500 grant to advance their concept. Teams will then pitch to investors in front of a live audience for the chance to win the £5,000 funding prize.

Advanced Hackspace has dedicated facilities to help bring ideas to life through prototyping. The team also run hackathons, competitions, classes and other events throughout the year and runs a forum on which members can share knowledge and work together on projects. Imperial students can join for free to gain access to the network of facilities and participate in community events.

The Pioneer Fund is a grant programme for early stage commercial ideas and provides up to £500 for students and recent alumni to get out of the building, find customers, design business experiments and explore their ideas.

If you have an idea but are not sure what to do next, then the Pioneer Fund is your opportunity to get some money to explore the potential of your concept.

"I find the Imperial Enterprise Lab to be very exciting. There are many great events to inspire student innovators and entrepreneurs, providing valuable opportunities for them to exchange ideas and find potential partners, such as Idea Challenge, Innovation Pitch and WE Inspire."
Full-Time MBA 2020-21
Joanne Long, Full-Time MBA 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School