From startup to scaleup

Imperial offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a range of opportunities for innovation and growth, including access to student talent, ideas and world-class working spaces and research facilities.

Vital support for early stage businesses

The Imperial White City Incubator lies at the heart of how Imperial supports early stage businesses (Table 7). Space options include an innovative shared lab that further reduces barriers for smaller up-and-coming startups to get off the ground.

Building a deep tech startup requires tremendous effort and more than a shed. The Incubator’s shared labs provided essential access to high grade, excellently located labs at a crucial time in our development"

Henrik Hagemann

Customem CEO

The Incubator has already celebrated a number of ‘graduations’. Two companies have moved from the shared lab to their own spaces within the Incubator, including CustoMemThis was set up by Imperial students to develop a new biomaterial to capture and recycle hazardous micropollutants found in industrial wastewater. MiNA Therapeutics, co-founded by Imperial’s Professor Nagy Habib to pioneer a new class of medicine called ‘small activating RNA’, grew rapidly in the Incubator, and have now secured larger facilities elsewhere in the Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB). The Incubator’s shared labs provided essential access to high grade, excellently located labs at a crucial time in our development."The Imperial White City Incubator lies at the heart of how Imperial supports early stage businesses (Table 7). Space options include an innovative shared lab that further reduces barriers for smaller up-and-coming startups to get off the ground.

Henrik Hagemann, CustoMem CEO (right), with other co-foundersHenrik Hagemann, CustoMem CEO (right), with other co-founders
Henrik Hagemann, CustoMem CEO (right), with other co-founders 



From startup to scaleup blocks - row 1

Understanding the needs of growing businesses

During January – July 2018 Imperial worked with businesses local to Imperial’s White City Campus to understand better the practical challenges that they face, and explore how to help them grow.

The GENERATE pilot programme included interviews with over 250 businesses, alongside a number of sector-based business discovery workshops. The findings are feeding into the College’s ongoing work to shape the new campus so that it responds to the business needs of its local community.

Incubator at a glance 2017–18

  • 19 companies incubated
  • 94% occupancy
  • 100+ new jobs created to date
  • £85m+ raised by incubator companies to date
  • New partnership with RebelBio, the world’s first dedicated life sciences accelerator
  • New Experts in Residence Programme for giving incubator tenants access to expert advice and mentoring
  • New White City Innovators Programme to provide entrepreneurs and startups with work space and workshops for development