The Founders Choice options become available when the Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation (IPC) and Startup teams at Imperial jointly agree with the startup founders that a company is the best route for both commercial and societal impact for a given technology (or bundle of technologies). 

Under the Basic Support package, founders of Imperial College London startup companies will follow the startup process as usual. They must:

  • Disclose their invention to Imperial’s IPC team;
  • Work with Imperial’s IPC team to protect relevant intellectual property
  • Come to a joint decision with Imperial’s IPC and Startup Teams about whether the technology is suitable as the basis of a new company

After these steps are completed, the founders will decide what level of support they require from Imperial.

Under the basic support package

  • Founders will receive between 90% and 95% of the equity at foundation in the new company
  • The initial University Equity position will be between 5% and 10% of the company's shares at formation
  • A clause will be added to the articles of association of the new company entitling Imperial College London’s stake to a non-dilute provision (based on BVCA templates) up to a certain investment threshold
  • The investment threshold, initial equity holding and terms of the non-dilute clause will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of startup and the industry it will operate in
  • Founders will be provided with an equity modelling tool to help them understand different equity starting positions
  • Founders must finalise business plan, find investors and recruit management within 12 months of the decision on which Founders Choice package they will use otherwise their option will lapse. The business plan in particular is a necessary step in order to determine future licence terms.

Founders Choice Mini Guide - 2021