Services offered under Founders Choice include:

  • Scene setting - Including letting you know about potential challenges, helping you to understand the rewards of forming a startup, and informing you of all the stakeholders at Imperial you will need to bring along with you.
  • Turning your idea into a business - Including assessing customers and markets, undertaking market research, identifying key target markets, helping you understand KPIs and formulating a market penetration plan
  • Business planning - Building a financial model, helping you prepare your business plan and providing specific advice on developing an IP strategy
  • Preparing for funding - Grant-funding support, pitching practice and investor pitch-deck, company valuation, capitalisation table and introductions to investors
  • Building the Startup Team - Including matching you to the right external mentors, providing external recruitment service and access to specialist firms and alternate sources of talent.
  • The startup process - Access to template documents for company formation; full consultation and support on process; access to vetted legal panel; specialist admin support; shell company formation (optional)
  • Building value in the startup - Provision of a board director to offer continued support and access to our networks; product/service development expertise; support for funding rounds; identification of experts and advisers; due diligence support; exit planning
  • Wider support - Guidance on working with the Imperial White City Incubator, support to find alternative office and laboratory space, and access to a range of training seminars provided under the Innovation Academy, along with external events

Services comparison

Scene setting

Before you begin your startup journey at Imperial it's important that you've considered the commitment you must make.

This can be an intense and overwhelming process; but Imperial’s Startup Team has helped hundreds of academic founders to get started and we can provide support to you. 

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Communicate potential challenges and rewards for scientific entrepreneurs embarking on an entrepreneurial journey

 

 

Provide a comprehensive guide to starting a startup company at Imperial College London plus a mini-guide to Founders Choice             

 

 

Ensure awareness of the various stakeholders within the Imperial entrepreneurial community and what will be expected in this process

 

 

Provide initial assessment of potential customers and the size of the market so that all parties reach a common understanding of the key unique selling points (USPs) of the company / value proposition        

 

 

 

Identifying the business idea

Once you have decided that launching a startup company is the right path for you, more needs to be done.

The table below shows a comparison of the services provided under the Founder Driven and Jointly driven routes of Founders Choice

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Find credible sources of information for detailed customer/market analysis and undertake an iterative process of market and customer evaluation. Includes access to the wider Imperial network               

 

 

Brainstorm to help determine the initial target markets, competitive advantage in those markets and the commercial rationale to test with customers

 

 

Identify key market metrics and impact on the business proposition        

 

 

Work on an iterative process of market and customer evaluation and formulate a technology marketing plan               

 

 

Business planning

It's an old adage but a true one: failure to plan is planning to fail.

We can help you to build a robust business plan that will set out what you need to do, when you need to do it and help you keep in mind what's important and why. Investors look for this information keenly.

Below is a comparison between the services provided for business planning under the Founder Driven and Jointly Driven routes of Founders Choice.

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Build the financial modelling template that will underpin the business plan. This involves identification of input data, main KPIs of the company and cross-checking these with competition and available market data    

 

 

Help to prepare business plan including interim goals and strategies, formulation of a three-year vision and identification of the resources needed to reach business goals     

 

 

Provide specific advice on developing an IP strategy for the startup         

 

 

Preparing for funding

Armed with a business plan, you'll find you need some cash to fund your new startup.

Below is a comparison between the services provided for sourcing funding and preparing for investment under the Founder Driven and Jointly Driven routes of Founders Choice

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Support in finding potential sources of grants and assistance in writing bid. Imperial has built a relationship with an independent company that can provide specialist grant writing support in exchange for a fee              

 

 

Help to prepare executive summary and public one-pager and Investor presentation deck

 

 

Assist with preparing and practising the pitch to investors. Usually an iterative process may involve ‘friendly’ external feedback on the investment deck and pitch               

 

 

Undertake initial company valuation exercise based on comparable market data, Discounted Cash Flow analysis of future revenues streams and the Startup Team’s experience and feedback from investor network            

 

 

Prepare a share capitalisation table and model the impact on founders’ percentage ownership (dilution) of different investment scenarios               

 

 

Provide an equity modelling tool to enable founders to see what the effect of different sized future funding rounds and non-dilute provisions may mean to a founder’s shareholding     

 

 

Provide ‘warm’ introductions to appropriate early stage VCs and angel investors 

 

 

Building the startup team

Building your team is an essential step in setting your startup up for success. 

Below is a comparison between the services provided for sourcing funding and preparing for investment under the Founder Driven and Jointly Driven routes of Founders Choice. 

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Match you to the right external mentors and domain expert consultants as needed. This support and access to Imperial College’s networks will continue during the whole startup journey

 

 

Provide low cost external recruitment service for senior leaders and team members. Imperial’s Startup Team has agreed a low cost bespoke service for cash constrained early stage companies  

 

 

Provide access to network of specialist firms and alternate sources of talent such as new web-based services

 

 

Startup process

Navigating the startup process:

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Provide access to a range of template legal documents (vetted by external legal firms) for the company formation, licencing of IP and investment process – including tax efficient HMRC approved process for academic staff               

 

 

Provide access to a range of template subsidiary documents such as consultancy agreements and non-disclosure agreements as needed

 

 

Provide plain English explanation of all aspects of the process and what to expect as the company grows and raises further funding. Imperia’s Startup Team is available to discuss all aspects of the process in detail until you are comfortable      

 

 

Grant access to a panel of external legal firms who offer a fixed-price package to cover the actual company set-up and licencing process             

 

 

Form the shell company on founders’ behalf (if desired for Founder driven route)  

 

 

Offer specialist help to open a bank account    

 

 

Provide ‘Preferred Suppliers’ list of specialist service providers used by our portfolio of startups (wide range of services from manufacturers to designers)    

 

 

Building company value

With funding and the team in place, it's time to grow your business.

Below is a comparison between the services provided for sourcing funding and preparing for investment under the Founder Driven and Jointly Driven routes of Founders Choice.

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Provide a board director offering continued support and access to the wider Innovations network as the company grows and faces commercial challenges. This may include guidance on running and documenting board meetings, regular review of the company strategy and advice on corporate governance  

 

 

Offer Product/Service development. If needed Imperial Innovations will bring together the commercial experience needed to help founders answer issues and questions from prospective customer & users.          

 

 

Help founders identify experts and advisors who can advise you on regulatory requirements and help founders to overcome regulatory hurdles.         

 

 

Provide continuous support in all aspects of successive funding rounds

 

 

Co-ordinate Due Diligence. Larger funding rounds will require a data room – Imperial Innovations will help founders outline the documents needed and review those from the prospective Investor to highlight any concerns in advance              

 

 

Provide support in preparing for an exit (acquisition or float) process including engaging the right advisors and lawyers and working with founders on all aspects of the process  

 

 

Wider support

The Startup Team can also provide wider support for your growing startup.

Below is a comparison between the services provided for business planning under the Founder Driven and Jointly Driven routes of Founders Choice

Imperial’s Startup Team will

Jointly Driven (Enhanced Support)

Founder Driven (Basic support)

Introduce founders to Imperial College White City Incubator (lab & office space or virtual tenancy)             

 

 

Support founders to find alternative locations if no space available in Imperial White City Incubator     

 

 

Provide access to a range of training seminars (for example roles and responsibilities of a director) under the Innovation Academy programme and provide access to Imperial community networking events, workshops and seminars with other spin-outs