About the programme
Techcelerate is a 4-month programme run by Imperial’s Enterprise department which aims to support researchers in creating impact through commercialising research. Since 2018, 54 early career researchers have benefited from the programme and have raised over £4.8 million in investment and grants, providing employment opportunities.
This year, we’ve redesigned the programme to suit the changing world and support as many researchers as possible to make real-world impact.
The programme is for researchers who want to:
- gain detailed understanding of the particular pain-points of a market in order to establish market need
- learn how to effectively communicate their idea, potential commercial opportunity and market to external audiences
- Take the first steps in developing an IP-based technology venture (either through licensing or a startup)
- Learn the basics of entrepreneurial theory and practice to upskill and benefit their career
How it Works
Techcelerate provides participants with the training and resources to conduct customer discovery and market validation. It’s broken up into two stages:
Stage 1 (1 month):
Participants will be trained in entrepreneurial basics through a bootcamp and online learning in an intensive first stage. This stage is all about learning and laying the foundations for participants to carry out targeted customer discovery in the second stage and learn about the markets they’re interested in. They’ll be expected to come up with a few deliverables, including a business model canvas, assumptions to test and arough budget for customer discovery. Once all the required material is submitted, participants will then be asked to present to a panel, who will score all 15 participants. Ten of them will be eligible for funding and further support and move onto stage 2.
Stage 2 (2 months):
The second stage will allow participants more freedom to explore and put their learnings into practice, with support from an experienced business coach, regular check-ins with their cohort, and regular feedback sessions with a panel of experts.
What’s new this year?
Online Learning Experience
Over the past year, Enterprise has been working on making our programmes more flexible and efficient while still giving you the best opportunities for entrepreneurial education and venture creation.
Together with an online learning specialist, we developed a set of modules which will take you through the basics of finding customers, speaking to those customers and designing business experiments.
The online modules mean that you can fit your learning and work on customer discovery around your work and take it at your own pace.
"Customer discovery: a process of market validation whereby the participant creates a customer need hypothesis and identifies and interviews potential customers to validate or invalidate that hypotheses. Ventures that identify market need are likely to create deeper, lasting impact and survive long-term"
Participants who progress to the second stage of the programme will be awarded funding to conduct customer discovery and develop their venture. They will need to have budgeted this in the first stage of the programme.
Techcelerate runs over a four month period. This year the programme will be split into two main parts, stage 1 and stage 2, with a break in between to give participants the opportunity to balance their lab work with programme commitments.
The next cohort will run from February to June in 2022. While we don’t expect that participants will work full-time on the programme, they will receive the most value when they’re motivated to learn as much as possible, work on their idea outside sessions and take full advantage of the opportunity.
Provisional session dates can be found here to give potential participants the opportunity to fit the programme in with their other commitments.