Techcelerate: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the programme?

The programme is specifically focused on improving product-market fit through market validation. This means that we will support you in finding customers and stakeholders, teach you how to approach them and find out what they need and if your technology can help. However, many participants continue to work on other parts of their project while on the programme. 

 For a good summary of product-market fit, click here.

Will we work with mentors and advisors?

Answer: Participants will interact with business coaches, facilitators and advisors throughout the programme, including experienced industry professionals, Faculty Associate Deans and Imperial’'s industry partnerships and commercialisation teams.  

Will postdocs still be paid to participate on the programme?

Nobody will be paid to participate in the programme. Funding to conduct customer discovery and other venture development will be awarded within the programme to those who progress to Stage 2.

Will it still be full-time?

Techcelerate will be conducted as an ‘extra-curricular’ activity only, however participants are expected to attend all sessions and work on their venture outside of contact hours.

Will the programme structure/content change or just the frequency with which it’s run?

The programme is reviewed annually to take into account feedback from participants and stakeholders and their changing needs.

How often does the programme run?

v  The programme will run 2 cohorts per year. Each cohort will have 15 internal participants on Stage 1 and 10 participants on Stage 2.

Who is eligible for the programme?

Early career researchers including postdocs, fellows and academic staff will all be eligible for Techcelerate.

Will the programme offer support for more general venture building?

While this isn’t the focus of the programme, the team will endeavour to provide  support for other venture building activities on an adhoc basis. Participants have the flexibility to tailor their business coaching to their needs at the time and participants will receive access to the Experts-in-Residence scheme run by Imperial Enterprise Lab. For more information on this, click here.

What time commitment should a participant expect?

Participants will get out what they put into the programme. The online learning aspect of the programme is 15 hours total. Business coaching, venture review and other programme sessions will bring the total time commitment to just over 70 hours over the 3 months of the programme. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate that they practice customer interviewing (especially in Stage 2), which should take at least three hours per participant.

Do I need to be working on College IP to take part in the programme?

No, applicants are not required to be working with College-owned intellectual property.