Deep tech entrepreneurship for next generation businesses

- Science Capital Imperial

Our goal: We will scale up our world-class innovation ecosystem for world-changing impact.

Now: We pride ourselves on our startup culture at Imperial, nurturing the supportive and interdisciplinary environment that science entrepreneurs need to thrive. That enabling environment includes Imperial’s Enterprise Lab, our Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship and our network of hackspaces, incubators and accelerators. Our network of business angels supports our students and staff as they turn their ideas into prototypes, their prototypes into startups, their startups into scaleups, and their scaleups into world-changing businesses.

Next: We have reshaped our spinout formation process, Imperial Founders Choice, which offers both entrepreneurs and investors clear, fair and competitive rewards.

The next phase of our White City Deep Tech Campus will allow us to increase our capacity to host more startups, scaleups, and industry partners and co-locate with other knowledge organisations. The development of the Imperial West Tech Corridor (page x), in partnership with local and national government, our NHS partners and business community, will create the kind of vibrant innovation ecosystem required to compete for major international investment.

With support from alumni and investors, we will establish Science Capital Imperial, a new venture fund to provide Imperial’s entrepreneurs access to capital and proof-of-concept funding to realise the full potential of their businesses. And through our new Imperial Global network, we will access and engage other innovation ecosystems around the world.

Together, these complementary efforts will see Imperial grow more high-impact enterprises, serve as a trusted partner for industry, and act as a powerful catalyst for UK economic growth.

“Science Capital Imperial is a natural next step in our work to make Imperial a global centre of gravity for scientific innovation and entrepreneurship. It will fuel experimentation and enable Imperial’s visionaries to turn their big ideas into trailblazing companies that will drive progress.” - Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost

Startup success at Imperial

  • Co-founded by an Imperial student, Improbable pioneers new ways to connect, play, create and build value across interconnected virtual worlds.
  • Co-founded by an Imperial student, Tractable uses computer vision and deep learning to speed up the time taken to process motor insurance claims, by automating the appraisal of visual damage.
  • Co-founded by an Imperial academic, PsiQuantum is a quantum computer company aiming to build the world’s first commercially viable one million qubit quantum computer.
  • Founded by Imperial academics, Ceres Power grew from an Imperial spin-out founded to develop fuel cell research and was named the UK’s most valuable clean technology company.
  • Founded by Imperial students, Magic Pony Technology was an AI start-up using machine learning to build improved systems for visual processing. It was acquired by Twitter to enhance the social media company’s live and video offerings.
  • Imperial spinout Nexeon is a global leader in silicon anode material development for Li-ion batteries, and is set to make a major contribution to the future of rechargeable battery technology.
  • Founded by an Imperial Masters student Koalaa has developed a range of soft prosthetic limbs that are light, comfortable and suitable even for very young children.

Innovation Ecosystem

  • Enterprise Lab is a dedicated support service for thousands of students, staff and alumni who have an idea they believe in, and the drive to turn it into a reality.
  • Advanced Hackspace brings together inventive minds from all backgrounds, disciplines and levels of expertise to collaborate, experiment and prototype the future.
  • Imperial White City Incubator is a state-of-the-art wet lab incubation space and training facility to help startup companies. It welcomes spinouts and non-Imperial ventures in order to maximise innovation and collaboration. Since 2006, Imperial’s incubator companies have raised over £1bn in investment and grant funding.
  • Undaunted is a partnership between Imperial and the Royal Institution to create new routes into climate entrepreneurship. It is a founding member of Cleantech for UK, a coalition of investors and venture builders launched at Imperial by Bill Gates and Rishi Sunak in February 2023.
  • DTPrime is backed by the Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship and helps Imperial staff take their science- and engineering-intensive commercial ideas to ‘cross the chasm’ from commercial concepts to high-value, investable propositions.
  • MedtechONE is a centre of excellence to support MedTech entrepreneurs across Imperial.
  • MedTech SuperConnector empowers early-career researchers to translate academic insights from the arts and sciences into early-stage medical technologies.
  • AI SuperConnector is here to find and support the next generation of UK-based AI startups.