Innovation & Enterprise


Become a business mentor for UCL startups

Share your expert knowledge with the next generation of UCL entrepreneurs through the UCL Hatchery Mentor Network.

Through personalised mentorship, industry and academic experts, alongside former and current entrepreneurs, play a pivotal role in guiding our startup founders on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Our Hatchery startups

Each year we support the creation of 60 to 70 new startups through our Hatchery Incubator programme at BaseKX.

These gifted founders enrich our vibrant entrepreneurial community, fostering job creation and economic growth in London and across the UK.

Our startups span diverse sectors, ranging from educational charities to Y Combinator-backed FinTechs.

Over 500 new student startup businesses were founded at UCL between 2014 and 2023. Collectively they’ve raised over £360 million in investment and currently employ over 2,000 people.

Discover more about our entrepreneurial community and their achievements.

Who can become a Hatchery mentor

We’re looking for individuals with significant business experience (5 years or more) to provide advice, industry expertise and personal connections.

We welcome:

  • professionals working in marketing, finance, e-commerce, UX/UI and engineering
  • current and former entrepreneurs
  • leaders within organisations
  • researchers and academics with subject specific expertise (for example, AI, machine learning, pedagogy)
  • retired senior executives
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my mentees. It has been an absolute pleasure to share my experience and knowledge with them. The speed and enthusiasm with which they seize on new ideas and insights has made it a very rewarding experience.”

What’s involved

We require a minimum commitment of 30 minutes per week, for 12 weeks, with the option for additional time. Meetings can occur face-to-face (preferably) or virtually. 

As a mentor you’ll:

  • foster strategic thinking and support your mentee in problem-solving
  • be a sounding board, helping identify problems and offering ideas and options
  • make tangible impacts on both your mentee's personal development and their venture's growth

The role is unpaid.

“My mentor Ken had a genuine interest in me becoming a better business person. Every session we had was productive and focused. He gave me tools and feedback that have been instrumental in helping me develop a comprehensive business plan. Most importantly, his authenticity and humility shine through in every interaction, making my mentorship journey with him a truly fulfilling one.”

Lesley Bongajum, Founder and Managing Director, Bonga Ltd

Why become a Hatchery mentor

Mentoring offers a rewarding opportunity to use your knowledge and expertise to guide individuals at a critical point in their entrepreneurial journey. 

Benefits of joining our mentor network include:

  • Stimulating innovation and creativity for both mentor and mentee
  • Development of mentoring skills, including understanding learning styles and effective knowledge sharing
  • Networking opportunities within our community of innovators and mentors
  • Contribution to corporate social responsibility or volunteering initiatives within your organisation

At the end of the program, we'll acknowledge your support and expertise with a certificate.

How to apply

Applications are currently closed.

If you have any questions, email Kiran Thadhani at k.thadhani@ucl.ac.uk

Thank you for your interest in supporting our entrepreneurial community through mentorship.

Photos from our Mentor Programme events

These photos are from a couple of events this year which gave our mentors and mentees a chance to connect and celebrate.