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.

We’re seeking industry and academic experts, as well as former and current entrepreneurs, to guide our startup founders on their journeys by providing personalised mentorship.

Our Hatchery startups

UCL has been supporting entrepreneurs since 2010, most recently through our Hatchery Incubator programme at BaseKX. Our support has resulted in:

  • over 300 UCL startups, collectively raising over £280 million in investment
  • more than 10 entrepreneurs included on the 'Forbes 30 under 30' list
  • a student team winning the $1 million Hult Prize for social impact venture

The Hatchery is business sector agnostic. Our startups vary from tech and digital to product, consultancies and food ventures.

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.

You could be a:

  • professional working in marketing, finance, e-commerce, UX/UI, engineering, etc.
  • current or former entrepreneur
  • leader within your organisation
  • researcher or an academic with subject specific knowledge (e.g. AI, machine learning, pedagogy)
  • retired senior executive

What’s involved

We ask for a minimum commitment of 45 minutes per week for up to 8 weeks. Any additional time is optional. Meetings can take place face to face or virtually.

As a mentor you’ll:

  • encourage your mentee to think strategically and support them in solving their own problems
  • act as a sounding board, helping to spot problems and offering ideas and options (rather than directives) 
  • have tangible impacts on both your mentee’s personal development and their new venture

The role is unpaid.

Why become a Hatchery mentor

Being a mentor is a great way to use the knowledge and experience you've gained during your career to help those at a crucial point in their own journey.

There are many benefits in joining our mentor network, including:

  • The experience can be a stimulus for innovation and creativity for both parties, bringing fresh perspectives to your industry.
  • If you're new to mentoring, it will give you a chance to develop your understanding of learning styles and how to share knowledge by asking the right questions, in the right way.
  • You’ll be able to connect with our community of innovators and mentors and network at our events.
  • Mentoring can also help you to contribute to your organisation’s corporate social responsibility or volunteering programmes.

We’ll also recognise your support and expertise with a certificate at the end of the programme.

“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.”


We recruit new mentors twice a year, to coincide with new startups joining the Hatchery. We’re currently recruiting mentors to start from spring 2023. 

If you’re interested in applying, please fill out the mentorship profile form by 26 February 2023.

We’ll be in touch if you have the relevant skills and experience to support our current cohort of startups.

Apply to be a mentor

Photos from our Mentor Programme opening event

These photos are from the kick-off event for our Hatchery Mentor Programme, held in January 2023. This event was a chance for our mentors and mentees to meet each other for the first time.