Innovation & Enterprise


Support entrepreneurship at UCL

UCL's thriving entrepreneurial community creates startups that attract millions of pounds of investment, create jobs and spearhead innovation. Find out how you can support our entrepreneurs.

Over 400 new graduate businesses were started at UCL between 2014 and 2022. Collectively they’ve raised over £300 million in investment and currently employ over 1,700 people (HEBCI 2014-2022).

Find out more about our entrepreneurs and their achievements.

What we do

Many UCL startups begin life in BaseKX, UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub located in the King’s Cross Knowledge Quarter alongside tech giants including Google, Meta and Deepmind.

Through our Hatchery incubator programme, startups receive 24 months of free tailored guidance and dedicated office space that helps fast-track their development.

As well as the Hatchery, we run extra-curricular workshops and programmes to help students develop the skills and mindset to think and act like an entrepreneur.

How you can support our entrepreneurs

You can make a positive difference to our global society and economy through supporting UCL entrepreneurs.

Annual prize

Talented entrepreneurs reaching the end of the Hatchery programme are ready to launch their established startups into the wider world of business. In recognition of their accomplishments and future impact, we would like to establish a new competition for these startups.

We propose to award one Grand Prize Winner (£25,000), five category winners (£15,000 each), and five runners-up (£5,000 each).

Encourage progress and amplify impact

For those in the earlier stages of their entrepreneurial journey, we’d like to set up a prize to help accelerate their business initiatives to the next level of innovation, impact and growth. These could include:

  • Hatchery cohort prizes of £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000, twice per year, to encourage progress and recognise success
  • An annual prize recognising success in SPERO Build, an annual 10-week programme for doctoral students to turn their ideas into reality (£10,000)
  • Prizes for the Build programme, an 8-week programme open to students and recent graduates who are validating their venture idea and building a minimal viable product. (Prizes of £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000 twice a year).

Nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship

A range of prizes and initiatives would help us attract new talent from across UCL to engage with entrepreneurship, awarding recognition and financial support to the best ideas and encouraging these emerging stars. These could include:

  • Prizes for the Explore programme, a 6-week programme, open to students and recent graduates who are exploring their ideas. (Prizes of £2,500, £1500, and £1000 awarded three times per year).
  • Prizes for social enterprise hackathons, 2-day hackathons to tackle global problems based on the UCL Grand Challenges (cross disciplinary collaborations to find solutions to the world’s most pressing issues). Prizes of £2,500, £1500, and £1000 twice per year.

Support entrepreneurs from under-represented backgrounds

At UCL, we believe brilliant minds of all kinds are needed to shape our world and the future of the economy, business and society. But some people face barriers to becoming entrepreneurs, given the financial costs and risks involved.

We would like to establish Entrepreneurship bursaries that provide a living wage for entrepreneurs from under-represented groups, so that anyone with the ideas, talent and energy can begin their entrepreneurial journey, no matter who they are or where they are from.

Indicative costs: each 2-year bursary is £36,000 (£18,000 per annum)

Get in touch

If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Nick Marsden, Associate Director of Development (Faculties) at UCL, on 020 3108 3833 or at n.marsden@ucl.ac.uk