Innovation & Enterprise


Hackathon: Making sustainable cities and communities

24 April 2024, 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Bentham Hackathon

Collaborate with others to design innovative solutions which make cities and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This one-day hackathon is open to students, staff and recent graduates.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




UCL Innovation & Enterprise


103c Camley Street


Have you thought about starting a business or social enterprise? Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the world?

Join us for this full-day hackathon, where you'll work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to address critical challenges related to UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, and UCL’s Grand Challenge, on ‘sustainable cities and communities'.

Who it’s for

This hackathon is open to UCL students, staff and recent graduates (within 3 years of graduating).

You don't need any prior knowledge, just enthusiasm and an interest in working with others to develop innovative solutions.

What to expect

The goal of this hackathon is to develop an idea which could make cities and/or human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient and/or sustainable.

You'll work in teams to identify real world problems relating to this topic and come up with innovative solutions.

At the end of the day, you’ll pitch your idea for a product or service to the rest of the group, with prizes awarded for the best pitches.

What you’ll learn

Attending this hackathon will help you learn how to:

  • identify a gap in the market
  • develop an idea for a product or service
  • build the foundations of a business or social enterprise
  • pitch your idea
  • develop your entrepreneurial mindset


9am – Registration, welcome and opening talk with guest speaker
9:30am – Problem identification and solution ideation
10:30am – Business model canvasing and competitor analysis
11:30am – Branding and prototyping
12:30pm – Lunch and networking
13:30pm – Pitch preparation with guest speaker and pitch practice
3:30pm – Pitches in front of panel of judges with feedback
4:30pm – Awards presentation
5pm – Next steps and end of hackathon

About the tutors

Matthew Harris and Mikael Tesfaye, Entrepreneurship Advisors at UCL Innovation & Enterprise, will be running the session.

Matthew - who delivers the SPERO entrepreneurship training programme for doctoral students and early career researchers - has 10 years' entrepreneurial experience.

Mikael, who is responsible for our core entrepreneurial training programme, holds an MSc in Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management from Birkbeck.


If there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible for you, please let us know by emailing matt.harris@ucl.ac.uk


Filming and photography will take place at this event for promotional purposes. The photographs and recordings will appear on our website and social media channels. If you do not wish to be filmed or photographed, please let a member of staff know on arrival.

Date and times

Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 9am to 5pm

Book your place

Read our privacy notice to understand how UCL Innovation & Enterprise will deal with your personal data.

UCL Innovation & Enterprise reserves the right to make changes to the programme, location and/or speakers without prior notice. Such alterations are occasionally necessary due to circumstances beyond our control.