Innovation & Enterprise


Build your business or social enterprise

08 May 2024–26 June 2024, 4:30 pm–6:30 pm

Person pitching at UCL BaseKX

If you have a tested business or social enterprise idea, this free 8-week programme will help you take the next practical steps to develop your business or social enterprise. You could also win £3,000. For students, staff and recent graduates.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




UCL Innovation & Enterprise


103c Camley Street


On this free 8-week programme you’ll learn about the practicalities of setting up a new business or social enterprise.

You'll work through case studies and take part in small group discussions and interactive activities to develop your business model.

Between weekly sessions you’ll take what you’ve learnt and apply it in the real world to make your idea a reality.

You'll also have the chance to win £3,000 to help develop your business further.

This programme will also help you prepare you to apply for our Hatchery startup incubator.

Who it’s for

This programme is for UCL students who have already stress-tested a business or social enterprise idea.

Staff, research associates and recent graduates (within 3 years of graduating) may also take part but will not be able to win the prize money or in-kind mentoring.

Ideally you’ll have tested your idea by taking part in the Explore programme


To be eligible to apply you must:

  • have a proven business or social enterprise idea (you’ve engaged with potential customers or developed a minimal viable product)
  • want to validate your business model
  • be committed to your business and to developing it further
  • agree to complete at least 75% of the programme

You cannot apply if:

  • your business is already registered or in the Hatchery incubator
  • you’ve been endorsed for a Start-up or Innovator visa

What you’ll learn

The programme will help you:

  • use research to confirm you're addressing a real problem, with enough potential customers to make your business or social enterprise viable
  • provide a clear explanation and evidence of why your solution is unique and meets a clear market need
  • identify and understand the market and industry you’ll operate in
  • identify your key assumptions and how to test and evaluate these
  • develop a realistic business and financial model
  • identify key challenges and how you can mitigate these
  • develop a viable strategy for reaching potential customers or users
  • identify the skills you and others in your team have, and skills your team may be missing
  • improve your business pitching skills

What to expect

The programme runs over 8 weeks, with sessions each Wednesday at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross.

This is a highly practical and intensive programme with interactive workshops, activities and one-to-one mentoring support.

You'll be expected to complete practical homework tasks before and after every session.

You’ll get to test your idea among peers and industry experts, helping refine your plans and pitch. You’ll also get feedback on your venture from expert mentors in one-to-one sessions.

You’ll get to know other entrepreneurs and learn from industry experts about the practicalities of setting up a new business or social enterprise. You’ll take part in small group discussions, and hear from speakers who'll share their experiences.

Pitching competition

In the final session, you'll have the chance to take part in a pitching competition. Prizes include £3,000 and a one-to-one session with one of our advisors to help you develop your Hatchery application. 

It’s not compulsory but it’s a great way to practise your presentation skills.

To qualify you’ll need to:

  • attend at least 75% of the sessions
  • show how you’ve developed and validated your idea

While everyone on the programme is welcome to take part in the competition, only students are eligible to win prize money or in-kind mentoring prizes. If you're part of a team, you'll only be able to win any prize money if the lead applicant is a UCL student.

About the tutors

This programme is delivered by the Phase 1 Enterprise Training CIC’s team of experienced facilitators and entrepreneurs, led by Dr Yuliana Topazly.

Yuliana is a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, an award-winning social entrepreneur and an experienced business adviser. She’s very well known across the entrepreneurship eco-system, working closely with leading universities and enterprise agencies across the UK to minimise barriers to entrepreneurship.


If there is anything we can do to make this programme more accessible for you, please let us know by emailing entrepreneurship@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.

Dates and times

This programme has 8 sessions in total:

  • Wednesday, 8 May 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 22 May 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 26 June 2024, 4:30pm to 6.30pm


To apply, you'll need to complete a form giving details of your business/social enterprise and what you hope to gain from this programme.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 3 May.

If you're one of the prize winners on the Explore programme, you’ll automatically be shortlisted to for this programme.


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.


UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF