Innovation & Enterprise


UCL receives award for ‘exceptional entrepreneurship education’

28 September 2022

UCL Innovation & Enterprise has been recognised for their work in building a thriving entrepreneurial community and helping students to launch their own ventures.

UCL's Entrepreneurship Team at the National Enterprise Educator Awards 2022

The Entrepreneurship team, part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, won the Entrepreneurship Catalyst category in the 2022 National Enterprise Educator Awards (NEEA). The award recognises individuals or teams from higher or further education who are delivering exceptional entrepreneurship education or practice inside or outside the curriculum.

Developing entrepreneurial mindsets

The Entrepreneurship team delivers an extracurricular programme to enhance the student experience, develop entrepreneurial mindsets and support UCL graduates to launch high-quality startups.

The team offers a range of workshops, events and courses overseen by experienced entrepreneurs, as well as an incubator programme to help new startups succeed. The team also works with the Home Office to endorse UCL graduates for Start-up and Innovator visas. The visas allow them to stay in the UK to setup and grow their business.

For those just starting out there’s the ‘Find your entrepreneurial purpose’ three-hour workshop to explore ideas. For students with a tested business or social enterprise idea, there’s the ‘Build your business or social enterprise’ six-week programme to help with the next practical steps. 

In 2018 the team launched their hugely popular SPERO programme aimed at developing entrepreneurial mindsets in doctoral students and early career researchers. 

A thriving entrepreneurial community

BaseKX is UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross. It’s home to a thriving entrepreneurial community, including the 88 startups on our incubator programme. 

Between 2014 and 2021 over 330 new graduate businesses were started at UCL, collectively raising over £226 million in investment and currently employing over 1,900 people. 

One of those was medtech startup Oxford Heartbeat, founded by Dr Katerina Spranger. Commenting recently on her UCL experience she says:

“We’ve been part of various accelerator programmes, but with UCL it’s more like you have a base. You have a home, and links to the university and wider UCL community, which is fantastic.”

Boosting the UK’s startup ecosystem

UCL Innovation & Enterprise is led by Executive Director Dr Kathryn Walsh, while the Entrepreneurship team is led by Director Jerry Allen. 

Reacting to the NEEA award, Kathryn comments: “This prestigious recognition is testament to the tireless work of our dedicated entrepreneurship team and their unwavering belief in the potential of our students. The results of this partnership are clear in terms of boosting the entrepreneurial mindset and employability of students and helping to launch social enterprises and businesses into the UK’s startup ecosystem.”

Jerry adds: “I’m immensely proud of both our committed team of staff and our brilliant students and graduates. Together they are having a real and measurable impact on business and wider society. As we continue to go from strength to strength, we aim to unlock every student’s entrepreneurial potential.”


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In the photo: Ruth Weir, Jivko Hristov, Sascha Olinsson, Alexandra Isevski, Justin Sawyer and Jerry Allen from UCL Innovation & Enterprise, with Peter Harrington, Director SimVenture (sponsors of award).