Innovation & Enterprise


Build your business or social enterprise

This free 8-week programme will help you take practical steps to develop your business or social enterprise. You'll also have the chance to win £3,000.


Develop your business model and learn about the practicalities of setting up a new business or social enterprise through interactive workshops, activities and one-to-one mentoring.

For: All students, staff and recent graduates
Location: UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London N1C 4PF
Duration: 8 weeks (2 hours a week) 
Format: Interactive, activity-based workshop

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 2 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

This 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

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

What to expect

This programme is held at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross. It runs over 8 weeks with session held on Wednesdays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

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

Between sessions, you’ll be set homework tasks to help you apply what you've learnt to make your idea a reality.

You’ll get to test your idea among peers and industry experts, helping refine your plans and pitch for your new venture. 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

Dates and times

Dates for next year will be published here when confirmed. To get notified when new dates are published, sign up to our newsletter.


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

Filming and photography takes place at our events 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.

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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.