Innovation & Enterprise


Build your own business 3: Develop your business

If you have a tested business or social enterprise idea, this free course will help you develop your business or social enterprise.

This free course will help you develop your business or social enterprise through interactive workshops and one-to-one mentoring support.

You’ll get to test your idea among peers and industry experts, helping refine your plans and pitch for your new venture. You’ll work on designing a business framework and start to test revenue models for it.

This course will also help if you’re looking to iterate an existing early-stage venture.

As well as laying the groundwork for a successful business or social enterprise, you’ll get to know other entrepreneurs and learn from industry experts.

This is the third of three courses in the ‘Build your own business’ series.

Who it’s for

This course is for UCL students who have a tested business or social enterprise idea. Ideally you will have tested your idea by taking part in Build your own business 2: Explore and test your idea.

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

You’re advised to attend Build your own business 2 before attending this course. 


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
  • you're a member of the Hatchery
  • you've been endorsed for a Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

What you’ll learn

On this course you’ll learn:

  • how to test your ideas, ‘fail fast’, and iterate and pivot your approach when it doesn’t work  
  • how to create a forceful elevator pitch and full pitch deck
  • the best approaches to company formation, founder agreements and investment deals from a legal perspective
  • how to protect your intellectual property (IP)  
  • about customer experience and service design as it relates to your business
  • sales and negotiation tactics for startups

What to expect

This 5-week course will be held at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross. Sessions will be on Wednesdays, from 3pm to 6pm.

This is an interactive, activity-based workshop. In a series of practical sessions, you’ll learn from industry experts about the practicalities of setting up a new business or social enterprise.

You’ll also learn how to assess the risks and avoid the pitfalls of starting your own business through interactive sessions with previous winners.

You’ll take part in small group discussions, and hear from speakers who'll share their experiences.

You’ll also get feedback on your own venture from expert mentors in one-to-one sessions.

Pitching competition

At the end of the programme you'll have the chance to take part in a pitching competition and win £3,000. It’s not compulsory but it’s a great way to practise your presentation skills.

To qualify you’ll need to:

  • attend 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. If you're part of a team, you'll only be able to win the prize money if the lead applicant is a UCL student.

Dates and times

Booking has closed for this course. New dates will be published here when confirmed. 

How to apply

Applications have now closed.


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

About the lead facilitator

This programme is led by Yuliana Topazly, an award-winning serial entrepreneur, business advisor and educator with a broad experience of helping businesses start and grow. She’s a founder of My OutSpace and Buddy With and was named one of the Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK by The Sunday Times in 2016.

Watch a video about this course

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mw_i4ksPRU

Meet our entrepreneurs

Mher Datyan, founder of NorArar Education Initiative
Mher Datyan

Mher launched an education business for displaced children in Armenia while studying for his MA in Educational Leadership. 

Taking part in Build your own business programmes helped Mher solidify his idea and develop a sustainable business model.

Read Mher’s story >

Related programmes

After competing this course, you might be interested in applying for a place on the Hatchery programme

You might also be interested in our other courses and events.

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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.