Innovation & Enterprise


Explore a business idea: online programme

Test the potential of your business or social enterprise idea with our free eight-week online programme.

If you have a business idea or passion you want to turn into a business, this programme will help you take the next step and turn your idea into a viable business venture.

Using recognised tools and techniques, you'll learn how to develop a full business plan and explore the potential market.

Date, time and place

We run the Explore programme every term over eight weeks.

This term the programme will be run entirely online using Microsoft Teams.

Dates: TBC
Time: Tuesdays, from 5pm to 7pm

Who it’s for

This programme is for UCL students.

Staff, research associates and recent graduates may also take part but will be unable to win the prize money. 

You’ll need to:

  • show you’re keen to build the knowledge and skills required for a startup
  • have a business idea that you want to develop

Businesses already in the Hatchery incubator or endorsed for a Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa won’t be able to apply. 

Don’t have a business idea yet? Come to our one-day ideation workshop Imagine.

What you’ll learn

The course will help you:

  • develop confidence in your business idea 
  • understand who your customers are
  • validate your business idea to ensure it's realistic 
  • set up your business using the Canvas Business Model 
  • understand the steps to getting your service or product to your customers
  • understand business basic finance, including cost structures and revenue streams
  • perform market research
  • practise and improve your business pitching skills

What to expect

This is an interactive, activity-based workshop.

In a series of practical online sessions, you’ll work alongside other entrepreneurs to sharpen your skills, stress test your ideas and establish a market for your business or social enterprise.

You'll work through case studies, take part in small group discussions, and listen to visiting speakers who will share their experiences.

Pitching competition

At the end of the programme you'll have the chance to take part in a pitching competition. 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.

Technical requirements

You’ll need to have Microsoft Teams installed on a computer with a good internet connection. If you don’t have it, you can download Teams for free from the Microsoft website.

If you have a UCL email address you should use this to login to Teams. If you can’t use a UCL account, you’ll need to create a free personal Microsoft account to use Teams.

Web and phone versions of Teams are not suitable as they have limited features.

You'll also need a microphone (and preferably a webcam), so you can take part in group activities and discussions. 


Applications are closed.

If you're part of a team, only one member of the team needs to apply.

If you don’t have a business idea, you must attend our one-day ideation workshop Imagine before applying for Explore.

About the lead facilitator

This programme is led by Caroline Broad, Director of Broad Associates Ltd. Broad Associates specialises in delivering interactive workshops for researchers looking to develop their innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

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.