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Explore £5,000 Programme: Explore your business idea

Test the potential of your business idea in eight free, interactive evening sessions and get the chance to pitch for a prize of up to £5,000.

Use recognised tools and techniques to turn your idea into a viable business venture. In a series of practical sessions you’ll work alongside other entrepreneurs to sharpen your skills, stress test your ideas and establish a market for your business.

Date, time and place

We run the Explore programme every term over eight weeks.

Start date: TBC 
Time: Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm 
Place: UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London N1C 4PF

Who it’s for

You’ll be a UCL student, recent graduate or member of staff.

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 test in the market

Don’t have a business idea yet? You can still apply but you'll need to attend a one-day pre-explore bootcamp.

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

What you’ll cover

We’re continually evolving this programme to reflect changes in the marketplace. 

However, a typical programme might cover:

  • what it takes to build a successful business
  • shaping and refining your business idea
  • putting key metrics in place
  • building relationships with customers
  • how to price your product or service
  • presentations and feedback sessions with guest entrepreneurs
  • using Build, Measure and Learn (BML) to improve your business
  • generating a buzz about your business 

Make sure you can pitch for the prize

At the end of the programme you'll have the chance to pitch for a prize of up to £5,000 to take your idea further. 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

How to apply for the programme

Applications for this programme are currently closed.

About the lead facilitator

This programme is led by Sherece Rainford, founder and CEO of PR 4 Startups and Lingerie PR. Sherece is an independent business development consultant who has worked as a business advisor for Innovation & Enterprise, and runs a number of our programmes.

About the funder

The funding for this programme is generously provided by UCL alumnus and philanthropist George Farha.


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.