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Join the Hatchery startup incubator

Get the work space, advice and connections that will help build your business by applying to UCL’s incubator programme.

The Hatchery is a dedicated startup space within BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross. We play host to a community of the university’s most promising startups, providing free, tailored support and dedicated office space designed to fast track your success and get you investment ready. All completely free.

Who can join the Hatchery

The Hatchery incubator programme is exclusively available to startups with a viable business venture founded by UCL students, researchers and recent alumni.

Your business can be in any sector, but must be unrelated to your university research if you're a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher.

It’s a competitive space. Your business will be assessed by a panel to make sure you’re the right fit, and spaces will only be awarded to the most promising ventures and entrepreneurial individuals. 

For your best chance at entry, you’ll already have: 

  • shown passion and commitment in making your business happen
  • identified a gap in the market
  • tested some features of your product or service with potential users to demonstrate demand
  • established the practicalities involved in developing your venture

Benefits of joining the Hatchery

Support can last up to 12 months and is intended to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills as much as helping your business take off. 

If you’re accepted into the incubator you’ll get:

  • entry to BaseKX from Monday to Sunday, 7am to 8.30pm and use of all facilities, including meeting rooms and event space (access to BaseKX is currently not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic)
  • up to four hot desks for your team (access is currently not possible)
  • monthly meetings with an experienced business advisor
  • office hours with lawyers, accountants and our investor network
  • access to workshops and training events
  • peer support group sessions, monthly socials and opportunities to learn from and grow with like-minded entrepreneurs

The cost of our services is estimated at £25,000 for a three-person business, which you’ll receive without an exchange of equity.

How to apply for the Hatchery programme

Applications are open twice a year. Applications are currently closed.

Step 1: Meet with a business advisor

Before you apply, you’ll need to meet with a business advisor who will assess your readiness and suitability for a place on the programme. At the end of the meeting, you’ll either be invited to apply or be given advice on what you need to do to be considered for the next intake.

Request a meeting with a business advisor by filling in the form on our online portal

All meetings take place on Wednesday afternoons and last 30 minutes. Meetings are currently being held online due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

You should request a meeting with a business adviser at least 2 weeks before the application deadline as this meeting is only the first step in the application process.

Step 2: Submit your application

If you’re invited to apply, you’ll need to record two videos, answering the questions below clearly and concisely, and complete the online form.

The videos do not need to be professional quality. You can be as creative as you like, you might want to use applications like Animoto or Loom to help enhance your video. Videos should be uploaded to YouTube, with the links to them included in the form.

Video 1: Your venture idea

This should be 6 minutes long (maximum) and answer these questions:

  1. What is the problem or need (job to done) that you’re addressing and how are people currently overcoming this?
  2. What’s your solution and what’s the true value people will get from it?
  3. What’s your business model?
  4. What's your strategy to develop your venture, and what will you work on first?
  5. Why are you doing this now? What are your next steps in this? What are the key motivating reasons?

Video 2: Your execution capabilities 

This should be 8 minutes long (maximum) and cover these points:

  1. Tell us about each team member’s skills, experience and what they bring to the team
  2. List 5 key risks to your business in order of magnitude and tell us how you’re going to test or overcome the biggest risk
  3. What traction/evidence have you got/achieved to prove there’s a market for your business or that your startup has potential?
  4. How will or did you, get your first 5 customers (B2B) and 50 (B2C) with no resources/funding? Be specific
  5. What have been your biggest achievements to date individually and/or as a team?
  6. Why you and/or your team will make this startups a success? What’s unique or what competitive advantage do you have that others don’t have?

After you apply

After reviewing and assessing your first video, you’ll be notified if you have progressed to the second video assessment. If you’re successful after reviewing your second video, you’ll be notified on your acceptance into the UCL Hatchery.

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