UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Seminar: What to do and avoid in starting a company

25 May 2022, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Enterprise & Innovation Seminar

We welcome Professor Peter Dobson, OBE from The Queen's College, University of Oxford as our guest speaker for this MAPS I&E Seminar: What to do and avoid in starting a company

Event Information

Open to



Ethne James-Souch (on behalf of MAPS Vice-Dean I&E Prof Nguyen TK Thanh)

Before embarking on starting a company, you need to ask yourself and others a lot of questions, because it is likely to change your life. 

  • Why are you doing it? Is it because you see this as your only way of exploiting your ideas? Is it for the good of humanity? Do you want to create jobs and personal wealth?
  • Why not license the ideas to existing companies? This will avoid a lot of hassle but probably reduce your value and control.
  • Have you done due diligence on the idea? Have you checked for other companies, both collaborators and competitors? How does their Intellectual Property compare with yours?
  • Is there a "supply chain" involved? And where do you sit in this supply chain and are you vulnerable?
  • Will you manufacture or sub-contract?
  • Are you going to be employed by the company and in what role?
  • How many people will work for the company in the first years and later? How will you recruit them?
  • Where will the company be based and how much space and facilities are needed?
  • How will you raise money to start? And, do you have a clear idea how to sustain the growth of the company?
  • Do you have an "exit plan"? 

Many of the answers to these questions carry possible "red flags" and are avoidable, this seminar discuss these. 

Zoom, see calendar invite or contact Ethne James-Souch (e.james-souch@ucl.ac.uk) for joining information (registering will email Ethne directly for the Zoom details). 

Register for an invite

More on the Speaker: Professor Peter J Dobson, OBE, BSc, MA (Oxon), PhD, C Phys, F Inst P, Member of the ACS, FRCS. (The Queen's College, Oxford)


Peter covers a wide range of disciplines from physics and chemistry to materials science and engineering. He has also worked in industry (Philips) as well as academia (Imperial College and Oxford) and was responsible for creating and building The Begbroke Science Park for Oxford University. He has published over 195 papers and 33 patents. He has founded 4 companies and advised on the formation of 10 more. He was (2009-2013) the Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK and currently sits on the UKRI Strategic Advisory Board on Quantum Technology. 

He was awared the OBE in 2013 in recognition of his contributions to science and engineering. He is a Visiting Professor at King's College London and at UCL. Peter delivers courses a Graduate level in the areas of healthcare, biosensors, energy, nanotechnology, manufacturing, innovation, entrepreneurship and related topics and advises companies and inventors on innovation.

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