UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Innovation & Enterprise Seminars

The transferable nature of our enterprise seminars and speakers provide skills in resourcefulness, resilience and reflection for both students and staff.

MAPS Innovation and Enterprise Seminar Schedule 2023 - 2024 

Every thriving business, live saving medicine or treatment and revolutionary technology begins as an idea. Our seminar series welcomes UCL staff and alumbi to discuss how they turned their knowledge or research into solutions that can influence global strategic policies and make an economic and societal impact. Would you like to follow this path and don't know where or how to start? Are you interested and want to find out more? Be prepared to receive hundreds of years (in total!) of experience condensed into a few hours!

Join us for this year's seminar series for a superb opportunity to hear inspring stories and interact with those that have become successful in their field. Have your questions ready!

The seminars are open to both UCL staff and students. The below schedule provides registration links for each seminar. Please keep a look out on the MAPS Faculty Events feed, termly, to see more detail about each seminar. 

Our past seminars: 

How to Keep a Trade Secret: Best Practices for Creating/Maintaining Trade Secrets – Kirby Drake, Founder of Kirby Drake Law PLLC

Guest speaker, Kirby Drake discusses:

What is a trade secret?
What is protectable as a trade secret?
Effects of trade secret disclosure.
Considerations as to whether to protect through trade secrets or patents.
Reasonable measures – best practices to maintain trade secrets.

What makes a business attractive for venture capital? (Part 1 & Part 2) - David Grimm, UCL Tech Fund

Guest speaker, David Grimm discusses:

  • How to develop the broader business thinking about new technologies. 
  • The different types of commercial funding available.
  • How particpants to understand when venture capital may be a good method of funding for their business idea.

Inspiring partnerships between academia and industry: opportunities, priorities, and what it might take – Dr Andrea Macrina, Mathematics Department

Guest speaker, Dr Andrea Macrina discusses: 

  • What collaboration opportunity might there be between academia and the industry? 
  • Why collaborate on joint research with an industry partner, and is there a particular stage in one’s academic career when to begin? 
  • Serendipitous encounters or strategic planning? 
  • Where and how do academics and industry practitioners meet? 
  • What to do after contact details have been exchanged?
  • How do I bring an industry partner on board?

Introduction to Patent Applications - Amy Bishton, Patent Agent Barker Brettell 

Guest speaker, Amy Bishton discusses: 

  • What is a patent?
  • How do I obtain a patent?
  • What can I obtain a patent for?
  • Are there restrictions on what can be patented?
  • What can be done with a patent?
  • What does a patent application contain?
  • What are the basic requirements for these?

What to do and avoid in starting a company - Professor Peter Dobson, The Queen’s College, Oxford

Guest speaker Prof Peter Dobson discusses: 

  • Why are you doing it? 
  • Why not license the ideas to existing companies?
  • Have you done due diligence on the idea? 
  • Is there a "supply chain" involved? 
  • 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"? 
  • And many more…

Corporate Partnering - Jim Skinner, Chair of American Chemical Society, SCHB

Guest speaker, Jim Skinner discusses: 

  • Research and development contracts.
  • Manufacturing agreements.
  • Sales, marketing and/or distribution contracts.
  • Equity (financial) investments by major corporations.
  • And many more...

How to get started with a company: challenges/opportunities – Professor Andy Beale, Chemistry Department 

Guest speaker, Prof Andy Beale discusses: 

  • The sometimes painful "on the job" learning process.
  • What Finden Ltd. understood to be the critical moments for their existence.
  • How Finden Ltd. has morphed into an organisation quite different to what they had initially envisaged.

What Andrew sees as challenges and opportunities for those wishing to embark on a similar journey.

Showcase of a UCL Start-Up ZNotes - Zubair Junjunia, UCL Maths Alumnus & Founder of ZNotes

Guest speaker, Zubair Junjunia shares his story:

  • From his initial idea to create ZNotes in 2014;
  • To being accepted on the UCL Enterprise Launch Programme (now called "Build your own business 3: Launch your business") for assistance in evolving ZNotes into a start-up;
  • How he continued to run ZNotes whilst completing his Mathematics Master’s degree;
  • Drawing attention to the benefits of this venture;
  • And any challenges he faced along the way. 

A Bespoke Talk with the MAPS Faculty from Cassie Dawson, Senior Consultancy Manager, UCL Consultants (UCLC)

Guest speaker, Cassie Dawson discusses:

  • An explanation of how academics can use UCLC’s services, including contracts, project management and finance. 
  • Case studies of projects that have emerged from MAPS.
  • Some other relevant completed project examples of overlapping subject area or interest to MAPS staff.
  • The potential for consultancy to provide a pathway for demonstrating impact on society.