UCL News


UCL's entrepreneurs to attend venture capital 'boot camp'

9 October 2008

Next week (13th-14th October) UCL will become the first British university to host the successful 'Entrepreneurship Boot Camp' successfully pioneered by leading venture capitalist Dr.

Jack M. Gill. The fast-paced course has been designed for those with an interest in the dynamics of high-tech entrepreneurship and has already proved extremely popular at leading US institutions including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Texas and Rice universities - but this is the first time it has opened its doors to students and academics in the UK.

Dr. Gill is a scientist, engineer, company founder and venture capitalist with 35 years of experience in Silicon Valley, Boston-New England and Texas. His first five Vanguard VC funds aggregated $155 million paid in capital and returned over $1 billion to investors. Jack maintains cutting edge knowledge of many innovative fields and technologies including biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics, photonics, telecommunications, internet businesses, mobile communications, business software, and others.

The intensive 'Boot Camp' experience will include six full lectures on topics ranging from the dynamics of a start-up company and how to attract investment, to common 'company killing' pitfalls and a rigorous analysis of what makes entrepreneurial leaders successful. The course also includes three case studies from real world entrepreneurs and self-help kits on leadership and planning.

"Despite the impact of wars, natural disasters and the ups and down of market cycles, technological advances and entrepreneurial solutions make the world go around," says Dr. Gill. "Entrepreneurs create enterprises, jobs, products, services and benefits to mankind. We must find them, feed them, support them, educate them, nurture them and recognise them for their wonderful inventions and contributions."

Dr. Gill's course will equip UCL academic staff and students with a sophisticated knowledge of the process of bringing innovations to commercial markets. The course is a key element in UCL's broader enterprise strategy, designed to ensure that the university has an organisational culture that emphasises enterprise and knowledge transfer for the benefit of society.

Professor Steve Currall, Vice Dean of enterprise in UCL's Faculty of Engineering Sciences and Head of the Department of Management Science and Innovation, says: "Dr Jack Gill is one of the founding fathers of the venture capital industry in California's Silicon Valley. We are thrilled to have engaged him to teach this course as it helps UCL take its entrepreneurship education to even greater heights."

"UCL Advances is unique among UK universities in its approach to building the entrepreneurial environment through networking and training," says Tim Barnes, Executive Director of UCL Advances. "By bringing a leading figure such as Dr. Jack Gill into the heart of UCL we are able to take a sizeable step in extending the contacts and understanding that are critical to developing entrepreneurship among our staff and students for both their benefit and that of the UK as a whole."


Note to editors:

For further information, to arrange an interview with Dr. Gill or to attend the boot camp, please contact Dave Weston in the UCL Press Office on +44 20 7679 7678 or email d.weston@ucl.ac.uk

"Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship - a 2-day boot camp" runs 13th - 14th October 2008.

About UCL:

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. In the government's most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5* and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence.

UCL is in the top ten world universities in the 2007 THES-QS World University Rankings, and the fourth-ranked UK university in the 2007 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay.

About UCL Advances:

UCL Advances is the centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction at UCL. It exists to stimulate collaboration among researchers, business and investors, driving innovations that benefit society and the economy, with a particular focus on new businesses and SME engagement. For more information see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/advances/index.html