What is The Imperial Techcelerate Programme?

A new programme for postdoc researchers who want to fast-track the commercial development of new ideas and build their entrepreneurial skill-set.

Developed using industry best practice, the programme has been designed to meet the needs of Imperial’s postdoctoral research community through a combination of hands-on experiential learning opportunities combined with regular access to business experts and Imperial’s vast entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Imperial Techcelerate takes an evidence-based approach to entrepreneurship, where participants formulate their customer value propositions and business model hypotheses first and then test these by getting out and speaking with potential customers, partners, suppliers and competitors over the course of the programme.

This programme enables participants to bridge the gap between research idea and the real world and, crucially, to understand the commercial potential for a new idea.

What’s in it for me?

  • Up to £30k funding to cover your salary for the 3-month duration of the programme and fund all customer development activities

  • Dedicated access to expert business advisors, coaches and entrepreneurial role models

  • A free co-working space for the duration of the programme

  • An enhanced understanding of the entrepreneurial process and the skills required to move new ideas at of the research stage.

  • Access to investors and follow-on funding

What’s in it for my PI?

  • Generate impact case studies for the next REF

  • Fast-track the commercial development of new and interesting ideas based on university research

  • Develop more entrepreneurially aware research group members with the skills required to push and develop new commercial applications

  • Get involved with the early stages of the commercialisation process but without it taking up lots of time in an already busy schedule

What does the Programme involve?

Imperial Techcelerate is a 3-month, full-time programme for postdocs. Following acceptance onto the programme, participants will be expected to work at the heart of a virtual team consisting of:

  • Yourself (the Entrepreneurial Lead) – full-time
  • Your PI or Research Group Leader – part-time
  • An expert business advisor – part-time
  • A technology transfer expert – part time

The programme begins with a 4-day intensive off-site residential boot-camp to teach core entrepreneurial principles and concepts. By the end of the boot-camp each team will have developed a detailed action plan, and budget, for the remainder of the programme.

The Entrepreneurial Leads are then expected to work on the programme full-time for 3-months supported by regular peer-to-peer group sessions and speakers, with bi-weekly team meetings with their teams to share learnings, review progress and agree next steps.

At the end of the programme, Entrepreneurial Leads present their findings – and recommended next steps – to an interdisciplinary panel of business experts and funders from across the Imperial network.

What’s next? How do I apply?


Applications are via a simple online written proposal to be submitted by 17:00 on 13th November, followed by a panel interview for all successful applicants. Final places will be confirmed by 5pm on 1st December.

If you have any questions about the programme or your eligibility please email techcelerate@imperial.ac.uk