WE Innovate

6 months, 3 phases and £30,000 up for grabs!

WE Innovate champions women-led teams with an entrepreneurial idea to explore.

 Join us at the WE Innovate Grand 2024 Final.

  Register for free on Eventbrite and witness 5 women-led teams pitch to win their share of the £30k prize fund.


What is WE Innovate?

We think great things can only happen when everyone has a seat at the table, which is why WE Innovate was created. To inspire, empower and increase the number of women-led start ups! 

WE Innovate is a 6-month programme running from January to May. The programme supports the development of up to 25 teams through masterclasses, business coaching, 1-to-1 expert support, peer mentoring and much more. There are 3 phases during which 25 teams become a final 5 who then compete for a chance to win a share of the £30,000 prize fund.

The Prizes

All prizes will be chosen by our judging panel at the WE Innovate Final!
A share of the £30K prize fund, sponsored by Santander Universities
Engineers in Business Award
Lauren Dennis in Memoriam Award

Meet the 2024 Cohort

Find out about the impressive teams on this year’s WE Innovate cohort on our online pitch book

WE Innovate cohort

Learning outcomes

By the end of this programme you’ll have learnt how to:

Understand the needs of, and secure your first customer

Create a compelling pitch deck and deliver with confidence

Understand what IP is and how to protect yours

Build a successful team, culture and business

Identify the best funding opportunities and build your network

Entry requirements

  1. Your team lead must identify as a woman (your team can identify as other genders or none). We use an inclusive definition of ‘woman’ and ‘women’, welcoming, but not limited to, trans women.
  2. Your team lead must be a current undergraduate, post-graduate student or Early Career Researcher at Imperial College London OR must’ve graduated within the last 3 years (since October 2020).
  3. If you’ve previously been accepted and participated in the WE Innovate or Althea-Imperial Programme, you won’t be able to apply again as a team lead. Please note that if you’ve previously applied but not been successful, you can apply again.
  4. WE Innovate alumni who join or support teams participating in the programme will not be permitted to pitch at the WE Innovate Final should their team be selected as a finalist.

Key Dates

WE Innovate launches on 29th January

WE Innovate is split into 3 phases – Phase 1 consists of 8 weeks of masterclasses and coaching sessions to help teams prepare for phase 2 applications. There will also be regular programme check-ins.

We break for 2 weeks before kicking off phase 2, where we’ll introduce mentoring sessions alongside the coaching and masterclasses ahead of applications for phase 3, where we’ll focus on pitch preparation ahead of the grand final which will take place on 19th June.

30th January

Programme launch event

29th January – 19th March

Programme workshops, coaching sessions and programme check-ins

13th March

Deadline for phase 2 applications

22nd March

Phase 2 teams announced

26th March – 3rd April

Easter break

4th April – 14th May

Phase 2 Programme workshops, coaching sessions, mentoring and programme check-ins

21st May

Team pitches for Phase 3 selection

22nd May

Phase 3 teams announced

28th May – 18th June

Phase 3 Pitch practice, coaching and peer-to-peer mentoring sessions

19th June

The Grand Final


Can I talk to someone about my application?

Absolutely! You can chat to us during our online clinic times by booking into an  information session. 

Can I submit several projects?

Yes! As long as you’ve done the required research on all of them (see our Entry Requirements 👆) you can submit several ideas.

When can I expect a reply regarding my application?

We aim to notify all applicants of their status by 5pm on Thursday 14 December 2023

I’ve submitted my application, but haven't received a confirmation email. Should I have?

A confirmation message should appear once you have reviewed and submitted your application. If you do not see the message please double check that you have pressed submit after the last question.

What are the Terms and Conditions?

You can find the programme Terms and Conditions here.


“Being part of WE Innovate has been an amazing experience. Every week, I looked forward to attending WE Innovate as I know I will see friendly faces, both students and staff, as well as learn an invaluable skill that I have never been taught in my academic training.”
Alexa Segal, Founder of Queeries

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 programme have now closed. We will be recruiting for our 2025 cohort in Autumn 2024.

Our Sponsor

Santander Universities


Santander Universities is the leading global supporter of higher education. We believe that universities are the cornerstone of modern civilisation, nurturing and producing the innovators, creatives and leaders of tomorrow. Through the Universities programme we’re building on Santander UK’s purpose to help people and businesses prosper by providing funding and resources to help students and graduates start, run or scale a business.


Novartis logo coloured

Are you interested in supporting Imperial’s entrepreneurial women?

For the first time in five years we are looking for the next WE Innovate sponsor. Email Sarah Ranchev-Hale for more information: [email protected]