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What’s Experts-in-Residence?

The question ought to be – Who are the experts in residence?

And the answer is a group of advisors with tons of real-life startup experience ready to pass on their knowledge, answer your questions and help you develop your understanding and confidence. Here are the main subject areas our experts cover:

  • Commercialisation
  • Idea Development
  • Legal & Compliance
  • Pitching & Selling 
  • Marketing & Communication 
  • People Management  

Experts-in-Residence is available to all staff Imperial students and alumni (provided you have graduated within the last three years), but you need to have attended an Idea Surgery and shown us that you’d benefit from some expert advice to take your idea or business forward.

Who is it for?

Experts-in-Residence is available to all Imperial staff, students and alumni (provided you have graduated within the last three years), but you need to have attended an Idea Surgery and shown us that you’d benefit from some expert advice to take your idea or business forward.

Some subjects will only be useful at a specific stage of your startup’s development. For example, most businesses need legal and IP expert advice at a very early stage, but PR and Sales can wait until you’re further along your journey.

To be eligible for Experts-in-Residence you must:

Be an Imperial staff member, student or alum (that’s graduated within the last three years) with a business idea

Have recently attended an Idea Surgery and received approval for coaching or advice

Have demonstrated that you’d benefit from expert advice in a specific area

How do they work?

Experts-in-Residence sessions are one-to-one sessions (that’s you/you and your team) where we pair you up with an expert who can help you with a specific objective or problem, or give you some advice to help broaden your knowledge. 

Once we’ve identified that you’d benefit from meeting an expert or several experts, we’ll email you with details of their availability so you can book your slot. You’ll also need to provide a short explanation of what you’d specifically like help with. Once we’ve received your booking, we’ll email you confirming your slot, so you know you’re good to go.

Sessions are generally 30-45 minutes long and are totally confidential.

When do sessions happen?

We run sessions throughout the academic year.


How is Experts-in-Residence different to an Idea Surgery?

Experts-in-Residence sessions are more formal one-to-one sessions (one individual or a team). We have up to 3 teams at an Idea Surgery, and they’re more informal to give you the chance to chat with your fellow entrepreneurs, share ideas and learn from one another’s experiences.

How is Experts-in-Residence different to Business Coaching?

The Experts-in-Residence sessions focus on a specific area of your business idea or plan, whereas the Business Coaching sessions are more about conducting a comprehensive review of your idea and helping you put a business plan together.

Are Experts-in-Residence sessions one-to-one?

Yes, it’s just you and your team (if applicable).

Are Experts-in-Residence sessions confidential?

Yes. All our experts will work with you in the strictest confidence.

How long are the sessions?

The duration of sessions will vary from expert-to-expert but will be between 30 and 45 minutes.

Can I book more than one session?

Yes you can. In fact, we may encourage you to if you’ve demonstrated a need for additional help in a specific area, or with a particular expert. We always supply guidance when we release session details, so do check that before booking. We also recommend that you read the instructions we provide you with ahead of your first session. All sessions are subject to demand/availability but don’t worry if we can’t fit you in, we’ll add you to the waiting list.

I attended an Idea Surgery last year. Can I book an Expert-in-Residence slot?

If we approved you to have sessions with an expert last year and you’re still working on the same idea, you can continue to book slots as before. You’re also welcome to book an Idea Surgery, so we can catch up on your progress and make sure that you’re making the most of all the opportunities on offer at the Lab.

If you’re working on a new business idea, you’ll need to book an Idea Surgery before you can book future Expert-in-Residence sessions.

I've completed one of the Enterprise Lab programmes. Am I eligible for Experts-in-Residence?

Yes! Anyone that has completed an E-Lab programm (VCC, WE Innovate, Discovery Fund or Summer Accelerator) automatically becomes eligible for Experts-in-Residence.

I’ve booked a session but can’t make it now what do I do?

Please cancel your session via your Calendly booking and email  Amy McDonnell ASAP so that we can offer your slot to someone else.


“Carl and Braham are sources of knowledge and wisdom with an undying passion to share them. When it comes to team building, leadership and human relations, they definitely know what they are talking about.”

Seyed Nasrollahi, Founder, QuantumX (PhD Physics)

Need an expert?

 You’ll need to book an Idea Surgery so we can help you find the right expert.