WE Innovate

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

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

Applications for the 2023 programme will open on 10 October 2022. Should you wish to apply, please register your interest below.

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WE Innovate Logo

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 six-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.

WE Innovate applications will open Monday 10 October 2022.

The Prizes

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

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 three 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

WEEK 1

Launch event – a welcome & introduction to the programme: 8 February, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Business coaching to establish your KTH Innovation Readiness Level: 45-minute Daytime slots running 6 – 10 February

WEEK 2

Customer discovery masterclass & cohort networking: 15 February, 5:30 – 7:30pm

45-minute Business Coaching sessions: Daytime slots running 13 – 17 February

WEEK 3

Introduction to prototyping masterclass & cohort networking: 22 February, 5:30 – 7:30pm

WEEK 4

20-minute programme check-in: Daytime slots running 27 February, 3 March

WEEK 5

Pitch performance masterclass & cohort networking: 8 March, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Applications for Phase 2 open: 10 March

WEEK 6

45-minute business coaching sessions: Daytime slots running 13-17 March

WEEK 7

Leadership masterclass & cohort networking: 22 March, 5:30 – 7:30pm

WEEK 8

Investment Masterclass & Cohort Networking: 29 March, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Applications for phase 2 close: 29 March

WEEK 9

Cohort for phase 2 announcement: 5 April (10 teams selected)

WEEK 10

College closure for Easter

Week 11

Phase 2 launch – Introduction to phase 2 & networking with Peer Mentors: 19 April 2023, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Pitch design coaching: 1-to-1 Day time slots running 17 – 21 April

20-minute programme progress check-in: Daytime slots running 17 – 21 April

Week 12

45-minute business coaching sessions: 1-to-1 daytime slots running 24 – 28 April

Phase 1 exit coaching & feedback calls for teams unsuccessful in entering Phase 2: 24 – 28 April

Investor pitches: 26 April 2023

Week 13

30-minute IP Coaching: 1-to-1 Daytime slots running 1-5 May

Week 14

Optional group pitch practice: 10 May, 5:30 – 7.00pm

Peer mentoring (teams set a time to speak with their peer mentor): 8 – 12 May.

Week 15

Pitch with industry panel & team selection for phase 3: 17 – 18 May 2023

Cohort announcement for Phase 3: 19 May 2023 (5 teams selected)

Week 16

Phase 2 exit coaching and feedback calls for teams unsuccessful entering Phase 3: 24 – 31 May

Week 18

45-minute pitch practice sessions: 1-to-1 daytime slots running from 5 – 9 June 

Peer mentoring sessions with teams: 5 – 9 June

Week 19

Pitch Deck Design: 1-to-1 daytime slots running from 12 – 16 June

Week 20

Pitch practice in E-Lab: 19 June

Final dress rehearsal: 20 June 

WE Innovate Final: 21 June

Week 21

26-30 June 2023: Phase 3 Exit Coaching and Feedback Calls

FAQs

Can I talk to someone about my application?

Yes, we have special Idea Surgery slots specifically for you to talk to us about your application. Book here.

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 Friday 23 December 2022. 

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.

Meet the Alumni

SURU Together
SURU Together

SURU Together have developed People Supported Intelligence (PSi), an online platform for civic organisations to engage their whole community in deliberative participatory decision-making.

TOMMY
TOMMY

TOMMY is a non-invasive, affordable device for the continuous monitoring of glucose to improve the management of diabetes.

Hippocampus
Hippocampus

Hippocampus is an immersive virtual reality solution for those who need help with their long-term memory.

Cadget
Cadget

Cadget is revolutionising the healing process with a cast technology that is light, breathable and washable.

Testimonials

“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 2023 cohort will open on

10 October 2022.

Meet the 2022 Cohort

Want to find out the incredible teams that were on last year’s WE Innovate cohort? 

WE Innovate cohort

What's on

From community events to expert masterclasses… There’s always something going on at the E-Lab

Connect

Join our community, meet co-founders and grow your entrepreneurial network!

Our monthly social bringing together students and postdocs from every corner of Imperial College London.

Our multi-purpose space is open to all Imperial students postdoc researchers and alumni 5-days a week.

Use your creativity and critical thinking to solve a challenge set by us. Spaces are limited so sign up ASAP!

Explore

Speak to someone about your idea and learn the skills you need to test it in the real world

Validate

Fast-track your idea on one of our cohort-based entrepreneurship programmes

Imperial’s flagship entrepreneurship programme for students and postdocs with an annual prize fund of £90K.

The UK’s leading university programme championing women-led startup teams with an annual £30K prize fund.

A unique programme designed to speed the commercial development of early-stage medical technologies

All available programmes

Grow

Get expert support and advice to turn your idea into a successful commercial venture

About

We’re passionate about inspiring the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs

Contact

Got a question, need some advice or just need directions to the best basement on campus? Get in touch!

Find us

Imperial College London
Level 0, Sherfield Building
(Access next to Great Hall)
South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ