Home to Imperial's flagship deep science programme
NEW IN 2018
All VCC applicants will be invited to attend four exclusive masterclasses to help them grow their project.
We will cover the following topics: Customer Development, Funding, Pitching, and Legal Issues.
This will be offered to all applicants regardless of the outcome of their application.
Our goal is to ensure that you've tested your assumptions and achieved your milestones.
Prize fund of £40,000
The programme culminates in our annual Showcase, at which we give out a cash prize to the winner!
1-2-1 Expert Advice
From top-class advisors and experts ranging from funding, legals, customer development & pitch training.
Workshops & Masterclasses
One evening a week, there will be targeted workshops & masterclasses from some of the best minds in London.
Professional Business Coaching
We want to make sure you're getting the most of the 6 weeks so your business coaches help with goals and milestones
Support post VCC
We're here to make sure that we can help get your venture off the ground.
Pitch Simulation Training
We'll make sure you're pitch perfect with training in our performance simulator
"Fortune does favor the bold and you'll never know what you're capable of if you don't try."

Sheryl Sandberg
The Venture Catalyst Challenge is one of the flagship programs run by Imperial Enterprise Lab, Imperial's central hub and dedicated space where everyone has the opportunity to translate their ideas from science & technology into practice.


You have created something as part of your coursework, an idea that spins out of your research or that you've been messing around with on weekends. You want to go one step beyond a score out of 100; to turn your innovation into a tangible impact in the world, a viable career in itself. For the last four years, Imperial postgrads, alumni and undergrads have gone through this program

Since its inception, participants have raised millions in proof-of concept funding. They have gone on to participate in accelerator programs, to sell everything from dental practice management software to DNA research engines for genetic experimentation.

Very few started the VCC with anything more than a team and an idea.

"We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?" —

Steve Jobs
Start making your dent today!
You will have a series of workshops, professional business coaching and 1-2-1 with expert advisors
You meet distinguished professionals to discuss topics that you've learnt in the workshop to ensure practical use
400 people
Showcase your project in front influencers and creators
Keep up-to-date with VCC deadlines, teams and showcase

Applications open
12th December 2017
VCC Early Deadline
17th January 2017 - get feedback and have a chance to re-apply
Final Deadline
25th January 2018 - 5pm
Launch of program
3rd February 2018

Frequent Asked Questions
Please read the below before contacting us!
Who can apply?
The programme is open to ALL students at Imperial College London from first year undergraduates to final year PhD students. Yep, ALL registered students, (alumni & staff can be part of the team).
My degree is super complex and time consuming, I like the sound of the programme but I don't think I can commit the time for this programme. What should I do?
We understand that whilst at Imperial your studies are important! We are not here to get in the way of your studies, just to compliment them. A lot of the skills you will learn on the course are directly relevant for your course.
I already have an idea and there is some intellectual property associated with my idea. What is your policy on IP and will you help me navigate the IP minefield?
Intellectual Property, IP, Trademarks, Patents, Disclosure, Classifications, Fees, Examinations… IP is complex and can most definitely be a minefield. We have in house IP expertise from the Research Office and Imperial Innovations. We also bring in external expertise from patent attorneys to participate in the course. IP is incredibly important and it is even more important to get it right at the start. Our IP experts will help you to decide on what the best course of action is.

As there are no two situations which are alike, feel free to discuss your idea/plan with us before applying for the programme.

In applying for the Venture Catalyst Challenge, it is implied that you own the IP for your idea and that none of the exceptions below apply. Please note that your idea is subject to the College's IP policies. If your idea does not meet these terms then you may be asked to revise your proposal or leave the programme.

Guidance related to student IP is available through the Summary Guidance for Inventors: Student IP In the first instance, a student owns the IP they generate in the course of their studies at College, unless one of the following exceptions applies:-

1. they generate IP which is subject to governing terms or an agreement with an external organisation whereby the IP vests with College or a third party; or

2. they generate IP which builds upon existing IP generated by College Employees or Associates; or

3. they generate IP jointly with College Employees or Associates; or

4. they are, or have the status of, College Employee (in which case they are treated by College and the law as employees).
Do you take any equity in my team/company?
No, this programme is designed to give you the skills to create your own company and carve out your own future with our highly experienced team's support.
Can I speak to someone about my application in confidence?
Nikita – Innovation & Entrepreneurship Manager – n.thakrar@imperial.ac.uk
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