Commercial outreach

Entrepreneurship Training

The ICB CDT has pioneered entrepreneurship education in partnership with the Imperial College Business School and Imperial Innovations.

This programme develops the entrepreneurial skills of our students and gives them the opportunity to develop the commercial potential of ideas they have developed independently of their supervisors. It covers a range of key topics ranging relating to entrepreneurship and early stage commercialisation ranging from intellectual property through to business opportunity analysis. It culminates in a live (open to the general public) Dragons’ Den style “CDT-Den” competition where students bid for £20k of real funding (provided courtesy of Imperial Innovations, the IC Technology transfer office (TTO)) by pitching a proposal that exploits the commercial potential of their IP.

The format of this event is taken from the popular BBC television series “Dragons’ Den” and in 2010 was hosted by the BBC presenter Evan Davis. As part of this process the students learn how to draft a patent which is then actually filed, giving them full ownership of this IP. In addition to the £20k seed funding, the CDT has also secured follow-on funding to further support the entrepreneurial endeavour of students taking part in CDT-Den.

As part of this process the students benefit from direct engagement with the college technology office, with a view to putting them in touch with companies interested in co-developing their technologies. This includes arranging CDAs and NDAs for the students, providing IP support and business guidance thereby offering a wealth of opportunities in terms of career path. This is further enhanced by technology showcase events where students inform 150+ end-users from industry and academia of the technologies within the CDT in addition to those they have deloped through the entrepreneurship programme via series of live demonstrations and presentations, offering them excellent networking opportunities.