D/srupt (Issue One)

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D srupt Feature Title

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

In this issue:

Change makers with Elizabeth Hauke A day in the life: Skipping Rocks Lab Steve Blank: The Godfather of Lean

Game changers: Welcome to the next level Issue One / 2018




Welcome to the first edition of D/srupt, Imperial College London’s new annual magazine for student innovators and entrepreneurs.

L Welcome from the President of Imperial College London, Professor Alice Gast

eading research universities like Imperial have a central role in helping humanity address the many and varied global challenges we face today. We do this by making discoveries, educating leaders and developing innovations that benefit society. Our bright and energetic students are central to this mission. Students need the freedom to pursue ideas, the mentorship to guide their explorations and the spaces to gather, share ideas and develop them into entrepreneurial initiatives. We are committed to providing the facilities and training our students need to use their talents

in creative and practical ways that benefit everyone. We are nurturing their work through our purposebuilt entrepreneurship education spaces, such as Imperial Enterprise Lab and Imperial College Advanced Hackspace. In today’s rapidly changing world, developing an entrepreneurial mindset is a key advantage for any student. Whether starting their own business, joining an established company or pursuing a career in research and academia, all our students should have the skills, knowledge and networks they need to take discoveries out of the lab and into the world, for everyone’s benefit.

Great innovations begin with great people: talented individuals steeped in the knowledge of their discipline, confident enough to work on risky, unsolved problems, and able to collaborate with others from different fields. You can see that Imperial has an abundance of such students. Imperial’s ability to inspire, foster and support multidisciplinary teams of talented people to take on real-world issues is one of our greatest strengths. We hope that you will be inspired by this magazine and these stories.

Welcome to Imperial and congratulations; you’ve arrived at a world leading university in an amazing city, surrounded by bright, creative, quirky, tenacious, dedicated, resourceful, inquisitive and brilliant minds.


Welcome from the Director of Imperial Enterprise Lab, Ben Mumby-Croft

ou’re also in a place that’s serious about giving students the support they need to innovate and launch new ideas. We mean really serious. Whether you want to launch the next Google, build the next Tesla, tackle a pressing social or environmental challenge or simply meet new people and develop the skills you need to take an idea and make it happen, the Imperial Enterprise Lab and Imperial College Advanced Hackspace teams are here to help. From student competitions and challenges to speaker events, hackathons, ‘how to’

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

seminars, mentoring, maker spaces and co-working facilities, we offer all the support you need, free of charge, and accessible to everyone. You don’t need a business plan, you don’t need to look or sound a certain way, you don’t even need to think of yourself as a stereotypical ‘entrepreneur’. All you need is an idea and the willingness to have a go and make it happen.

makers – people just like you – and gain fresh insights and perspectives on what it takes to challenge the status quo and start something new. Your time is now. What are you waiting for?

In this magazine, you can find out more about our amazing and diverse student community of innovators, game changers, trailblazers, rule breakers, free thinkers, future makers and change

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The Godfather of Lean






34 “Don’t be defined by society but by what you want society to look like.”






Check out our new event series Fireside Chats

04 Community

25 Enterprise Lab essentials

06 Enterprising societies

26 Change Maker in Chief: Dr Elizabeth Hauke

08 A day in the life: Skipping Rocks Lab

28 Student game changer: Mitt Prostheses

10 Subtracting barriers: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

29 Student game changer: Coillection

12 White City: The future of innovation

30 Sector spotlight: Cyber-security in a new era of connectivity

14 Student game changer: Artificial Intelligence Thyroid Diagnostics

32 How to… Take the first steps to turn an idea into reality

16 The Godfather of Lean

33 Student game changer: Momoby

19 Student game changer: Fresh Check

34 Generation canvas

20 What kind of entrepreneur are you?

37 Dates for your diary

22 What the hack?

38 The Enterprise Lab in numbers (2017-18)

24 How to… Be more creative

39 Idea Challenge

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The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt

04 GyroGear has developed the hand-stabilising GyroGlove for patients with hand tremors

GyroGear and CustoMem win European funding GyroGear has received €1.8m through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, which supports groundbreaking ideas for products, services or processes with the potential to create entirely new markets or revolutionise existing ones. GyroGear has developed the hand-stabilising GyroGlove for patients with hand tremors, such as those with Parkinson’s disease or Essential Tremor. Find out more about how the Advanced Hackspace helped them on page 22. CustoMem has closed €1.4m in Horizon 2020 funding to bring its innovative water filtration system to market. The CustoMem team has developed a new biomaterial that can capture and recycle hazardous micropollutants found in industrial wastewater.

Enterprise Lab Awards 2018

We are excited to announce that we will recognise Imperial’s entrepreneurial heroes through our inaugural Enterprise Lab Awards. We’ll be celebrating the hard work, dedication and passion of individuals through awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year, Team of the Year, Society of the Year and Staff Supporter of the Year. Watch this space for further announcements on how to nominate.

COMM Keep up to date with all the news from the Lab at: www.imperialenterpriselab.com/news

Top women entrepreneurs crucial to the future of Britain and the world

Imperial College London President Alice Gast wrote in The Telegraph about our WE Innovate programme and the need to ensure that women’s entrepreneurial ambition isn’t stifled at the earliest stage. President Gast used our own Christina Petersen, CEO, LYS Technologies, (MSc Innovation Design Engineering 2016) as a shining example. President Gast then chaired a roundtable event with London & Partners. Several successful WE Innovate alumni joined female business leaders and entrepreneurs from the United States and Canada to discuss how to accelerate moves to a world where women are no longer a minority in tech leadership.

ThinAir continues to dominate ThinAir is one of just five teams to reach the final stage of the Water Abundance XPRIZE, a US$1.75m competition challenging teams to alleviate the global water crisis. ThinAir has created an energy-efficient technology that harvests fresh water from air. The device extracts a minimum of 2,000 litres of water per day from the atmosphere, using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more than two cents per litre and it could revolutionise access to fresh water..

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs



Don’t you want to make these go pop!

Sky invests in planet-saving startup Skipping Rocks Lab, who produce plastic-free packaging, has received investment from Sky Ocean Ventures, enabling it to accelerate its commercial launch after successful trials at Selfridges and events with Virgin Sport. Skipping Rocks Lab will also expand its research as it continues to develop other packaging solutions. Turn to page 08 to find out more about what the team at Skipping Rocks Lab get up to.

Prize winners Polipop, formally known as WithLula, and winner of WE Innovate 2017, announced itself to the world by winning the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition. Neuroloom, the creators of the biological connector that allows electrical signals to be passed directly into the nerve cells of the retina, won the 2018 Panacea Stars Accelerator Award.

Enterprise Lab Community Social Each month we host a supercharged social for all in our Lab community. Come along and hear what other teams have been up to, chat over a beer and have a go on the PS4. Check out page 37 for dates.

UN TY Come and try our very own IPA!

Head down to the Lab to check it out!

An acquired taste! THERMAL

EXHAUST Congratulations to the GraphicsFuzz PORTteam whose business was acquired by Google. For more info head here: www.graphicsfuzz.com

Oh, and while we’re talking acquisitions, another congratulations goes to Ben Kaube, whose Kopernio plugin was acquired by Clarivate Analytics.

Have you seen our new wall art?

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Our flagship competition, Venture Catalyst Challenge, is going to have five – yes FIVE – new tracks. These will be AI Software & Robotics, Health & Wellness, Digital & Consumer, Energy & Environment, and Social Impact. Make sure you’re signed up to the Enterprise Lab newsletter to find out more.



VCC 2019 is bigger and better …

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


Enterprising societies

Email: healthentrepreneurshipimperial@gmail.com Facebook: /healthentrepreneurship.imperial


ealth Entrepreneurship Imperial aims to facilitate and encourage discussions around the role of entrepreneurship in healthcare and bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise to improve healthcare delivery. An inaugural conference, ‘Delivering healthcare in the 21st century: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the NHS’, was held in May 2018, and specifically aimed to address whether the NHS should encourage entrepreneurship from within its ranks. Within our increasingly technological and innovationdriven society, we strive to embrace all the growing opportunities and knowledge that could facilitate the effective provision of healthcare across the UK.


Joyce Omatseye, Sarah Khavandi, Safa AlMusawi, Rachel Lee, Ekelemnna Obiejesie, Félicité Mukeshimana, Lamide Akinwuntan Health Entrepreneurship Imperial Founders

Enterprising societies Want to run an entrepreneurship event for your society? Check out our Student Society Fund: www.imperialenterpriselab.com/studentsocietyfund We use entrepreneurial action to solve social challenges.

ENACTUS We use entrepreneurial action to solve social challenges. As part of a global movement and with a membership of over 80 Imperial students, our teams run a wide variety of social enterprise projects designed to make a difference. Over the years our projects have spanned the globe, ranging from local London schools to rural villages in Kenya and Tanzania. Our projects create sustainable economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities, focusing on entrepreneurship, market economics, personal success skills, financial literacy and business ethics. We’re also dedicated to nurturing the entrepreneurial skills of university students in a way that is both effective in developing future careers and meaningful to the community. With training weekends, workshops, networking events, competitions and more, we ensure our members have every opportunity to develop themselves as the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Email: enactusicl@gmail.com Web: www.union.ic.ac.uk/cag/ enactus Facebook: /enactusimperial Twitter: @enactusimperial Instagram: @enactus.imperial LinkedIn: /company/ enactusimperial

MBA Connect Email: mbaconnect@imperialenterpriselab.com Web: www.imperialenterpriselab.com/ index.php/mba-connect/


BA Connect is an MBA student-led mentoring program that connects and supports students in the College with their career development and business ideas. It also provides a platform for MBA students to find the right technical resources to develop potential businesses. Nicole Suen, Society President

Jedidiah Cheung Society President

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Issue One / 2018


Enterprising societies

Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WSET)


Email: wset@ic.ac.uk Web: www.union.ic.ac.uk/scc/women_in_set Facebook: /ic.wset


omen in Science, Engineering and Technology (WSET) is a society that encourages students to pursue careers in these areas. We organise a variety of events ranging from skills workshops to company exclusives and social events – like our pizza evening in autumn term – with the largest being our flagship annual networking event. This event is an excellent opportunity to speak to company representatives, find out more about their recruitment processes and even available opportunities. Membership is completely free so you don’t have to pay to attend our events. We aim to raise the profile of SET careers for women and provide female students with visible role models whose achievements they can aspire to. Charmaine Lai, Society President

Email: dessoc@ic.ac.uk Web: www.dessoc.com Instagram: @imperialdessoc Facebook: /imperialdessoc


he Design Engineering Society aims to inspire a culture of innovation through the fusion of creativity and technology. We run a series of talks, workshops, hackathons and more throughout the year from the likes of Dyson, WPP and Industrial Design Consultants. These events explore topics related to Design Engineering, such as robotics, branding and sustainability, allowing you to gain insight into the next generation of technologies shaping our future. We also run design competitions, such as our sustainable water bottle design challenge. We facilitate cultural visits to exhibitions and locations such as the Design Museum and Clerkenwell Design Week, and present our own showcase of work in March each year, to help you immerse yourself in Design Engineering. Michael Hofmann Society President

Imperial College Students for the Exploration and Discovery of Space

MACHINE LEARNING SOCIETY Email: machine@ic.ac.uk Web: www.mlsoc.ai Twitter: @ML_ICL Facebook: /ICLML


achine learning, the study of bestowing computer systems with the ability to “learn” through pattern recognition algorithms, is one of the fastest-growing fields in computer science today. It is universally acknowledged that machine learning has the potential to evoke enormous breakthroughs in virtually every field due to the extensive versatility of its applications. We are dedicated to nurturing development and interest in the field of AI and envision London as ‘the shining city on a hill of Europe’, given its unmatched promise in sustaining a central hub of AI development and innovation. We are confident that Imperial deserves a place in the sun. We organise startup projects and host regular academic workshops and events for all levels of competence in the field.

Email: icseds@imperial.ac.uk Web: www.union.ic.ac.uk/guilds/icseds Facebook: /ICSEDS Twitter: @ICSEDS Youtube: /ICSEDS ICSEDS is Imperial’s space society. We are students with a passion for space exploration who are eager to make it a reality. ICSEDS gives students the opportunity to gain skills and hands-on experience of space technology working on real space projects, to meet new people and make valuable contacts at space events, and to inspire and educate the next generation through outreach activities in local schools. Richard Haythornthwaite Society President

Haron Shams and Harry Berg Society Presidents

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The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


A day in the life

Pierre-Yves Paslier Co-founder and Co-CEO

A day in the life: Skipping Rocks Lab Skipping Rocks Lab is the alumni startup that eliminates the need for plastic with packaging made from natural materials, like seaweed. By helping people make the switch from plastic to plants, Skipping Rocks Lab aims to stop 1 billion plastic bottles reaching the ocean every year and stop 300 million kilograms of CO2 from being emitted. These guys are real ecowarriors! You may have seen their first product, Ooho, a water bottle replacement, featured in Wired or Time magazines, or being handed out at Selfridges or Bestival. But saving the planet is no easy feat. Pierre-Yves Paslier, Co-founder and Co-CEO, fills us in on what a standard day in a startup is like – if indeed there is such a thing!

The Ritual… Is red bush tea with milk. That’s the best way to get the focus on and just get going. We have quite flexible working hours, so usually start between 8.30 and 9.30 and we always begin the week with a team meeting, so that everyone – in a couple of sentences – can tell the team what they’ve been doing and what’s planned for the week ahead. That’s a good way of making sure everyone has a common understanding of what’s going on. Then, usually, it’s a bit of a firefighter job. I just jump on the first problem there is to solve or the challenge that’s most pressing. It’s rare that I can just sit and catch up on my emails.

The Focus… At the moment is still very much development, but we’re just starting to have the production capacity to do a lot of events and test the product. Some days we have pretty big productions, which means a couple of the team working on the machine and producing maybe 1,000 Oohos in the day. And then what happens, like with any prototype, is that something gets stuck or a part breaks down. That’s where the firefighting comes in and we solve the problem, so that production can restart. Sometimes it’s also just getting organised. Recently we completed a new fundraising campaign, so we spent time getting all of the documents together to be able to progress, or we were talking to lawyers, or doing a bit of HR, or developing partnerships with brands.

We are producing about 1,000 Oohos a day D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Issue One / 2018


A day in the life You may have seen their first product, Ooho, a water bottle replacement, being handed out at events

Outside of work… It’s a good way to keep a bit of proximity to the product and get feedback from customers, so we do really like to attend as many events as possible A cup of Redbush Tea helps start the day!

You may have seen us at… Camp Bestival, Bestival and Shambala. They were pretty intense, because you have to get the stand up and running a couple of days before and stay until the day after the festival, so some team members are working on the stand for a week. We do take turns, so I’m not manning every stand at every event, but it’s a good way to keep a bit of proximity to the product and get feedback from customers, so we do really like to attend as many events as possible. We also distribute Oohos at marathons at the weekends and do a lot of corporate events and trade shows. But every event is quite different, and that’s the interesting bit at the moment. We have quite a few different avenues that we can go down with the product, and we’re just testing which one is the best performer, or requires the lowest requirements to get us started. For example, just recently we started a trial with Just Eat online food delivery, with ketchup and mayo sachets. When people order a burger or pizza, they get a seaweed sachet, rather than a plastic one, so that was quite different to anything we had done before! Every event has its own set of requirements and is quite interesting, because it’s a very fast and furious way for us to realise what the requirements for each market are. Now we understand that we might have a very different business if we focus solely on running events, rather than if we do ketchup sachets for deliveries.

The setup…

With Just Eat we were able to distribute about 6,000 sachets, so that’s 6,000 people who haven’t contributed a onetime plastic sachet to the landfill. It’s quite an exciting thought! Issue One / 2018

Is actually quite different from other startups. We were testing the natural materials for quite a while at Imperial White City Incubator and there’s a lot of great equipment in the lab. At the same time, though, you can’t consume whatever you make in a shared lab environment, as you don’t really know what your neighbour’s ‘cooking’. About a year-and-a-half ago we realised that we had to build our own lab, and that it was going to be a bit more like an industrial kitchen, because everything we make, we can eat. This allows us to do all of the lab work and R&D we need, but in a completely foodgrade space, which means that whatever we come up with, we can actually try ourselves.

Next up… We’re really keen on finding sustainable alternatives to all of the world’s packaging problems, so we’re not stopping at Ooho! There are a lot of things that can be done. For example, at the moment we’re working on trying to replace plastic as a waterproofing liner in coffee cups and salad boxes, which makes the waste very hard to recycle because the plastic is really difficult to separate from the cardboard.

I’m a bit of a thinker, so I quite like to get involved in other projects that involve some making and collaboration. At the moment I’m working with an artist on building some bronze sculptures. It’s very much experimental artwork. I’m quite into drones, so do a bit of aerial photography and flying drones in races. But going for a drink is the best way to wind down. I enjoy being in London. It’s an exciting city for entrepreneurs because there are so many different things to do. It’s quite amazing to have both a good entrepreneurial scene and a nice lifestyle to enjoy.

The best bit… Is seeing the products that we create being used. It’s exciting to see the impact we’re starting to have. For example, with Just Eat we were able to distribute about 6,000 sachets, so that’s 6,000 people who haven’t contributed a one-time plastic sachet to the landfill. It’s quite an exciting thought!

Recently we started a trial with Just Eat online food delivery

The worst bit… Is that there’s a lot of uncertainty and plans can change at any time. I think it’s what keeps this job super refreshing – that no two days are the same, but sometimes the ideas you’re building upon don’t work out the way you thought.

The most memorable bit … Is when we did our crowdfunding campaign. We prepared for maybe nine months. We were really struggling to put things together, to jump to the next step, out of cash and struggling to see how the whole situation could turn around. But I think probably it was that second day; waking up, opening the laptop and seeing that the campaign had progressed like crazy overnight. It was a shock to see how all of the hard work had paid off, and all of the doubts instantly disappeared in just a fraction of a second. In the end, we doubled our target in just three days. Seeing so many people excited about the business and becoming shareholders, that was definitely quite an exciting moment and quite an unexpected turn of events. The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


Subtracting barriers: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

“Being an entrepreneur is about doing things in a new way and creating new things, not just following what’s come before.”

Subtracting barriers:

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE More women than ever before are choosing careers in STEM subjects. In 2017, 24 per cent of employees in STEM industries in the UK were female, an increase of over 60,000 from the previous year. So, could parity in STEM be on the horizon? One woman from East London has made it her mission. D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Issue One / 2018


Subtracting barriers: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

“The aim is to change and shift that social norm, so we allow girls to see a different career path that they may not have considered before”


oogle Anne-Marie Imafidon and no matter which link you click, you will find a list of her super-impressive achievements. Child prodigy; the youngest girl to ever pass a Computing A-level; Master’s from Oxford at the age of 20; UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year 2013; Red magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ in 2014; Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in 2014 and Inspiring Fifty’s 7th Most Influential Woman in IT in 2017. It’s enough to put any of us to shame, right? But in addition to this long and ever-growing list of personal achievements, it’s Anne-Marie’s dedication to creating opportunities for girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that underpins all she does. She was even honoured with an MBE for her services to young women and the STEM sectors. Anne-Marie has committed her career to helping girls realise the opportunities available to them in STEM. Stemettes, the social enterprise that Anne-Marie co-founded in 2013, allows girls aged 5 to 21 to explore STEM subjects and introduces them to female role models that are otherwise hard to come across. As Anne-Marie explains: “the organisation’s mission is to increase participation of girls and young women in STEM, not just in education, but also through careers and career choices. Our ethos is that everything for the girls is free, it’s always fun and there’s always food!” Through Stemettes, girls get the opportunity to learn, experience and be inspired by a range of subjects and skills that they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to have. “Sometimes it’s building apps on websites, other times it’s designing rollercoasters and doing CAD (Computer Aided Design) work, sometimes we do maths puzzles and they get to create their own kind of encrypted messages, so it’s all kinds of different things really,” Anne-Marie explains. “We’ve given them the space to get creative themselves because then they feel some sense of ownership or a sense of achievement.” Another important part of the Stemettes experience, and something that is still lacking in today’s popular culture, is the exposure of successful women in STEM careers to the younger generation. Anne-Marie is tackling this by making sure she brings in as many role models

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as possible. “The aim is to change and shift that social norm, so we allow girls to see a different career path that they may not have considered before if they don’t have a parent working in the industry or if their school hasn’t had careers days.” The girls are given the opportunity to meet and identify with women working in STEM roles. “That’s a big part of what we do. You just get to talk to someone. If you’ve never met an astrophysicist or if you’ve never met a technologies project manager or if you’ve never met a CTO it’s cool to be able to sit with them and hear about why they do what they do and what it actually means.” Despite only being founded five years ago, Stemettes has already worked with 40,000 girls and young women in the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe and is already having a huge impact on the prospects of the girls it helps. “We’ve had lots of success stories. Lots of girls have been able to have the confidence to make their decisions, whether it’s to apply for and start a technical apprenticeship, or become a full-on data scientist, so you see girls that have been on the programme achieving really cool things.” Anne-Marie adds: “recently, Sky held a competition where they were giving away £25,000 worth of funding to young women in technology. Of the three girls that got the funding, two of them were Stemette’s programme alumni!” And it’s not just the girls that are directly involved in Stemettes that have been impacted. Through programme attendees spreading the word at school and to their friends and family, more and more young people are seeing opportunities for themselves in STEM. Anne-Marie is trying to harness this momentum by increasing the ripple effect, “looking at the girls’ capacity for leadership and being those change-makers for others around them we have set up Stemillions school clubs that are run by girls, some of whom are alumni, for other girls and other young people around them as well.” Anne-Marie’s advice to anyone thinking of starting a business, whether it be a social enterprise or not, is to seek forgiveness, not permission: “I’m not saying break the law, but there are lot of things where it’s always been done a certain way, but actually being an entrepreneur is about doing things in a new way and creating new things, not just following along with what’s come before.”

Advice: “Work out loud. Make sure that you’re constantly communicating what you’re up to, or what’s happening or what you’re thinking to allow others to be part of your thought process, but also to allow people to come along on that journey with you as an entrepreneur. You’re only as good as what you’ve done, and often the opportunities that you get are based on social proof.”

Inspiration: “Dame Stephanie Shirley. If you haven’t heard of her you should definitely look her up; she’s amazing. She ran a tech course in the 1960s for women at their kitchen tables who were coding and building things like the black box for Concord and stock control systems and incredible stuff that the country needed. And at that point women couldn’t open a bank account on their own!”

Future: “At the moment I’m mostly excited about opportunities in cybersecurity. I think there’s so much that’s going on in the digital space, things like smart TVs and the internet-of-things that are pushing the boundaries, but we’re a little bit delayed with the security element of all of it.”

Keep up to date with what AnneMarie and Stemettes are up to on Twitter: @aimafidon

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


White City: The future of innovation

White City: The future of innovation Just over 100 years ago White City was little more than farmland on the outskirts of London. Now it’s a thriving, metropolitan hub of innovation and creativity and the centre of Imperial’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Both White City and Imperial’s South Kensington Campus are rooted in the great international exhibitions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The development of Imperial’s South Kensington Campus traces back to the Great Exhibition in 1851, while White City was put on the map with the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition. The exhibition attracted thousands of visitors to the ‘Great White City’ to witness its striking domes, palaces and Olympic stadium. It also established Imperial’s first links to the area when a team of physicists showcased their equipment among the displays. Over the next thirty years, White City witnessed more international, institutional and industrial events. It would go on to become a cultural and artistic hub with the arrival of the BBC’s iconic Television Centre in 1960, a centre of modernist social housing in the White City Estate, and the home of Queens Park Rangers Football Club. Today, White City is undergoing its latest transformation as a home for cutting-edge research, business and culture. Imperial is at the forefront of this rejuvenation with the development of the White City Campus, creating a place for collaboration and co-location with business, academia, the local community and other partners. Opening the Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB) and the Invention Rooms has had a huge impact on the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, with more than 60 businesses locating or starting-up in White City, some growing from an idea to a scaling enterprise all with the support of the College. The I-HUB houses two important functions within this ecosystem; Central Working, a co-working space, home to businesses originating from Imperial, and across London; and White City Incubator, which provides office and ‘wet lab’ space for early-stage companies to grow.

The Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB) Space for a community of startups, SMEs and corporate partners to collaborate with our researchers to translate cutting-edge research into practical applications White City Incubator (In the I-HUB) An incubator providing office, laboratory space and support for early-stage companies

White City Campus

Central Working (In the I-HUB) Co-working space for West London’s enterprise community offering office space, hot-desks and meeting rooms as well as access to Central Working’s wider network of nine UK sites

The Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB)

A40 The Invention Rooms

Scale Space

The Invention rooms offers the White City community, including local schools and community groups, the facilities to pursue their ideas and to develop their own prototypes. It also encompasses the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace, which gives Imperial’s students and staff access to specialist prototyping and manufacturing equipment. The next addition to the White City innovation ecosystem will be Scale Space, a 200,000 sq ft innovation centre in partnership with digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot, opening in 2019. This facility will help fast-growth companies to scale-up, through direct support and insight from co-located strategic industrial partners, leaders in research, innovation and business building. Imperial is one of the world’s leading research and innovation universities, and once finished the White City Campus will double the footprint of the College, greatly expanding Imperial’s ability to create social and economic benefits.

The Invention Rooms Cutting edge workshops, design studios and interactive spaces for collaboration with the local community and our partners Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) (In the Invention Rooms) World-class workshop where you can turn your ideas into reality and rapidly convert research ideas into breakthrough prototype products and solutions. (Turn to page 22 to see how)




Scale Space Dedicated facility for fastgrowth technology companies to innovate and grow. Delivered in partnership with Blenheim Chalcot

White City timeline 1908







New alabaster buildings


Queens Park

Construction of the

BBC Television

Westfield London opens,

Imperial College

are opened at White City,

Hospital opens

Rangers Football

White City Estate

Centre opens

kick-starting the latest

London acquires

hosting the Franco-

Club moves to

transformation of

land for the new

British Exhibition and the

Loftus Road

White City

White City Campus

Summer Olympic Games


D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Free shuttle bus between campuses

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White City: The future of innovation

The Imperial Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem



Vice-President (Innovation), Imperial College London

Imperial Enterprise Lab Supports Imperials innovators and entrepreneurs through programmes, competitions and events as well as one-to-one support and co-working space



HYDE PARK South Kensington Campus COMMENT:


Imperial Enterprise Lab

Joint Managing Director, Upstream




“What are the ingredients for an entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem? You need lots of good ideas, talented people and facilities to develop them. “Imperial has a long history of supporting innovation, fostering engagement with businesses, other institutes, researchers and funders. Our South Kensington Campus has been a hub for enterprise for many decades, providing programmes to support ideation, incubation, business acceleration and collaboration with industry partners. The new White City Campus has been designed to intensify innovation and entrepreneurship. Facilities are already open for scientists, engineers, medics, businesses and the community to co-locate with institutions, major corporations, start-ups, spin-outs and venture funders. We have dedicated facilities for prototyping, incubating and scaling businesses. It is a rapidly expanding, vibrant neighbourhood rooted in discovery and innovation. “The thing we’re best at is innovation from deep science, tackling problems that are really difficult to solve, for example in healthcare, climate, the environment or security. You’ve got to have the right facilities and patient capital, alongside College’s core science – professors, post-docs, PhDs and students developing new ventures. What we’ve created in White City makes us pretty unique – I think that’s what’s special about us now.” “There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the White City Innovation District. Upstream is a partnership between Imperial and London Borough of Hammersmith created to help make the area an amazing place to work and play. “With a focus specifically on the media, tech and biotech clusters - Upstream is here to support and connect these rapidly growing communities. Working with startups, scale ups and big businesses across the borough, Upstream is here to grow, connect and help entrepreneurs, innovators and organisations thrive. “Since its launch in January 2018, Upstream Thursdays, where startups can trial working at the area’s co-working spaces for free, are growing in popularity. Upstream has run a number of clinics to support startups, hosts regular networking meetups, launched a comedy meets business festival – aka Gigglebyte – and has worked with exciting organisations and entrepreneurs across the borough, connecting them with potential partners, opportunities, mentors and collaborators. “We are here to make sure that working in Shoreditch is not the only option if you want to work in startups. With the number of innovative startups coming to White City increasing every month – there is no better time to be an entrepreneur in West London.” For more information about the ways you can get involved with Upstream and about the organisations based in White City visit www.move-upstream.org.uk or follow them on Twitter: @HelloUpstream.







BBC sells Television Centre

Imperial purchases

The Translation & Innovation

Opening of the

The Molecular Sciences

Opening of the Michael Uren

to developers Stanhope; first

11.5 acres of land in White

Hub (I-HUB) opens at the

Invention Rooms

Research Hub to open

Biomedical Engineering

buildings open at the White

City, extending its campus to

White City Campus

City Campus

a 23 acre site

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Research Hub and the residential building

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


Student game changer: Artificial Intelligence Thyroid Diagnostics

Charlotte McIntyre, Chief Medical Officer (PhD Surgery and Cancer) Marius Koch, Chief Technology Officer (PhD Aeronautics) Jan Rose, Chief Science Officer (PhD Aeronautics) Prof Neil Tolley, Senior Advisor

Student game changer:

Artificial Intelligence Thyroid Diagnostics By Charlotte McIntyre

D/srupt The Enterprise Lab Student Magazine

Issue One / 2018


Student game changer: Artificial Intelligence Thyroid Diagnostics

Only one in three indeterminate thyroid nodules are cancerous, yet all patients have to go through invasive surgery. AI Thyroid Diagnostics is designing artificial intelligence (AI) software to generate treatment recommendations to aid clinicians.


here are around 3,400 new cases of thyroid cancer in the UK each year, and over the last decade, thyroid cancer incidence rates have increased by 74 per cent. Professor Neil Tolley and I are members of the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust Thyroid Cancer MDT, and have meetings each week about patients being investigated for thyroid cancer. These meetings are time and resource consuming and, recognising there is also an element of human error, the idea for Artificial Intelligence Thyroid Diagnostics came about. Professor Tolley is our main advisor and is an expert in managing and treating patients with thyroid cancer. The lead of the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust, he is the ideal person to have advising and working with us. My co-founders, Jan and Marius, study as PhD students in the Department of Aeronautics and have an interest in machine learning, so when I was discussing the idea they were both keen to get involved. I’m currently doing a PhD within the Department of Surgery and Cancer and the Department Aeronautics, looking at the effect of enlarged thyroid glands on the airway and using computational fluid dynamics to assess the airway. We’ve also recently connected with Mikhail, an MBA student, through the MBA Connect scheme. He’s a great addition to the team! The Imperial Enterprise Lab has been fundamental to the development and

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progress of our idea. We took part in the WE Innovate competition 2017-18 and have gained so much from being part of the process. We had one-to-one business coaching with Janet Murray, who is an incredible business coach and has helped take our idea from a concept to the foundations of a business with a clear plan for future directions. We have had training on presenting and pitching from Dr Terry Clark, from the Royal College of Music, which has really transformed how we think about capturing audience attention. We have also attended countless inspiring lectures and talks in the Enterprise Lab from a number of very talented and successful individuals who have kindly given their time to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. More than anything we have been driven by all the energy and support of the whole Enterprise Lab and we are so grateful! At the moment we are in the process of developing the software and training the software with data. This is where the hard work and graft comes in and all members of our team are working to ensure we produce something that will hopefully improve patient outcomes. Our first success was forming a team with the right expertise to drive forward the idea; we feel lucky to have the combination of both clinical and computing backgrounds in a team that communicates well and understands each other’s ideas. We came second in

the WE Innovate competition and won £10,000 of funding to put towards our business. This funding will go towards certifying our software for use in healthcare systems in the UK and the EU. Another key step for us has been gaining approval to run the software alongside our human thyroid MDT, which will be part of training and

process begins we cannot know if that is sufficient. We have, however, developed contingency plans. My advice to those starting out would be to work with people who drive each other and push each other in the right direction. Find a team that can work together towards the bigger goal and don’t get tied down

Imperial Enterprise Lab has been fundamental to the development and progress of our idea. validating the software. Presently, time seems to be our biggest obstacle. The data collection and development phase is incredibly time consuming and we are juggling this alongside our other commitments. Fortunately, we meet at least a couple of times a week to touch base and keep up to speed with progress and targets. Another setback has been that we are unable to predict how much data the software will require to be trained to a high level. We have access to a large dataset, but until the training

in the minor details that could halt the momentum. Communication, understanding each other’s roles and respecting every individual’s input are the biggest factors in forming a successful team that can together grow something from a concept into a business. Currently, our running costs are minimal. We are using open source software and our team has the expertise to develop our product. Once developed and trained, we will be looking for an investment to take our product to market.

Read about more of our game changers at www.imperialenterpriselab.com

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


The Godfather of Lean

“Lean was a disruption to the standard business school model on how to build startups. It was radical.”

The Godfather of Lean

From serial entrepreneur to losing £35 million, Steve Blank used his experience to bounce back and make his next venture a multibilliondollar success. This experience gave him the insight to revolutionise the way new ventures are created. D/srupt caught up with Steve about life in Silicon Valley, the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial journey and how the Lean Startup method he created continues to evolve.

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Issue One / 2018


Feature Title


teve kickstarted the Lean Startup movement with his seminal text The Four Steps to the Epiphany; and his followon, The Startup Owner’s Manual, is considered the founder’s bible. Steve spent the first half of his working life as a serial entrepreneur, racking up a total of eight tech startups before turning to academia; spending his time developing the Customer Development approach to new venture creation; creating the Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship course; and teaching at Stanford, UC Berkeley and Columbia. Now, Steve advises large corporates and government agencies in the US on cultivating innovation from within.

So Steve, what is the Lean Startup method? In the 20th century, investors told startups they were nothing more than smaller versions of large companies and should go and do everything that large companies do, write a business plan and raise money. The major failure was not understanding that large companies are about execution of a known business model, but startups are actually quite different. They’re about searching for a business model, and the Lean methodology is an aid to do that. We’ve had tools for 100 years on how to execute but had no formal methodology for searching for a business model until recently. So Eric Ries, Alexander Osterwalder and I individually developed methodologies that together became known as the Lean Startup. The Lean Startup says that all you have on day one, though you believe they’re facts, are actually a series of untested hypotheses. Osterwalder put together the Business Model Canvas to articulate what hypotheses are necessary to build a successful company. Step two is getting out of the building to test those hypotheses, and that was my contribution, using something called Customer Development. Customer Development says, look, there are no facts inside your building so get the heck outside! Eric Ries’ contribution was realising that the way you should build products is incrementally, using agile engineering, and when you do that, you can build Minimum Viable Products. It allows you to test as you go along. So those components – Issue One / 2018

Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Engineering – make up the Lean Startup. Over the last 10 years there has been a move away from business plan competitions in entrepreneurship education. Why is that? We’ve now learned that no business plan survives first contact with customers. I remember first coming to the realisation that the current way of writing a business plan was all wrong, but not understanding what we should do. In my experience, the business plans that succeeded were the ones where I ignored conventional advice. I spent three years figuring it out and now

that not only was traditional, linear product development being replaced by agile techniques, but pairing it with Customer Development would create something powerful. Eric became the first evangelist of Lean Startup. The Lean Startup might just be another great academic idea, but it’s caught fire because he was so passionate about it. You hear lots of talk about Lean Startup in relation to digital tech businesses, but how relevant is it to someone looking to build a ‘deep tech’ life science company? I was sceptical as well, but following the success of the Lean LaunchPad class I taught at Stanford, I got a call from the US National Science

“That’s the nature of a successful entrepreneur – they’re willing to say I don’t care if you’ve been doing this for 50 years, I’m going to go out and disrupt your industry” I can explain it in a minute and a half! And it was only possible for two reasons: I had been a practitioner, and I was truly interested in understanding a theoretical basis of innovation entrepreneurship. And that’s the nature of a successful entrepreneur – they’re willing to say, “Well I don’t care if you’ve been doing this for 50 years, I’m going to go out and disrupt your industry”. And so, thinking about it, Lean was a disruption to the standard business school model on how to build startups. It was radical. How quickly did those ideas spread? Well, for me it was just a theoretical problem I wanted to solve. I invested in a startup and as a condition of my investment, insisted that the CEO and the head of engineering, Eric Ries, take my course at Berkeley. Eric got it instantly. He quickly recognised

Foundation. They said: “We think you have invented the scientific method for Entrepreneurship”. To cut a long story short, all of the US government research agencies, including parts of our National Institute of Health, have adopted the class to commercialise science. It is now called the I-Corps, or Innovation Corps, and it’s taught in 81 universities. The mistake for life science entrepreneurs is thinking that Lean Startup is about how you’re going to do your science or run your clinical trials. Actually, Lean Startup is about figuring out all the components of the commercialisation of the science. For example, take a medical device. Who’s the customer? Is it Grandma who’s receiving the artificial hip? Or is it the doctor fitting it? Or is it the hospital or the insurance company? How do you get reimbursed? What are the regulatory issues? What are the clinical trial end points? Who are the Key Opinion Leaders? Who

should be on your Scientific Advisory Board? Who is going to acquire you? When? So there’s a whole new area that has nothing to do with deep science, but has everything to do with the commercialisation of deep science. How do you explain the success of innovators like Steve Jobs who are famously quoted for ignoring customer needs? It helps to understand there are at least three types of startups. One is what I call an existing market; you’re just adding another feature and it’s really easy to go out of the building and do customer development. The second is re-segmenting or adding value to an existing market by introducing variants, and again, you can still go out and find out what’s not being covered. But the third type – the ones that Jobs and Elon Musk sit within – they’re disrupters. They’re creating a new market that didn’t exist and you can’t go out and do the same type of customer development; you really have to have a good intuitive sense, and this overused word of being a ‘visionary.’ Steve Jobs truly had an instinctual understanding of what people really needed. He could see it before most others. And he drove his engineers to deliver his vision. The reality, though, is 95% of visionaries are actually hallucinating, and the problem is it’s hard to tell the difference. What habits or mindsets do you feel make entrepreneurs successful? Let me give you the opposite first. I believe what makes an unsuccessful entrepreneur is hubris; believing you know it all. I see the problem every day – the smarter you are, the more difficult it is to convince you that you need to talk to other people. Very smart students think they can pre-compute a customer’s problem and, therefore, the solution to it. But it’s impossible to precompute the collective intelligence of your potential customers. Those facts only exist outside the building. The problem is that customer development feels like a distraction, because if you’re a great entrepreneur, your instinct is to just start to build something, so ‘wasting time’ talking to others goes against your DNA.

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


The Godfather of Lean

“I went from the cover of Wired magazine to losing $35 million. It was a very public failure.” What advice would you give to any aspiring student or graduate entrepreneur? I still think there’s huge advantage in apprenticeships, actually, rather than starting a business yourself – working in a startup, watching and paying close attention to not just your job but what’s going on in the company. That’s the best education. Because most startups are going to fail. To succeed is wonderful, but if they fail, you’ll learn more. The problem is, when you’re trying to start a business yourself, you’re so head-down, it’s hard to extract those lessons. What’s been your biggest mistake or failure as an entrepreneur/ investor? My seventh startup, Rocket Science Games, failed completely. I believed I was an incredibly successful entrepreneur, so I didn’t need to listen to anybody. I went from the cover of Wired magazine to losing $35 million and it was a very public failure. In fact, the seeds of what became Customer Development in my next startup came out of that failure. How did you deal with it? First, there was shock and surprise. Within 90 days of being on the cover of Wired, I found out our games were terrible, no one was buying them, our best engineers started leaving, and we’re running out of money and about to crash. I thought this can’t be happening. Next, there was denial. I had done everything the investors asked me to do. I raised a ton of money and got a ton of press. We hired everyone according to our plan. It was everyone else who screwed up. I did everything right. Then anger. This was the fault of my co-founder; it was the engineers who bailed on me; it was the sales and marketing people who didn’t tell me how bad the games were; it was the VCs who refused to put any more money in the company.

Depression. When the inevitability and magnitude of the failure sunk in, I slept in a lot. There were days I’d get up late and go to bed again at 5pm. I lost interest in anything associated with my past industry. Acceptance. I began to think about what I should have done, could have done, and pondered why I didn’t do it. I didn’t listen, I didn’t act, I didn’t own my role as CEO, I wasn’t prepared to do what was right or leave. This was hard and didn’t happen overnight, but over time I took ownership of my primary role in the debacle. Insight and behaviour change. This was the hardest part. While I stopped blaming others, understanding what I could change in my behaviour took long months. It would have been much easier to just move on, but I was looking for the lessons that would make my next startup successful. I looked at the patterns of behaviour, not just at my last company, but also across my entire career. I learned how to dial back the hubris, get other smart people to work with me – rather than just for me – listen better, and act and do what was right – regardless of what others thought I should do. One of the great things about being in an innovation cluster is that we have a special word for failure: experience. The first thing that happened when I closed the company down was that the VCs who had invested before gave me another $12 million to start my next company. I returned $1 billion each to the two VCs with that next venture. That would not have happened in a place where you only get one shot at the goal. Students should appreciate that they’re now in a globally recognised tech cluster that will tolerate failure, because unlike a large company, most startups fail. And if they’re not resilient and tenacious, they should not be in this business.

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No one wants to fail, but failure in the commercial sense is much like failure in the laboratory, which scientists can understand. Most experiments don’t work. We are conducting commercial experiments. Treat it that way and do it in a cluster, and you get to do it again. What’s the next big thing? There are so many great things going on in innovation and startups, I’ve actually started to help the companies they’re disrupting. I think I’m right in saying innovation in the startup space is well in-hand. For the first time in history, startups have more money than the corporations do and so companies are being disrupted at a rapid rate. They’re just trying to figure out how to stay alive. Government agencies are being disrupted by exactly the same forces, and so I’m spending most of my time helping them in the US. While we can afford to have a retail chain like Macy’s go out of business, we can’t afford to have The United States Department of Defense go out of business. Some people have said that it’s the beginning of the end for Lean Startup. What do you think? We’ve learned a tonne since we came up with the Lean Startup concept. Customer Development and Lean Startup were born in the rubble of the dotcom crash at the beginning of this century. Financial resources and angel and venture capital were scarce. There were no formal methods on how to build a startup. Investors simply told us to write a business plan and then go and execute the plan (build the product, hire and then go and sell) and expect bags of money to show up. Lean Startup allowed us to eliminate waste – wasted money, time, people – and get closer to what people want earlier. However, with startups now having access to lots of capital, the tolerance for

waste is approaching levels not seen since the last dotcom crash, and getting product or market fit right no longer feels as urgent as it did. For Lean Startup, as practised inside companies, one of the biggest learnings was that while startups were not smaller versions of large companies, companies are not larger versions of startups. What we’ve found is that the Lean Startup tools and techniques that work in startups usually result in ‘innovation theatre’ in companies and government agencies. Over the last decade, companies and government agencies have adapted and adopted startup innovation tools, including Lean, Design Thinking, User-centric Design, Business Model Canvas, etc., as well as startup activities and teambased innovation, like hackathons, incubators, Kickstarters, I-Corps or GE’s FastWorks. Because they are disconnected from the mainstream business or mission model, very few have been able to scale past a demo or prototype. For these organisations, we’ve built something we call ‘the Innovation Stack’ – a superset of Lean – which recognises that innovation is more than just a single activity. What would you recommend reading and learning from? I would start with Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design, as they get the concepts across immediately. I think they’re essential. I would also recommend the free Udacity course, How to Build a Startup, and my article in the Harvard Business Review from 2013, ‘Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything’. If you want history, read The Four Steps to the Epiphany, and Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. The stack begins from there and leads on to a thousand great books.

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Student game changer: Fresh Check

Alex Bond, CEO (Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2019) John Simpson, CTO (Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2019) Robert Peach, Co-founder (Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2019)

Student game changer:

Fresh Check by Alex Bond

A revolutionary new product, Fresh Check, provides the world’s first affordable method of confirming cleanliness.


he Fresh Check spray warns users if their surfaces are contaminated with dangerous levels of bacteria, caustic chemicals or organic soilants by showing a simple colour change. Currently, the food industry spends £100 million a year on testing surface hygiene and there is only one viable method of on-the-spot testing. By offering a cost-per-test of just 30 pence, Fresh Check can save the industry 50–80 per cent of their hygiene audit costs. We developed Fresh Check after being inspired by our colleagues who won the Cross-CDT Dragon’s Den (now Collab_) competition. We wanted to find a solution to a problem that we all faced – expensive food spoiling after its Issue One / 2018

use-by date. We had often eaten chicken that was past its use-by date and decided we wanted to find a better way of testing food safety. The smart use-by date we developed was ultimately unsuccessful because of the razor-thin profit margins in the food industry, but the core colour change technology still worked, and we ultimately developed it into the spray we have today. The team met in the summer of 2013, all colleagues on the same PhD course. John and Rob actually lived together before we started work on Fresh Check! Most of our advisors are industry contacts we have met through investors or at formal networking events. We met our major advisor,

food hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley, after spending a long time researching the field. Her name came up incredibly often and she was very willing to help out, so it only made sense to make her a formal advisor. The events and programmes hosted by the Enterprise Lab have been essential, particularly before we secured funding. We gained crucial exposure and ultimately met our primary investor through the Imperial Innovations events we spoke at. The six-week Venture Catalyst Challenge (VCC) is the most important training course we’ve done. Before this, we’d had no experience running a business and no idea what might be expected of us, so we’re immensely grateful for the training we received. We have received our pre-seed funding and are currently working to get industry approval for our most sensitive spray. Once we’ve got the testing complete and have begun to build some sales, we’re going to start developing a range of new products that address even more of the issues the hygiene industry faces. Our most notable successes so far have been: 1. Securing funding – It really did feel like a huge achievement when we managed to prove the value of our idea to other people and they gave us money so we could start working on it full time. 2. Developing a product that has started to turn heads – It was very exciting to have made a product that people were talking and getting enthusiastic about, to the extent that they started coming to us. 3. Being recognised by an international community for the work we’ve done – It still doesn’t feel quite real that we were featured on the Forbes 30-under-30 list in 2017, but we’re all tremendously proud!

Despite these successes, there have been a few setbacks along the way, including: 1. Not being able to work on Fresh Check full time – When we founded Fresh Check we were all PhD students and had to spend a lot of time on our studies and research. Although that was unavoidable, it was pretty clear when we started working on the company full time that working only evenings and weekends had held us up. 2. Cash flow – At times we simply didn’t have enough money to cover the cost of development, or wages, or both. It’s a common issue with many startups, and everything gets easier if you’ve got a bit of money behind you. 3. Defining the market – This was probably our biggest setback. Once we’d set our sights on releasing our spray bottle we had to delve into the food manufacturing industry. This industry is relatively secretive; a lot of information is closely guarded and there are many gatekeepers. It took finding an advisor who was well respected and known in the industry to really start opening doors. There’s a lot of specific advice we could give to anyone starting their own business, but one of the overarching things is perseverance There are so many ups and downs, moments where it all feels close to reality and moments where you question whether you should continue. But if you have a genuinely useful idea, then sticking at it through those low points will pay off eventually. www.freshcheckuk.com Twitter: @fresh_check

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


What kind of entrepreneur are you?

What kind of entrepreneur are you? Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and while there’s no such thing as a typical entrepreneur, many fall into certain categories. Take our test to learn what kind of entrepreneur you are.

Which of the following best describes you? A / B / C / D / E / F /

Ideas person Ideals person Resource gatherer Schmoozer Umm… just a student? Career-minded

Where do you write down your new ideas? A / B / C / D / E / F /

Back of a napkin In a manifesto Tablet or phone Social media or blog In the margins somewhere Personal planner

If you were to start your own company, which of the following would be most important to you? A / B / C / D / E / F /

Get my idea out there Change the world for the better Be my own boss Fame and followers Solve something that’s bugging me Maximise efficiency

How do you make tough decisions? A / B / C / D / E / F /

Gut instinct In partnership with my team With extensive research Based on whatever makes the most money Phone home In consultation with colleagues

What’s the basis of your business strategy? A / B / C / D / E / F /

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

New ideas executed well Make money, make a difference Old concepts done better Monetising followers What’s a business strategy? Delivering shareholder value

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What kind of entrepreneur are you?

Whatever type of entrepreneur you are, find the right programmes, activities and opportunities for you by visiting the Imperial Enterprise Lab website: www.imperialenterpriselab.com

The results: Mostly As:

Mostly Bs:

Mostly Cs:

Visionary entrepreneurs combine new and innovative ideas with the drive and enthusiasm needed to rally people behind them and make them happen.

Social entrepreneurs are driven by a passion for solving pressing social or environmental needs and issues by using a commercial business model to drive sustainable change.

Serial entrepreneurs are equipped with an aptitude for solving problems, combined with incredible levels of personal motivation and the drive to keep pushing forward, no matter the challenge.

Think: Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS Shoes, or Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy

Think: Elon Musk, Co-founder of Tesla and Founder of SpaceX, or Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

The Visionary Entrepreneur

Think: Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple, or Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon Top tip: Having a big vision is great, but don’t get lost in it. Always remember, successful entrepreneurs execute.

The Social Entrepreneur

Top tip: Don’t confuse social enterprise and charity. Both are important but social enterprises generate their social impact first and foremost by generating profit.

Mostly Ds:

The Opportunist Entrepreneur Opportunist entrepreneurs are enthusiastic go-getters who love life in the limelight and can spot money-making opportunities from a mile off. Think: Alan Sugar, Founder of Amstrad, or Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, Founder of Zoella Top tip: Don’t focus on short-term profits at the expense of building a valuable longterm brand. Think Amstrad versus Apple. Never heard of Amstrad? Exactly.

Top tip: Be careful you don’t bite off more than you can chew and beware the multitasking myth. Focus on one thing at a time and delegate tasks that aren’t top priority. Also, stop and think before you tweet (yes Elon, we mean you!).

Mostly Es:

The Accidental Entrepreneur Accidental entrepreneurs (sometimes also known as User Entrepreneurs) are driven by a burning passion or need to solve a problem; be it global warming, at one end of the scale, or a better way to meet people at events, at the other. Why accidental? Because they frequently don’t start out thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. Think: Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz, or Thomas Edison, Inventor and Businessman Top tip: Don’t worry that you don’t have an MBA (assuming you’re not a business student, that is) and leave your preconceptions about what an entrepreneur looks and sounds like at the door.

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The Serial Entrepreneur

Mostly Fs:

The Intrapreneur Intrapreneurs, you guessed it, are entrepreneurial individuals who apply their creativity, innovation and drive inside larger companies and organisations rather than going it alone and setting up their own startup ventures. Think: Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, or Paul Buchheit, Creator of Gmail Top tip: Remember that startups aren’t for everyone. Lots of traditional companies are looking to recruit entrepreneurial individuals to help them reimagine their business models and stay relevant in a fast-moving world.

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


What the hack?

Our magic dust is the community Professor Oscar Ces

What the hack? The Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) is a unique community of over 2,000 like-minded hackers, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs from across the College.


CAH’s mission is to deliver the skills, resources and people to support its members and partners with the development of their ideas. As such, ICAH provides access to a unique network of workshops, laboratories, co-location spaces, world-class prototyping equipment and professional experts across Imperial. With a community that’s growing by a staggering 100 individuals per month, ICAH has created a vibrant environment for Imperial’s students and staff to turn ideas into reality. When first established in 2014, ICAH consisted of just six ideation

and hackspaces at the South Kensington Campus. In 2017, ICAH extended its world-class capabilities with a new bespoke facility at The Invention Rooms at White City, and this network of spaces is set to continue growing in 2018 with a new bio and molecular hackspace (FABRICA) opening in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, just across the road from the Invention Rooms. Today, ICAH’s facilities include: electrical and mechanical engineering workshops; a digital fabrication, electronics and robotics space; a computational suite; wet

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biolabs; design studios; and touchdown spaces. This network of ICAH spaces houses an extensive portfolio of prototyping technologies (both commercial and bespoke) and is one of the largest hack facilities of its kind in the world. Oscar Ces, Professor in Chemistry at Imperial and Co-Director of ICAH, explains: “in our spaces we support ‘making’ in its broadest sense, from synthetic biology to molecular fabrication, to metalwork, woodwork, electronics, robotics, woodwork and textiles; it’s all under one roof. ICAH has supercharged the ideation

and innovation pipelines at the College, reducing the time between idea and realworld impact.” Members from inside and outside the College benefit from access to ICAH’s prototyping facilities, training classes, networking opportunities, booster funding, mentoring and technology showcases. Hackathons Corporate partners and SMEs are also keen to get in on the action. ICAH is tailor made for Imperial staff, students, alumni and commercial partners from different disciplines to work together to rapidly convert research ideas into breakthrough prototype products and solutions. Professor Ces explains that ICAH is also a place where companies come to recruit the brightest minds:

“If you want to meet global thinkers, change makers, leaders, innovators, value creators, and problem solvers, then hang around here. This is their home.” Hackathons are a great way for companies to find the above. Technologists, innovators and scientists work together to develop solutions for defined challenges from industry in a ‘scale fast, fail fast’ framework. Professor Ces and the ICAH team ensure that the best hackers for the brief are at the event and are in interdisciplinary teams. “We make sure the team has expertise in different areas. They come along for the opening night, the company pitches the question, and then boom, they get cracking,” he says. Hackathons represent a step change in the pace at which technology innovation can be undertaken, fusing idea generation and creativity with intense prototyping sessions. During these events, ideas generated are validated and transformed into working prototypes in a matter of days, with typically 100 to 150 researchers working together. Community ICAH also works alongside the wider innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at Imperial, including the Enterprise Lab and White City Incubator, to offer the best journey for anyone in the community to go from idea to commercialisation. ICAH’s community is supported and encouraged by a wide network of Hackers-in-Residence. “These are typically alumni who’ve got their own spinouts or startups. Reflecting the community ethos of ICAH, they give us a day a week of their time to help run the space and help to maintain the community,” Professor Ces explains. Also on hand to support makers and innovators are Issue One / 2018


What the hack?

GyroGear GyroGear, founded by Imperial alumnus Dr Faii Ong, is developing wearable technology that can improve quality of life for people who suffer from hand tremors, such as those with Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor.


aii came up with the idea for the GyroGlove while studying Medicine at Imperial. He was caring for a 103-year-old woman who was becoming increasingly frail because she was struggling to feed herself due to hand tremors. The first product, GyroGlove, is an intelligent glove that stabilises hand tremors using mechanical gyroscopes to create an instantaneous resisting force. Like spinning tops that try to stay upright, gyroscopes similarly seek to remain in the same position by conserving angular momentum. Combined with accelerometers, the obtained stabilisation adapts autonomously to the type of tremors the patient experiences.

the Hackspace Fellows. “They support people and actually run the spaces. They’re not technicians. These are people who typically have a PhD and extensive multi-disciplinary research experience and they just a) love fixing and building things and b) enjoy linking people together.” ICAH also has a specialised mentoring network, with mentors known as Senior Hack Fellows, who specialise in topics such as technology transfer, intellectual property, scale-ups and much more besides. These experts come into the space each month to advise teams on commercialisation and other areas that the community would otherwise not easily have access to. Issue One / 2018

The first GyroGlove prototype was created in the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace, and with the world-class facilities and expertise available, Faii and the team have been able to adapt and innovate to significantly reduce the size and refine the product. This has allowed the team to work with volunteers to further optimise their prototypes and ready the design for manufacture. GyroGear has recently received €1.8m through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, which supports groundbreaking ideas for products, services or processes with the potential to create entirely new markets or revolutionise existing ones. www.gyrogear.co

Professor Ces says: “our magic dust is the community. It’s really cutting across all the faculties of the College, bringing together students and staff alike. Everyone helps each other. If you’re stuck, you can get on the Slack channel and ask the team, ‘I’m stuck on this, who could help with that?’ and they normally get three or four offers. Everyone helps each other build things”. He encourages anyone interested in making, creating and innovating to join the ICAH community: “bring your imagination, ICAH brings the rest”.

If you want to meet global thinkers, change makers, leaders, innovators, value creators, and problem solvers, then hang around here. This is their home.

The Big Life Fix Ryan White, Advanced Hackspace Manager and Fellow at ICAH, is also a ‘Fixer’ in BBC Two’s The Big Life Fix, where the UK’s leading inventors and innovators create ingenious new solutions to everyday problems and build life-changing solutions for people in desperate need. These include a 12-year-old ballerina who lost her leg and a teenager with cerebral palsy who loves sailing. FInd out more: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09g5hwf

Bring your imagination, ICAH brings the rest

Find out more: www.imperial.ac.uk/ advanced-hackspace The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


How to... Be more creative


Be more creative By Professor Peter Childs, Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering

Creativity is often defined in terms of a series of attributes, such the ability to come up with ideas that have novelty and value, be it financial or societal or both.

Creativity has traditionally been associated with humans, but there are many examples of creative problem solving that are exhibited by birds in nesting solutions, predators in hunting, and in the extraction of food from a challenging nook or cranny by many species. For us, though, creativity is an activity we tend to engage in naturally when facing a challenge, but also through those seemingly idle moments when an idea comes to mind when we least expect it. After about 70 years of sustained research on creativity, advice on how to be more creative abounds.

Here are some of my favourite suggestions:


Ensure you have a mix of relaxation and concentration each day. Both serve different purposes, with concentration on a task that you know how to do tending to be highly productive. Relaxation, whether it is taking a gentle walk in Hyde Park, being with friends having a beverage, travelling, having a bath or shower, or daydreaming, is important in helping a steady interplay between your subconscious and conscious thinking.


Creativity tools such as some of the forms of brainstorming, six hats, morphological analysis and TRIZ (the theory of inventive brainstorming) can be highly effective in providing a wide diversity of ideas for consideration and systematically exploring an idea space.


As ideas emerge it’s important to write them down. Our working memory has limits and ideas can fade away in seconds. So use a notebook and record those fabulous ideas you have. Later on, you can come back and review these, elaborating on aspects and building them into a stronger concept. An initial idea will benefit from further work, adding detail and addressing issues so that it becomes more and more robust.


Tinker – fiddle with items and technology, take things to pieces and think about what function each component fulfils and whether it can be improved or repurposed.

If you want to acquire some skills using creativity tools, check out the free EdX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) led by Professor Childs on creativity. Find out more: www.bit.ly/creativitymooc

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Issue One / 2018


Enterprise Lab essentials

Enterprise Lab essentials According to Fast Company, the average CEO reads between 50 and 60 books per year, and many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to the amount of content they consume. Bill Gates reads for an hour a night to “indulge his curiosity” and Ajit Singh credits reading with improving his communication skills. Here is a selection of what the Enterprise Lab team is listening to, reading and watching: BEN The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steve Blank

JEN GetProduct MarketFit blog

OLIVIA Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

FERDINAND Enterprise Lab Spotify playlist

It’s a close call between Tim Harford’s Adapt and Hans Rosling’s Factfulness, but I think all budding entrepreneurs should read Four Steps to the Epiphany. It redefined how people think about venture creation and kickstarted the Lean Startup revolution.

Our very own Business Coach, Davide Turi, has a superb blog with hundreds of resources for budding entrepreneurs. A great place to start is ‘What is product-market fit and how to achieve it’.

Lean In has inspired a generation of female entrepreneurs and Sheryl is a constant inspiration to future female leaders. If you take away one thing from this book it’s that we can all make a difference in the diversity stakes.

No venture was ever built without a world-class soundtrack to go with it, so we created the Enterprise Lab’s Spotify playlist to help keep you motivated! Head down to the Lab for a listen.

NIKITA The Tim Ferriss Show podcast

CAMILLE Desert Island Discs (the entrepreneurial ones), Radio 4

HERNANI Silicon Valley, NowTV

LIZ The Mom Test, Rob Fitzpatrick

The Tim Ferriss Show is the number one business podcast on Apple Podcasts and for good reason! Check out the episode where Tim talks to Brian Chesky of Airbnb on how to scale to over 100 million users.

The Radio 4 staple, Desert Island Discs is a must for innovative types. Listen to Dr Sue Black talk about her work to set up Tech Mums or to Guy Singh-Watson about his company, Riverford, for some entrepreneurial inspiration.

Well, because you can’t work all the time and everyone loves following the trials and tribulations of fictional startup Pied Piper! I suggest starting at the first episode ‘Minimum Viable Product’ and watching all five seasons. The perfect Sunday binge watch!

The Mom Test is the only book you need to validate your business idea. A must for anyone thinking about starting a new venture. Key takeaway: talk less and listen more to your customers.

JAMES The a16z Podcast


The legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm has a series of podcasts that talks in detail about everything from career development as an entrepreneur to the rise of cryptocurrencies. Listen to ‘Building Companies in Crypto, from People to Code’.

If you want to be inspired, take some time out to listen to a TED talk. My recommendation would be Cameron Herold’s ‘Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs’ and Regina Hartley’s ‘Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume’.

You can borrow these and many more from our Enterprise Lab Library. Just head down to the Lab and check out our bookshelf.

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Change Maker in Chief: Dr Elizabeth Hauke

Change Maker in Chief: Dr Elizabeth Hauke


ombating climate change, tackling gender inequality and ensuring universal access to education are just some of the environmental and social pressures that will shape the world in the coming century. Solving these challenges will require the brightest minds, an understanding of real-world issues and one person willing to take on the challenge of bringing it all together… Meet Dr Elizabeth Hauke, Principal Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication, and Education Innovation guru. Elizabeth runs the internationally award-winning Global Challenges courses at Imperial, comprising over 10 different courses connecting the work students do in the lab to real-world issues. “With the wealth of subjects, knowledge and expertise here at Imperial, we have the capacity to solve global issues, assist struggling communities and connect students with real-world challenges,” explains Elizabeth. “Global Challenges breaks students out of the labs, confronts them with skill-building challenges and connects them to real-world issues.” As part of the Imperial Horizons programme, Global Challenges allows undergraduate students

to take credited, extra-disciplinary modules in order to gain transferable skills to take into the workplace. The courses also develop skills in communication, team-working, problem-solving, business and organisational awareness. “The Global Challenges courses put the student’s degree in a broader context, connecting disciplines and considering the social, ethical and cultural dimensions of a range of global issues. We give students the opportunity to research and problem-solve their choice of challenge in multidisciplinary teams, using a range of new and diverse ways of working,” Elizabeth explains.

Real-world impact

The courses available include: The world today – Innovating for change; Design for sustainable development; and A SMART life, among many others. So far, so usual. What makes Global Challenges different however, is that within each course students can pick the challenge that they would like to focus on and propose a solution, and many of these projects make it out into the real world and are successfully implemented. “One project focused on a remote village in Vietnam that was

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Global Challenges breaks students out of the labs, confronts them with skill-building challenges and connects them to realworld issues. prone to flooding during the rainy season,” says Elizabeth. “Many attempts had been made to stop the flow of water and avoid the flooding, but after the students researched the community and the situation, the team devised a solution.” That solution involved looking at the problem from a different angle. Rather than stopping the flow of water, the team’s solution involved driving a wedge under the building to create a slight gradient that the water could run off. “This way the drying time of the wooden buildings was significantly reduced and the community could get back to normal,” Elizabeth explains. The Global Challenges programme has built a strong relationship with Engineers Without Borders, an organisation leading a global movement for change to embed global responsibility in the heart of engineering. Through this relationship, students learn about and design for real communities in remote locations. Following completion of the projects, all the student work is presented to the community via a local non-governmental organisation and has a real chance of creating change and improving lives, as happened in Vietnam.

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Feature Title

The Skills Manual

Global Challenges courses

Learning Fitness – skills in this category help you to perform well in your studies and make you the best ‘learner’ you can possibly be.


Thinking – skills in this category help you to develop advanced thinking capability. This includes independence of thought and critical thinking. Information Handling – skills in this category help you to find, evaluate and analyse different types of information. This includes both library research where you evaluate information produced by other people and empirical research to generate your own data. Networking – the skills in this category include communication, collaboration and team working skills. Imagineering – this category includes skills that will help to make you an effective and fearless problem solver.

Skills development

Developing a new set of skills is one of the key benefits of the Global Challenges courses, and Elizabeth has devised a Skills Manual to ensure the students know exactly which skills they are developing to take forward in their education and careers. “We developed the manual to help students explicitly examine their own skill development, and to help them be strategic in their work with us. We have found that students are often unaware of the skills they are developing and using to complete learning tasks. Previous research has shown that students have a greater understanding of their ability and level of skill proficiency after completing our courses.” The skills that the Global Challenges courses develop are organised into five groups in the Skills Manual: “After much collaboration with students, colour coding, mapping and reimagining, we came up with a set of skill clusters for students, which include Learning Fitness, Thinking, Information Handling, Networking and Imagineering,” says Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s teaching innovation, or as she describes it, “tearing up the rule book”, has received numerous commendations from across the College, including a President’s Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence and a Student Academic Choice Award for Innovation. The success of the learning design and the groundbreaking nature of student work completed has led to a further development of the Global Challenges field of Imperial Horizons – from 2019 the field of study will be renamed Change Makers, recognising the real-world impact that students Issue One / 2018

• The World Today: Analysing Global Progress • The World Today: Collecting and Understanding Data • The World Today: Innovating for Change GLOBAL CHALLENGES FOR SECOND YEARS: • • • • •

esign for Sustainable Development D A SMART Life Sustainable ME Building Equality Building Happiness


GLOBAL CHALLENGES FOR THIRD AND FOURTH YEARS: • L essons from History • Creative Futures

are empowered to create. “We want to name our field of study in a way that respects and promotes the extraordinary talents of our students, rather than dwelling on the issues and problems inherited by them in an increasingly complex and challenging world.” Find out more: www.bit.ly/imperialglobalchallenges

This sketchbook was completed by Jessie Harrison, an MEng Materials Science and Engineering student studying ‘Visualising Global Challenges’. Within this course, run in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders, students explore a remote community using Soft Systems Methodology to create a dynamic set of ‘rich pictures’, like mind maps, that represent their developing understanding of the community, the complexity of the real world and the dynamic nature of what they are studying. They then focus on an issue experienced by the community and explore this issue through artwork created for an exhibition. The first step of this is to create sketchbooks and a mood board, before committing to final artwork for the exhibition.

The students say: ‘Design for Sustainable Development’ – “I very much enjoyed this course. It has allowed a greater perspective on certain issues I had not been aware of in so much detail previously. In particular, the final project allowed me to have a hands-on experience of the development of an innovative and sustainable project. I have learnt a lot about implementing such a project, presenting it to others and in general reviewing each facet to maximise success. This will be extremely useful for similar work in the future.” Arnaud Legrand (BSc Biological Sciences 2019) ‘Lessons from History’ – “I was initially very sceptical of taking a non-physics course, but was quickly impressed by Elizabeth’s enthusiasm and the originality of her teaching style throughout the course. Specifically, her commitment to coming up with new and interesting ways of digesting material was well received by all the students in the class. The inclusion of problem-based learning sections in the syllabus was a new and enlightening experience for me. By being able to work through issues as a group, reflecting on the team dynamics and using varied presentation mechanisms, I felt that I gained a much deeper understanding of the pertinent issues in the field of scientific/disaster risk management and prevention.” Ben Fernando (MSci Physics 2016)

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Student game changers: Mitt Prostheses

Nate Macabuag, CEO and CTO MEng (Mechanical Engineering 2018) Ben Lakey, COO MRes (Medical Device Design & Entrepreneurship 2018)

Student game changers:

Mitt Prostheses By Nate Macabuag

At Mitt Prostheses we’re building comfy, easy-to-use, affordable prosthetic limbs for people with limb loss.


urrently, a whopping 50 per cent of people who are given prosthetics decide to stop using them after just a year. Why? Because they’re heavy, painful to wear, overly complicated and bafflingly expensive to get and maintain – around £20,000 per patient, per year. Even worse, in middle and low-income countries limb loss is 100 times more common. But with limited access to trained clinicians and finances, 90 per cent of these people have no access to prostheses in the first place. These problems can be helped by simply listening to what users of prostheses want: comfortable, easy-to-use prosthetic limbs that they can fit themselves. Products that, by virtue of their demanded simplicity, are over 100 times cheaper than existing alternatives. The idea began as a university project. We started out wanting to build Iron Man – we thought robotic prosthetics was an awesome first step. We were soon introduced to a quadruple amputee and this is when our motivations changed. Talking to him was humbling as he explained that with all the high-tech development going into bionic hands, the reality is that none of the outcomes were affordable or accessible to the public. An overwhelming majority of people are still given heavy, ugly prosthetics with hooks on the end – a design that hasn’t changed since

World War II. It seemed ridiculous that in 2018 that is the standard we accept, and since then it’s been our mission to fix this. My university project teammates left to pursue other interests, so I entered competitions to secure seed funding for the company. Ben and I then met through a mutual friend working on leg prosthetics. Ben is finishing his thesis on a controller for advanced bionic hands. Through his work on the high-end prosthetics, Ben came to realise the need for affordable, simple prosthetics. We shared the same vision and co-founded the company. We have many, many people advising us. David Griffiths, former BP Development Engineer, got involved through the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace community. He’s been a cornerstone in helping us identify and protect our IP. Davide Turi, Enterprise Lab Expert-in-Residence, is amazing at keeping us on track and focusing on the end user. David Bickers, CEO of the Douglas Bader Foundation, a huge UK limb loss charity, has also been pivotal. His excitement about the product and contacts in the limb loss community are invaluable. We cold emailed him, he responded and met us the same day. Gordon Robson and David Harland, who have managed, grown and sold many companies in their time, are part of the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service from the Enterprise Lab, and continue to help us transition

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from startup to scale-up. The Enterprise Lab is the reason we even have a team. I never would have pursued this as a venture without guidance from the VCC program. We’ve done coaching, attended the seminars, participated and came second in VCC, and go down to the Lab to hang out regularly. I love them. Now we’re in the final stages of prototyping. We’re running month-long product pilots to hone the final elements of the design. Our patent has just been filed and we’re in talks with a manufacturer to begin the next stage: distribution. We’ll be looking for funding in autumn to get us through manufacture. Our biggest successes to date have been securing pre-seed funding from four competitions and a grant in March, and getting early customers to sign up and try out the product. Our biggest challenge so far has been losing an original co-founder on the cusp of us pitching for funding, so I led Mitt alone for a couple of months before meeting Ben. There are also manufacturing challenges in transitioning from prototyping to batch production. It is small scale – we’re talking 10 units – but this has delayed the start of our trial. My advice to any students thinking of starting a business is to take the plunge. There is literally nothing to lose, no mortgage, no children, no ongoing commitments. If the worst comes to the worst, the company doesn’t work, you go live at home for a month or two. There’s no downside to trying. Also, start small. Have a grand world-changing vision and then think what’s the smallest, easiest way for me to start doing it? Can I provide the service for one person? Great, I’ll do that first. Then two, then three, then get a website. Take little steps. And finally, some practical advice: use the Enterprise Lab to get a mentor and absorb advice from as many sources as possible. We are always seeking advice from anyone who’s worked in manufacturing, worked in the medical device industry, or worked to get products into emerging markets including Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam or Columbia. This autumn we’ll be looking to start raising £400,000 to fund safety testing, manufacture, distribution, and bring on a production engineer and a clinical lead. www.wearmitt.com Twitter: @wearmitt LinkedIn: Mitt Prostheses

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Student game changers: Coillection

Coillection is a new platform that connects households producing high volumes of waste cooking oil with oil collectors via domestic collections.


he Coillection platform aims to reduce the environmental impacts caused by waste cooking oil being disposed of down the plughole while simultaneously providing the cleanest available input for the production of biodiesel. The idea originated with Waheedur, who explored the engineering application of waste cooking oil through its conversion to biodiesel as part of his final year project. The idea became clear when our team came together – we were all studying the same postgraduate course – and started exploring contemporary problems of society as part of a ‘Design Thinking for Innovation’ module. After experiencing a ‘Eureka moment’, we decided to further build on the idea during our MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management. Each member of our team has specific key strengths. Our main aim was to include diversity, both in terms of culture and skillset, as well as ensuring a solid background in engineering – a huge bonus when trying to solve an energy-related problem. So far, our main advisors include: • Dr Dmitry Sharapov, a lecturer on the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management programme. Dmitry has been really supportive of our idea, providing us with structured feedback and advice on how to improve our business model. • Dr Harveen Chugh, a coach on the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management programme. Her advice and feedback have been really valuable, especially when it comes to user research. • Mr Ivan Borriello, a wealth advisor and a visiting coach who took a keen interest in our idea from the beginning. Ivan has shown us invaluable support throughout our entrepreneurial journey, always challenging our ideas and advising us on how to improve. The Enterprise Lab has also been really supportive by introducing us to an extended network of industry-related people and guiding us through the process of turning an idea into a business. We have participated in a dedicated coaching programme, which included meetings with investors, industry experts and past entrepreneurs who further enhanced our insights. Additionally, the Lab is really inspiring, giving us the opportunity to meet like-minded people who develop a range of smart ideas and face similar obstacles. Currently, we are at a very early stage and have been running a small pilot to test the Issue One / 2018

Student game changers:

Coillection By Yin Noe

Yin Noe, Technology (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management 2018) Cassandra Kanaki, Operations (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management 2018) Kanika Mittal, Operations (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management 2018) Waheedur Rahman Nabeel, Strategy (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management 2018) idea. We recently won £5,000 at the Imperial Business Pitch competition and plan to invest it in expanding our pilot, getting more households on board and ultimately testing our hypotheses to be able to get back to water companies with solid data and proven traction.

Our advice to students thinking about starting a business would be: work, test, pitch, repeat. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback; surround yourself with dependable people such as advisors and coaches. Networking is very important, so reach out to people via LinkedIn, startup groups, and as many relevant events as you can find. The more times you validate or test your assumptions onfield, the more refined your idea will be. You’ll reach your goals more quickly. We are currently looking for investors who are active in the industry and have an extended network in utility services. More importantly, we are looking for high-volume, or environmentally friendly, households who would be interested in participating in our pilot. In the future, we have plans to grow outside the UK and would like to expand our network to the Asia–Pacific region.


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Sector spotlight: Cyber-security in a new era of connectivity

Sector spotlight: Cyber-security in a new era of connectivity Since the first hacking over a hundred years ago, cyber-security has become one of the worlds biggest security challenges, but in today’s digital world it is a greater risk than ever. D/srupt spoke with Imperial experts to find out more...

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Issue One / 2018


Sector spotlight: Cyber-security in a new era of connectivity


ne afternoon in 1903, an audience at the Royal Institution in London prepared to watch physicist Sir John Ambrose Fleming receive a wireless telegraph message sent from Cornwall by radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. This demonstration of Marconi’s new technology was forestalled, however, by a series of unexpected tapping sounds, emitted through the telegraph equipment, which translated from Morse code into a series of rude comments about Marconi. An unknown outsider has just conducted the first-ever public demonstration of hacking. While the issues confronted by presentday cyber-security are not completely new, they took on a new character when the internet became widely used in the 1990s and 2000s. They now bring security risks that threaten our finances and wellbeing in ways that become more serious as we become ever more reliant on the internet. Some say we are now undergoing yet another information revolution – sometimes called the fourth industrial revolution – that is bringing a transformation just

Issue One / 2018

as profound as the advent of radio communication or the internet. In this new era, computing and connectivity will not be restricted to traditional computers or mobile devices, but will be intimately embedded in our physical environments and even bodies. Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise at Imperial, is a specialist in cyber-security and previously served as the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security. He warns that this new technology is already bringing new risks: “Health devices you have inside you, like a pacemaker, can be hacked; your insulin pump can be hacked. Attacks like these are already possible and could do someone serious harm”. He adds that there are also threats from criminals and foreign governments to critical national infrastructure like electricity and water. “All of these use control systems that are vulnerable to cyber-attack, and indeed are attacked on a regular basis. If the country lost its electricity network that would cause huge problems for everyone.” Professor Jennings is worried not enough is being done. “Cyber-security is still not taken seriously enough by citizens, companies and providers of critical national

infrastructure. Organisations are generally aware of cyberdefence, but it always costs, so they have to make a trade-off. I don’t know what it requires to get people to take things more seriously – I hope it won’t take a serious incident that causes significant disruption.” There is, of course, much being done to identify security vulnerabilities and fix them. One valuable tool is software verification,

situation. The Institute’s director, Professor Philippa Gardner, explains that verification is used in cases where safety is critical, such as air traffic control, and is increasingly being adopted by industry in a range of applications. “Verification is especially valuable in mobile devices and embedded systems whose software is not always regularly updated. In cases like these it is crucial

“We’re convinced of the power of data for good, but this will only come if you can give people strong guarantees that this data will not be used against them.” pursued, for example, by the Imperial-based UK Research Institute in Verified Trustworthy Software Systems, and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of the security agency GCHQ. Software is traditionally debugged by running tests to see how it performs in a range of scenarios, but because this method cannot cover every possible scenario, most software contains security flaws that make it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Using the tools of formal logic in place of experimentation, software verification can, in comparison, predict with certainty how software will work in every

to get the software right the first time.” One innovation heralded by the fourth industrial revolution is the largescale collection of data, for example in smart cities that use sensors to monitor the environment. Dr YvesAlexandre de Montjoye from Imperial’s Data Science Institute observes that while useful, data about things like travel patterns threaten privacy even when they are anonymised. One of the biggest studies his research group conducted was on location data. It showed that even in a data set of 1.5m people, knowing a person’s location at four random times is enough to uniquely identify them in the data set 95 per cent of the time. “If I knew someone’s approximate location at four given times, for example from things they posted on Twitter,” Dr de Montjoye

explains, “I could find them in the data set and discover all the places they had been to”. Dr de Montjoye’s group is developing ways to avoid this problem by storing data securely and only making it available to researchers on a ‘need to know’ basis that preserves individual anonymity. “We’re convinced of the power of data for good,” he says. “But this will only come if you can give people strong guarantees that this data will not be used against them.” This research is not only the domain of academics, but is also becoming a key part of the innovation offering at Imperial. DASA, the Defence and Security Accelerator, have chosen the Imperial White City Incubator as their base, giving our innovators and entrepreneurs essential support and guidance. David Chan, Imperial alumni and Entrepreneur in Residence at CyLon, the world’s leading cyber-security accelerator, is also on hand to advise and support startups through the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS). Work to uncover the security vulnerabilities of new technology is not a recent innovation. Days after the Marconi hacking, the culprit revealed himself as a magician named Nevil Maskelyne, who had set out to expose Marconi’s misplaced confidence in the security of his system. While Marconi angrily described the attack as ‘scientific vandalism’, Maskelyne felt he had delivered a vital warning against being complacent about the security implications of the new technology.

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How To... Take the first steps to turn an idea into reality


Take the first steps to turn an idea into reality By Dr Harveen Chugh and Professor Markus Perkmann, Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Imperial College Business School

Assignments, lectures, student societies – just a few of the things coming up and keeping you busy during the academic term.

Here are three ways you can get started

At the back of your mind is a business idea, or maybe even one of many that you’ve had for a while. You might have started working on it already, but you’re not quite sure what to do next. Is there even time to fit this into your schedule? The answer is yes! Being at Imperial is the perfect time to be entrepreneurial, since you have the freedom to explore and experiment with your business ideas and there is so much support around you.

1 Connect

A large part of entrepreneurship is developing a network and finding the ideas and team members to work with. You can build your network with students you meet at the Enterprise Lab, society events and in your lectures. While we naturally tend to be drawn to those most like us, remember that teams need to have a diversity of perspectives and experiences, such as finance, coding and marketing, as well as doers and leaders. Consider your skillset and the type of role you’d like to have in a team. Then it’s a matter of networking to find There are lots of competitions that you can take part in, both within and outside that ‘click’! Pitch ‘n’ Mix is a great event for of the College. It may sound a bit cliché but meeting people and sharing your whether you win or lose, the taking part really does ideas and skills.

2 Compete

count and provides you with lots of value, such as feeling more confident about presenting, learning how to focus on the key points and, of course, enhancing your CV!

3 Collaborate You can work with different students over the course of your degree, be it for a term, the academic year or longer, and there are lots of ways to get involved. The Business School and Enterprise Lab collaborate on initiatives that can help. For example, the Idea Marketplace runs each autumn and provides the opportunity to connect with MBA students and develop a business idea over six months. Or if you‘re looking for just a few weeks of mentoring to get your idea started, you can join the MBA Connect programme, where an MBA student will share their business experience with you.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the Imperial Enterprise Lab website now and start signing up! www.imperialenterpriselab.com

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Issue One / 2018


Student game changer: Momoby

Student game changer:

Momoby By Ana Luisa Neves

Almost 300,000 women die every year due to pregnancyrelated causes. Our solution is an innovative finger-prick test that performs the three recommended tests in real time.

Ana Luisa Neves, CEO (PhD Clinical Medicine 2018) Andrea Rodriguez-Martinez, CTO (PhD Genetical Metabolomics 2018)


o reduce this, the World Health Organisation recommends that every pregnant woman be tested for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B. Timely diagnosis of these conditions – and, consequently, timely referral and treatment at a central healthcare facility – results in healthier mothers and healthier babies. However, many women still struggle to access this type of prenatal care. We have capitalised on already validated technology to develop a product that is userfriendly and easy to deploy. It’s small, convenient, is backed up by scientific evidence and has no temperature requirements. You can literally put it in your pocket and take it quickly to where it’s most needed. I worked as a volunteer doctor in several developing countries and personally witnessed the high mortality rates that still exist in isolated communities where women struggle to access antenatal screening. These women would be Issue One / 2018

advised to walk long distances, in the sun, to have their blood collected at a central facility, from where it would be transported in suboptimal conditions to a laboratory for analysis. Quite often, they would end up deciding not to take that road. The team met through our PhD projects, which are quite different, but sitting next to each other, we always found great value in sharing our experiences and in looking for opportunities for collaboration. We also have a shared interest in global health, technology and innovation. Our PhD study presented just the right moment and setting for Momoby to happen. We are advised by Dr John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus Therapeutics, and Rob Balfour, Founder, Partner and Co-founder of Waimangu Ventures, as part of the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service. We have also benefitted from innovation programmes, such as WE Innovate 2017 and VCC 2018. We entered both competitions and were awarded 2nd and 1st place respectively. These opportunities provided us with initial seed funding but, most importantly, they gave us confidence, skills and a supportive network to begin and grow our startup. Being showcased as part of these programmes also gave us visibility and traction, and we ended up being mentioned on websites such as UN Women and the World Economic Forum.

The Enterprise Lab has also provided very useful contacts, including business advisors and potential investors, as well as information on several specialised workshops – intellectual property and business models, for example – and notification of relevant innovation competitions. Consequently, we applied to Hello Tomorrow 2017, where we were selected as one of the top 500 most promising startups worldwide. We share most of the duties between us, including the development and implementation of fundraising and marketing strategies, working side-by-side with our tech partner in product development, and linking with NGOs and local organisations to reach our target markets. There is also a lot of networking and pitching involved, not to mention those random talks with as many people as possible to improve our idea. For anyone thinking of starting a business, we say, don’t be afraid of failure! As one of our mentors once said, failure is just the process through which your idea becomes the best version of itself. And even if the idea fails, you always learn something, and eventually, you become the best version of yourself. We are currently looking for further investment to finalise the validation of the prototype. We are also always keen to further explore and link with NGOs and local organisations to reach our target markets. www.momoby.com Twitter: @momobyhealth Facebook: /momobyhealth

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


Generation canvas

Ten years ago, Dr Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation changed the way startup founders and corporate executives thought about business model design.


he book, which introduced the revolutionary Business Model Canvas concept, enabled users to quickly sketch, iterate and adapt their business ideas using a simple one-page framework. Since then it has sold over a million copies, become a key building block of the Lean Startup movement and been widely adopted by startups and corporates alike. It has also spawned hundreds of imitators and adaptations. But have we reached peak canvas? We asked the author himself. What is the Business Model Canvas and how is it different to a business plan? The Business Model Canvas is a very simple tool to help you visualise how to create, deliver and capture value. You take an idea out of your head and you put it on a piece of paper so you can share, discuss and test it. A business plan is usually a longer document to help plan how you’re going to implement an idea. But when you start out, planning and implementation is not the challenge. Proving that

you can turn your idea into something customers want with a scalable business model, that’s the challenge. In the early stages, a business plan is a waste of time and, even worse, actually maximises the risk of failure because you sell a way of implementing an idea for which you don’t even have proof. The Lean Startup and canvas approach allows you to work in a more agile way to test and prove your idea – basically iterate until you figure out how to make it work.

Generation canvas Don’t be defined by society but by what you want society to look like. D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Issue One / 2018


Generation canvas

The reason why we have literally millions of people using the tool is because we really focused on simplicity and practicality, in an insane way.

How does the Business Model Canvas relate to the Value Proposition Canvas? The Value Proposition Canvas is like a zoom-in on the value proposition and the customer segments of the Business Model Canvas. To succeed in turning an idea into a business, you need to create value for customers, but you need to do that with a business model that can scale and keep you ahead. So you need three things. One is getting the value proposition right; how are you going to create value for your customers? For this you use the Value Proposition Canvas. The next job is working out how to create value for your business. That’s the Business Model Canvas. Then, the third thing you need is good implementation. You get those three things right, you win. Where did the inspiration for the Business Model Canvas come from? I completed a PhD with my co-author, Professor Yves Pigneur, on the topic of business models and wrote a doctoral dissertation called ‘The Business Model Ontology’. It was a very pompous title! The idea was: could we find something better than the business plan, something that would allow you to shape your idea, test your idea in a much more agile way? A little bit like how architects or industrial designers create things. They work by visualising and playing around until they figure out what can really work. Our intuition at the time was that we could do the same for business. Then we combined this with work from Steve Blank. Bringing together the whole idea of explicit testing with the tools to shape ideas was very powerful. Then of course, Eric Ries made the Lean Startup movement take off.

Issue One / 2018

Does it work for all types of business and organisations? So, that’s the interesting thing. It works as well for very established organisations like General Electric, banks and pharma companies as for startups in all categories. At the beginning, the adoption was more with tech-based startups. Today it also has very strong adoption from the industrial sector. It really creates a lot of value for established companies because it helps them reinvent themselves. We found it pretty intriguing that from the startup world all the way to the big corporates, across industries, this tool would create so much value. That’s because every organisation has a business model, even governments and not-for-profits. My next book, coming out next year, will look at this more closely and share the business model mechanics and other tools senior leaders need to drive growth. What are the most common mistakes that people or organisations make when they’re trying to complete their own Business Model Canvas? People focus only on the product. Of course, every business model is based around product or service and a value proposition, but it’s increasingly difficult to outcompete or win just by focusing on products and services, because these are relatively easy to copy. So people don’t think about all the other aspects of their Business Model Canvas. That’s important because better business models will always outcompete better products. If you have a great business model, you know how you’re going to access the market, you can lock-in customers and you have recurring revenue. You do that with a very strong backstage.

I think the other big mistake is people really focus too much on the idea, saying: ‘Hey, I need to find the right idea and then I’m going to use the Business Model Canvas to sketch out how I’m going to make this into a business’. No, 90 per cent of the time you’re wrong and you need to actually change and iterate your idea until you find the right value proposition and business model. So many people fall in love with their ideas too early and the smarter they are and the more experience they have, the less likely they are to accept that they’re inevitably going to be wrong at the beginning. And what are the most common business model mistakes you come across? People think they need to have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) before they can start testing. That is plain wrong. To a certain extent the way we formulate it, or the way that Eric Ries formulated it with his BuildMeasure-Learn cycle, invites people to literally build something, but that was not the initial idea. The initial idea was: show me that there’s a market and then you can start with an MVP.

a business model. It’s an equation, so if you look at the Business Model Canvas, on the right-hand side, you have the value you create and the revenue you capture from that value; that’s an equation. On the left-hand side – we like to call that the backstage – is everything you need to put in place to make the frontstage possible; so what kind of infrastructure do you need, resource and what does that cost? So, it’s a very holistic equation. You change that, you just broke the equation. A lot of people think that business tools should do everything from competitive strategy all the way to value creation and maybe even implementation. That makes no sense. So, what I’m starting to see now is very specific tools that solve specific jobs and they’re in harmony with the other tools out there. I would almost call that the second generation of canvases, not trying to replace those that work but they’re trying to do those jobs that haven’t been solved yet. What I think is positive, is that there’s now a generation of thinkers who don’t want to replace the tools that work but they’re creating additional tools to complete the toolbox.

Since the publication of Business Model Generation, there’s been huge proliferation of canvas-based tools and approaches. Have we reached peak canvas? So initially we put the Business Model Canvas under a Creative Commons licence so people could use it, spread it, adapt it. But unfortunately, all the adaptations I’ve seen are completely broken because they break the equation. We really thought seriously, what are the nine essential building blocks of any business? You take one away, you take away part of the foundation of

What are the most common criticisms you hear levelled against the Business Model Canvas and how do you respond to those? People will say: ‘you don’t take competition into account’, and I say, ‘well, because you don’t decide on competition’. When I decide on my business model, the first question I’m asking myself is not who I’m going to compete against, so we deliberately left competition away from the Business Model Canvas, not because we thought it’s not relevant, but it’s a different job to be done. We didn’t want to make a Swiss army knife

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Generation canvas

The Business Model Canvas Key Partners

Key Activities

Designed for:

Designed by:

Value Propositions

Key Resources


Customer Relationships


Customer Segments


Cost Structure

Revenue Streams

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

DesigneD by: Strategyzer AG


The makers of Business Model Generation and Strategyzer

The Business Model Canvas. Find out more at: www.strategyzer.com that covers everything and does nothing well. The reason why we have literally millions of people using the tool is because we really focused on simplicity and practicality, in an insane way. I like to say that business tools have a UX, the user experience, and user interface just like a website. If you have a bad UX and UI for your website, nobody’s going to use it. Same for business tools; they need to work conceptually, but they also need to have a good user experience, so you almost have to work like a designer when you create business tools. What are you working on at the moment? One big thing that’s of interest to startups, corporate entrepreneurs and large companies alike is: how do I measure if I’m reducing the risk of my idea? Typically, people used to write a business plan but that’s just making a fantasy more explicit before you invest in it; that’s a risky bet! What we’re now looking at is: how can I really measure if I reduce the risk of an idea pre-revenue? Once you make money, it’s easy because money is the measurement, right? How

do you measure if you are really making progress in validating your idea? So we’re looking at innovation metrics and that’s interesting for startups but also for large corporations in particular because they need to make million-dollar investments to create the future of their companies and they don’t have a good way of doing that so far.

drastically in the next 10 to 15 years. What can they do to survive? They need to more strategically invest in innovation. Most companies are focused on managing their existing business model. Very few companies have a powerful innovation engine. If they’re really

going to be very important and less risky than creating a startup yourself. I believe that you can be an employed entrepreneur in a company. There’s different type of entrepreneurship with maybe even job security, as long as you deliver! Who or what inspires you? In general, I’ve always been interested in creating things and I’ve always been inspired by people who are just trying to create great stuff. One of my big personal idols was Prince, the musician, because his goal was never to create hits. His goal was to create great music that could become a hit. This creative energy and channelling it into creating new stuff without becoming a slave of the traditional corporate world, I think that’s very important. Then people like Steve Jobs definitely inspired me to a certain extent, but also, they repel me. Steve Jobs was a great creator, but as a human being he could be a real a***hole. I believe in Bob Sutton’s no a***holes

One of my big personal idols was Prince, the musician, because his goal was never to create hits. His goal was to create great music that could become a hit. What we also look at is how we can bring the startup world into large corporations more systematically than we’re doing at the moment. What we want to help established companies do a lot better is to systemically reinvent themselves, because a lot of them are being disrupted and if they don’t start doing something more seriously, they’re going to be out of business. I think the corporate graveyard of large companies that are going to die is going to grow

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

serious about attracting innovation talent they’d better get their act together, because today you’re better off going to a startup if you want to be in innovation, rather than going to an established company. The best-established companies are starting to figure it out and are creating a home for innovators. I think there will be a huge demand for these kinds of startup profiles in established companies because it is going to become a career track that’s

rule. I think companies today can create a great workplace where you don’t overwork people or ruin them mentally by putting so much pressure on them that they have nothing else in life. I believe very much in the next wave of management innovation where we’re going to find completely new ways of managing companies where people are going to be happy at work, because right now statistics show that about seven out of ten people

are not engaged at work. That’s an insane number, and it shouldn’t be that way because we spend a lot of time at work. If you could give our students three key pieces of advice, what would they be? The first piece of advice would be don’t overthink it. Go out, try and do stuff and learn. I see too many people who are overthinking it and trying to figure out the perfect idea. No. Just go out, try and learn. The second would be that when you start creating a company, the competition nowadays is more and more in the business model and less and less in the product and service. So if you really want to stay ahead, you need to understand business models and how to test and build business models. That’s where the energy is today. The third one is no compromise. Don’t compromise on where you work. You want to work at a place you really enjoy working at and you don’t do it for the money, you do it for your happiness. Happiness means really doing the best work you can but without sacrificing every other aspect of your life. It’s a pretty physical balance. Success is not just financial success. Success has several facets. Don’t be defined by society but by what you want society to look like. I believe that people can make a huge difference and too many people say, ‘No, I’m just an individual, I can’t make a difference’. That’s where Steve Jobs has always been inspiring because he said, ‘Look, everything around you was built by people that are no different than you’. We can be actors that change the world, right? More than ever before individuals around the world have the tools to change the world. Issue One / 2018


Dates for your diary

Dates for your diary October 2018


Enterprise Lab @ Welcome Fair


Alexander Osterwalder: Designing Invincible Businesses

Lab Community 4/ Enterprise Social: Head down to the Lab to hear the latest news from student startups and chat to other entrepreneurs and innovators over food, drinks and video games!

Come and try our very own IPA beer!


Launch Weekend:


Launch something awesome!

Pitch ‘n’ Mix: Pitch your business or your skills to build a team and win prizes. It’s the ideal environment in which to meet future collaborators and pick up tips and tricks to improve your pitch.

Kick off the year with a weekend full of inspirational speakers, entrepreneurial challenges and the chance to start something awesome.

November 2018


Pitch ‘n’ Mix


Enterprise Lab Community Social

Issue One / 2018

13/ 15/ 19/ How-to

Innovation Pitch Fireside Chat



Idea Marketplace: This competition allows you to showcase, validate and promote your entrepreneurial idea and recruit potential team members.

Keep up to date with all our events at www.imperialenterpriselab.com


Innovation Pitch: Test your pitch in front of our network of investors and peers for friendly feedback.



How-to Seminar: Learn the basics of starting a business.

Mmmmm! Marshmallows!

Fireside Chat: Seasoned entrepreneurs talk about their journey to success around the campfire. Marshmallows and hot choc optional.

20/ WE Inspire:

For female students looking for Inspiration for their next business venture.

Innovate 23/ WE applications close: Don’t miss the deadline! Get your application in to be part of this year’s WE Innovate cohort. Find out more: www.imperialenterpriselab.com/ weinnovate

December 2018





Pitch ‘n’ Mix

Innovation Pitch

Enterprise Lab Community Social

Fireside Chat

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt


The Enterprise Lab in numbers

81% 210 Three-year survival rate for our companies (industry average in London is 50.1%)

Female students applied to WE Innovate

The Enterprise Lab in numbers (2017-18)


Total number of students engaged with the Enterprise Lab


Mentors recruited for Imperial Venture Mentoring Service







Businesses incorporated

Raised in funding for startups


New jobs created

Individuals applied for VCC

Oversized screens in the Enterprise Lab

4,000 Enterprise Lab beers ordered

D/srupt The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs

Pieces in the Enterprise Lab Christmas puzzleÂ

Star Wars references in the Enterprise Lab

6.2 Average number of unusual innovations the Enterprise Lab team come up with every month

Issue One / 2018


Idea Challenge

Idea Challenge Have you ever had an idea you would like to turn into reality? Or are you working on something that could become a commercial success? Whether you’ve just scrawled something down on a post-it, or are selling your product or service to customers, Idea Challenge is the programme for you! If you have a business idea and want to be in with a chance of winning £1,000, fill in the canvas, take a picture and post it on Twitter or Instagram with #ICIdeaChallenge and tag us!

Idea Name:


Just an idea

Researching it





Key Assumptions:

Next Steps:

What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Who are your first customers going to be?

What are your biggest assumptions?

Application deadline: 14 November 2018

Building it

Selling it

How does your idea solve it?

What skills or knowledge do you need to move forward?

What do you need to do next to test these?

Find out more at: www.imperialenterpriselab.com/idea-challenge Issue One / 2018

The magazine for student innovators & entrepreneurs D/srupt

Email: enterprise.lab@imperial.ac.uk

Email: advancedhackspace@imperial.ac.uk

Find us: Imperial Enterprise Lab, Level 0, Sherfield Building, (Access next to Great Hall), South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ

Find us: Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) The Invention Rooms, 68 Wood Lane, White City, London W12 7TA

Twitter: @ICEnterpriseLab

Twitter: @ICAHackspace

Instagram: @ImperialEnterpriseLab

Facebook: /advancedhackspace

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