White City Innovators' Programme

The Innovators’ Programme is designed to give entrepreneurs and early-stage start-up companies free access to work space and workshops to help them grow and develop.

The pre-accelerator is about ensuring you and your company is ready to take the next steps to grow your business, from learning about the responsibilities of company directorship to what angel investors really look for.

A pitch at the end of the five weeks gives you a taster of what it might be like if you get through to an accelerator or find yourself in front of a potential funder.

The Programme

The 5-week programme gives entrepreneurs and start-up technology companies free space to work at the Imperial White City Incubator and access to change makers and innovators.

You will interact with sector experts through a series of workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities. 

Week 1: Programme intro and getting the basics right 

Week 2: Business operations and customer validation

Week 3: Branding and funding

Week 4: Sales and growing your company

Week 5: Next steps, practice pitch and final pitch day


The Innovators’ Programme is open to Imperial College post-graduate students, researchers, staff and alumni as well as local entrepreneurs and companies based in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

You should apply for the Innovators’ Program if:

  • You are an entrepreneur with an innovative idea, product or early-stage company based in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham;

  • You are a researcher based at Imperial College with novel IP and you want to discover more about turning that IP into a company;

  • You are an Imperial College Alumni who has developed an innovative idea and wants support to turn that idea into a business.

If you have an innovative, product, idea or company we want to hear from you. Excited about the program but not sure if you should apply? Reach out to the program team below for more information.


To apply for the Innovators Programme you must have:

  • An innovative product/service/idea;

  • Raised less than £500,000 in investment (or less than £500,000 in annual sales);

  • Less than 5 employees;

  • The company must be less than 3 years’ old;

  • Be able to participate in the programme on campus (White City)

  • Never won a competition before.

Prizes and funding

There are three prizes:

  • The overall winner prize consists of £6,000 worth of support (including £4,000 cash to help accelerate your business);

  • Runner up prize consists of £4,000 worth of support (including £2,000 cash to help accelerate your business).

All participants will get access to three months free coworking space at White City Incubator.

There will also be a prize for the company who demonstrates the most potential to create impact – this can be social, environmental or technological advancement. The Impact Award consists of £1,500 worth of support (including £1,000 cash to help accelerate your business).

Key Dates

  • Friday 12 April – Applications open

  • Wednesday 1 May – Applications close

  • From Tuesday 7 May – Skype interviews

  • Thursday 9 May – Successful teams notified

  • Monday 13 May – Programme commencement

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed, but you can find out more about the programme assessment timeframes here.

If you want to know more about the programme and how it may help you and your company, please email Richelle McNae, Entrepreneurial Programmes Coordinator – r.mcnae@imperial.ac.uk