EnterpriseTECH empowers you to unlock your full entrepreneurial potential by providing a dynamic and immersive learning experience that brings together the worlds of research and startups. You don’t need a business school background either. Our programme aims to inspire and motivate you to take ideas you have now or will have in the future to the next level.
Through a creative blend of intensive lectures, hands-on workshops, supervisions, and practical application to real-world projects, we equip you with versatile entrepreneurship skills and provide access to valuable enterprise networks, enabling you to thrive in today’s entrepreneurial landscape.
Our approach is designed to help you unlock your creativity, sharpen your problem-solving skills, and cultivate a growth mindset – one that will carry you forward in your entrepreneurial journey and help turn your passions into actions.
Cohort 13: 26 Sep-8 Dec 2023
Cohort 14: 9 Jan-20 Mar 2024
EnterpriseTECH was way beyond my expectations! The journey from experts’ presentations through teamwork and finally pitching your project is so much fun. It is the most concise and productive training on entrepreneurship I have ever attended.
The EnterpriseTECH experience
EnterpriseTECH is extra-curricular, excluding the 4-day lecture intensive, and we run it two times per academic year. We have a cap of 60 places per cohort and entry is by application and interview (for applicants outside of the University of Cambridge).
The projects that EnterpriseTECH teams work on are often STEM-centred―areas very well suited to the interests and research backgrounds of our cohorts (visit our Opportunities for inventors webpage and read more about them on the ‘Past projects’ tab).
We welcome applications from graduate students, PhD researchers and postdocs from the University of Cambridge and all UK universities to apply. We also invite University of Cambridge staff, NHS medics, and industry professionals to apply.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most enlightening and empowering programmes I’ve undertaken during my postgraduate studies. The mentorship, lecturers and beyond have been invaluable in teaching me about the vast opportunities available outside of the lab.
What sort of background should I have?
A lot of our students are PhD researchers and postdocs at the University of Cambridge from physical sciences, clinical medicine, engineering, biotechnology, and life sciences. We also have a small but growing number coming from the arts and humanities, and we’re actively finding ways to attract more! Since launching in 2018, more than 740 people have attended EnterpriseTECH, with a nearly equal gender balance.
We are seeing a growing number of applicants from the corporate world join us. These students usually have technical or STEM backgrounds and are after adding to their professional skill sets by learning more about entrepreneurship without having to commit to a full degree programme. Unfortunately we are not accepting applications from undergraduates or Y4-6 medics. Please sign up to our mailing list so you get notified when we have other entrepreneurship experiences tailored for you.
Upon joining a cohort, our students have an understanding but limited experience of entrepreneurship. Attending a business school programme is often stepping into unfamiliar territory, so everyone is on an equal footing. Some students however are making their first steps already having some future business idea in mind.
EnterpriseTECH is relevant for you if you’re considering an entrepreneurial career, or setting up or becoming part of a commercial or social venture. It is also a great foundation if you want to work with innovators and entrepreneurs or pursue further study in a business school.
Best of all? It may help precipitate fresh insight on your career trajectory as you see it right now, especially if your aspirations for an academic career are waning.
Personal ambitions in entrepreneurship
In our surveys, more than 85% of our annual intakes are drawn towards EnterpriseTECH and entrepreneurship not by a desire to make money, but by a deep desire for self-determined lives, to solve urgent global problems, find better ways to champion sustainability, tackle the climate emergency, improve health outcomes, and enhance the quality of life for living beings. This is, unsurprisingly, a driving force for many researchers to enter laboratories and become researchers in the first place!
This programme is a first step on a journey towards attaining some of the above by gathering know-how and building enterprise networks that will enable you to translate your future business ideas and/or research into real-world effective solutions in the future.
EnterpriseTECH is a unique opportunity for PhD students and postdocs to experience the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurial thinking. Through a well-structured, yet flexible format, participants travel the often arduous path of taking an idea from concept to commercialisation as a team. The programme is an exhilarating experience that gets students into a different mindset, allowing them to be creative outside of a lab by challenging their discipline and analytical skillset in a new way. My groups have been exceptionally intelligent, diverse and hungry; two from my last cohort now want to move on to the EnterpriseTECH STAR programme because they enjoyed the first programme so much. As a business supervisor, it’s been a real pleasure to work with some amazing talent and to watch a group grow from diverse individuals at inception to a well-honed, commercially focused team at completion.
EnterpriseTECH emphasises the importance of effective teamwork. Through the programme, you will develop the following skills:
- Ideas and opportunities: Learn how to identify opportunities, foster creativity and vision, evaluate ideas, and approach entrepreneurship with ethical and sustainable thinking.
- Resources: Develop an understanding of how to mobilise resources and collaborate with others, increase your financial and economic literacy, cultivate self-awareness and self-efficacy, and strengthen your perseverance
- Action: Gain hands-on experience through experiential learning, teamwork, planning and management, leadership growth, managing ambiguity, uncertainty, and risk, and effective public speaking.
During your time on EnterpriseTECH, you’ll work alongside 5-6 teammates from diverse backgrounds on a project. To guide you through the programme and assessment process, you’ll also have a dedicated supervisor.
While we don’t allow you to choose your project or teammates, this approach is deliberate. We create an environment that encourages experimentation within by limiting some variables. This approach tends to result in better-performing teams, which we’ve observed over the course of 160+ teams.
Ultimately, the key to a rewarding experience on EnterpriseTECH is how you go about developing your understanding and practical know-how of effective teamwork. Some may say it’s about choosing your attitude!
EnterpriseTECH is a 100-hour commitment over 10 weeks for each participant. The in-person contact time consists of 50 hours of lectures and workshops, 10 hours of supervisions, and a minimum of around 40 hours of personal research time and other team meetings.
We have strict attendance requirements for the programme, which for the most part runs as an extracurricular activity. This includes the Launch and Pitch nights, the lecture intensive, and later workshops, and attendance is noted at the 3 team supervisions.
Most of our participants actually excel (and thrive) at managing the demands of EnterpriseTECH with a well-organised and efficient approach alongside their day-to-day research or work commitments.
Anyone in doubt about the timeliness of embarking on EnterpriseTECH or the impact of the commitment on their research should get in touch with us to talk it through an application first.
We expect all applicants to have the support to attend of their primary research supervisor or line manager prior accepting a place.
By combining Cambridge's culture of disruptive ground-breaking research with entrepreneurial skills you have a recipe for success and the EnterpriseTECH programmes are an essential part of the University’s ecosystem that is helping lay the foundations for creating the successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of the future. The mix of classroom and experiential learning, combined with its network of business advisors and events helps prepare researchers with real-world skills that help translate research and innovative thinking into new products and companies, which not only supports the goals of the University and Cambridge Enterprise, but benefits society as a whole.