The EnterpriseTECH experience
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.
EnterpriseTECH is extra-curricular, excluding the four-day lecture intensive, and we run it twice every academic year. We have a cap of 60 places per cohort and entry is by application and interview. The projects that EnterpriseTECH teams work on are often STEM-centred―areas very well suited to the interests and backgrounds of our cohorts (read more about them on the ‘Past Projects’ tab here).
We welcome applications graduate students, PhD researchers and postdocs from the University of Cambridge as well as other UK universities to apply, University of Cambridge staff, NHS medics, and industry professionals.
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.
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.
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 you gain 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 previous 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 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 mobilize 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 150+ 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 three 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.
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 first. We do expect all applicants to have the support of their primary research supervisor prior accepting a place.
Applications are now open:
EnterpriseTECH Cohort 13
26 September – 8 December 2023
Application deadline: 17 July 2023.
EnterpriseTECH Cohort 14
9 January – 20 March 2024
Application deadline: 30 October 2023.
EnterpriseTECH STAR Cohort IV
10 April – 17 June 2024.
Application deadline: 10 January 2024.