Entrepreneurship

London Knowledge Quarter

We are the focal point for one of the greatest knowledge clusters anywhere in the world, located in a small area around King’s Cross, the Euston Road and Bloomsbury. Google, Facebook, British Library, Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, The Crick, Silicon Roundabout and thousands of start-ups; all within walking distance of UCL. For entrepreneurs London is unique: world-class technology companies, financial institutions, pharmaceutics, legal firms, and premier universities, such as UCL. 

Our Pivotal Innovation Role

UCL has a fine tradition of encouraging entrepreneurship, especially Computer Science. Being the UK’s world-leading centre of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and now blockchain technology we play a pivotal role in London’s start-up revolution. In data science research, especially machine learning, an increasing number of academics and students are seeking to commercialise their research. In fact, Engineering departments in premier universities potentially provide an excellent ‘incubation’ environment for PhD, Masters and undergraduate students to launch start-ups. Grants provide (seed) funding, training courses, office-space, labs, equipment, technical advice & mentoring, and customer collaboration & networking; all as part of their research. 

Spinouts

UCL Computer Science has always emphasised the practical engineering side of computing and has encouraged all students to undertake the thesis and dissertation projects with industry. Recently high-profile spinouts like DeepMind, Satalia, MediaGamma, and Prediction.io (started by two PhD students), has led to an entrepreneurship ‘feeding frenzy’ amongst our students.

Entrepreneurship in Computer Science

We encourage students to use their time in the Department to collaborate with industry, but also to consider commercialising their project work and launching a start-up. Many students – PhD, Masters and undergrads – are already doing this. UCL’s Industry Exchange Network (IXN) currently matches students to industry projects, and over 1200 students have been matched to real world clients since it began in 2012; 340 students worked with clients and over 70 apps have been in development in 2015-2016. And an increasing number of students are coming to UCL either with start-ups or the ambition to start a company.

Support for students

When students have an idea for a start-up, need advice on execution or are seeking partners, they can start by approaching Philip Treleaven, Daniel Hulme or some of our existing student entrepreneurs below for advice. We often recommend coming along with a 5 slide ‘pitch’ template about an idea or start-up.

Staff profiles

Jane Butler

Jane Butler

Jane Butler is Vice Dean Enterprise for UCL Engineering. Jane has had a 30 year career in the IT and telecommunications industry, firstly with Exxon and Shell designing and deploying the first global corporate Intranets and then, on joining Cisco as a small company helped to grow it to the multinational company it is today. Jane designed and helped deploy many public and private networks and was instrumental in many aspects of the Internet that we all use today.

Contact Jane Butler

John Taysom

John Taysom

John Taysom is Visiting Professor at UCL Computer Science, formally CEO of Reuters Venture Capital, and Founder of the privacy start-up PRIVITAR. John is raising an investment fund for UCL Engineering and mentors start-ups. John Taysom is best known as the man who has invested in 18 private companies that have subsequently achieved to IPO – including his first investment Yahoo. He also holds ground- breaking new patents on data and is currently sharing his expertise through a Policy Fellowship at Cambridge University with the British government.

Contact John Taysom.

Dan Brown

Dan Brown

A successful serial entrepreneur, Daniel first founded a computer software business at the age of 13, which he ran for five years. Dan co-founded APR Smartlogik, a business which he built to 60 people and revenues of $6m, winning the Times Innovation award in 2001 and NLB Visionary Design award in 2003. He is the inventor of a range of patents and author of several books and over thirty papers. He is Entrepreneur in Residence for UCL, from where he launched MegaNexus.

Contact Dan Brown.

Daniel Hulme

Daniel Hulme

Daniel is the Founder and CEO of Satalia (NPComplete Ltd), a company that provides a unique algorithmic technology and professional service to solve industries optimisation problems. Daniel is passionate about emerging technology and regularly speak at events with interests in Algorithms, Optimisation, Big Data and Emerging Technologies. He is one of the founding members of the UCL Computer Science IMPACT team, responsible for helping pioneer impact initiatives across the Faculty of Engineering.

Contact Daniel Hulme.

Paula Parpart

Paula Parpart

Paula is CEO at Brainpool, Teaching Fellow in Computational Decision Making at UCL, and PhD Student. Brainpool helps organizations innovate by providing them with access to a world-class network of data scientists. The network of experts specialize in Machine Learning, Big Data, Optimization, Business Analytics, Behavioural Insights and Financial Modelling.

Contact Paula Parpart.

Student profiles

Simon Chan & Tom Stone

Simon Chan & Tom Stone

Simon and Tom co-founded PredictionIO - an open source Machine Learning Server that empowers programmers and data engineers to build smart applications - whilst PhD students at UCL. Following a successful launch in 2012, PredictionIO has become the most popular Spark-based machine learning project on Github. Simon now serves as a Senior Director, Product Management at Salesforce, leading data science product development through the company’s acquisition of PredictionIO. Tom is now a Venture Partner at Entrepreneur First and an Advisor to the London Co-investment Fund, investing in and mentoring technology startups in London.

Contact Simon Chan.

Contact Tom Stone.

Bogdan Batrinca, Hirsh Pithadia & Andrei Margeloiu

Bogdan Batrinca, Hirsh Pithadia & Andrei Margeloiu

They share an affinity for algorithmic regulation and are investigating advanced ways of codifying and automating regulation, using blockchain and smart contracts. Having received his BSc, MRes, and PhD from UCL Computer Science, Bogdan is now a Strategy Implementation Analyst at Bloomberg and Honorary Research Associate at UCL. Hirsh is a PhD student in the Financial Computing and Analytics doctoral centre at UCL. Andrei is a Computer Science student and a competitive programmer who represented UCL in a Nord-Western European contest and was ranked as the 1st team from London.

Contact Bogdan Batrinca.

Contact Hirsh Pithadia.

Contact Andrei Margeloiu.

David Lipowicz

David Lipowicz

Founder and CEO of TeamTourist, Undergraduate at UCL Computer Science. TeamTourist helps cruisers to easily find private tours at ports and share them with other tourists for big savings. Tourists tell us which cruise they’re going on, and we present them with a potential itinerary which they can customise. When multiple groups from the same cruise ship search for tours, we recommend the same tour to all groups. We encourage them all to join so that the groups can split the cost and get a great deal on the tour!

Contact David Lipowicz.

Andrew Mann, Ross Phillips & David Twomey

Andrew Mann, Ross Phillips & David Twomey

Andrew, Ross and David are current Financial Computing PhD students at UCL. Last year they founded CoinStrats, a systematic cryptocurrency trading fund based on their mutual interests and experience. In October, they were successfully admitted to UCL’s BaseX incubator and in December launched their first strategy suite.  

Contact Andrew Mann.

Contact Ross Phillips.

Contact David Twomey.

Dishant Shah

Dishant Shah

Dishant Shah is a UCL MSc Informaton Security graduate, and co-founder of Spherical Defence, a Cyber Security start-up. Spherical Defence builds artificial intelligent security for banks. The start-up pioneers an intrusion detection system that utilises deep learning to detect hacking attempts within banks, and has been accelerated by GCHQ, Wayra, and Entrepreneur First.

Contact Dishant Shah.

Dhruv Ghulati

Dhruv Ghulati

Dhruv Ghulati is co-Founder of Factmata, an artificial intelligence startup solving the problem of factual misinformation on the internet. Using machine intelligence, it empowers people to question the content they read on the daily basis. Dhruv started his career in financial structuring, launched the data product business at import.io, and was an early co-founder at London based artificial intelligence startup Weave.ai. Went through Techstars, the global technology accelerator, and Entrepreneur First, Europe's top deep technology accelerator programme.

Contact Dhruv Ghulati.