We have helped Imperial College London Quantum Technology researchers to develop and validate deep-tech business ideas during a one week Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

We applied Studio Zao’s systematic lean venture building process to come up with, prioritise, explore, devise a test plan and pitch academic ideas stemming from deep-tech Quantum technologies.


Imperial College London is one of the world’s top universities, located in the heart of London. It is renowned for its world-leading research and academic prowess in engineering, science and medicine. The Quantum Research department is at an exciting juncture, where they are uniting the disciplines of physics, chemistry, computer science, materials and engineering in order to push forward the boundaries of quantum technology.

Imperial College London has asked Studio Zao to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial start-up culture within the Quantum Technology department and provide a memorable, unique and powerful learning experience to high-potential participants.


We were asked to assist the Quantum team to practically apply Lean Start-up methodology to their research projects.

They wanted to increase participants confidence in choosing the right idea to test and build, as well as develop a powerful narrative to pitch them. Imperial wanted to equip their best quantum Technology Students and Researchers with the latest tools, frameworks and industry best practices able to translate breakthrough technologies into successful business ventures.

Overall, participants needed to gain a better understanding of the barriers preventing successful entrepreneurship and innovation and receive the tools to ensure they could fast track their start-up initiatives.


In order to tackle the brief, Studio Zao prepared an intensive 5 day bootcamp programme to support postgraduate students and early career Quantum researchers at Imperial Enterprise Lab to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

The course was designed to introduce postgraduate students to the fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship during an intensive and engaging week.

  • MONDAY: Lean Entrepreneurship and Ideation
  • TUESDAY: Ideas Validation and Customer Discovery Interviews
  • WEDNESDAY: Ideas Iteration and Prototyping
  • THURSDAY: Business Model Planning Build
  • FRIDAY: Pitch Preparation and Final Pitches

The bootcamp provided a snapshot view of how to take an idea from the lab, make it commercially viable and introduce it to industry. As part of the programme keynote speakers and case studies are identified and role models that are relatable to the cohort are highlighted throughout the course.

The main focus was to help students and researchers resist from building their idea and start validating it on the market instead, focusing on customers instead of technology.


By the end of the 5 day bootcamp, participants were able to fully understand the entrepreneurial process and take home content that covers problem definition, customer segment identification, ideation, customer interviewing, business modelling, rapid prototyping, idea validation and pitching.

Quantum technology students and researchers created 5 teams, and successfully pitched their ideas in front of a panel of judges. They all left with a comprehensive understanding of how research can be translated into a commercial setting and developed an ability to define, examine, test, validate and develop an idea through the use of lean entrepreneurship methodology.

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Lean Startup Weekend | Start Your Business In 3 Days

November 1 @ 6:00 pm - November 3 @ 5:00 pm

Do you have an early spark of a business idea but time is short and you don't really know precisely where to start? OverviewLean Startup Weekend is an immersive and practical weekend sprint from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon to make your business idea a reality. Let our expert venture builders help you identify your target customer segments, formulate your value proposition, design the right experiments to test your idea, build a robust roadmap of actions and coach you through…

How to Nurture Intrapreneurship for Success

November 7 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Learn how to embed a culture of intrapreneurship for continuous innovation within large organisations through practical case studies. Corporate Entrepreneurs work within established organisations to launch new ideas, products, services or even ventures. In this Corporate Entrepreneurs London Series, we will explore the challenges of encouraging intrapreneurship and innovation within large organisations, and we will learn what are the initiatives and approaches that work best to nurture internal entrepreneurs. Join us and learn:How do you embed a culture of intrapreneurship…

Innovating and Launching New Products in Healthcare

November 19 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Learn how to innovate and to apply customer closeness, market experiments and fast iteration in the highly regulated healthcare industry We all know how much impact tech and innovation can have to improve - and save -people’s lives when applied to the healthcare system. However, innovating and launching new products in such a highly regulated environment may pose extremely daunting challenges. It may be difficult to access patients or clinicians, undermining customer closeness, customer disco very and efforts to validate…

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Lean Startup Weekend | Start a Business in 3 Days

An immersive weekend sprint from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon to make your business idea a reality. Expert venture builders will take you through a systematic venture development process. Join the next available weekend.
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Your Innovation Gateway to the NHS is Open!

Develop ground-breaking AI solutions to improve mental health and healthy ageing for the NHS during a one-week free-to-enter venture sprint in Cambridge, 2nd - 6th Sept 2019
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Join Pentland Brands to Shape the Future of Sports, Outdoor Apparel and Fashion

A unique opportunity for Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders with a track record and interest in Smart Cities, Retail, Fashion, Apparel and Sports to connect with Pentland, one of the key global players in UK.
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Market Validation For Startups and Go-To-Market Strategy

A bespoke, multi-week programme for seed or venture funded startups seeking proof of market validation and a data-backed go-to-market strategy.