Venture support unit
Founders Choice™ is a pilot programme operated by Imperial Innovations and Imperial College London for
18 months, beginning 1 August 2017.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem at Imperial has grown and evolved over the past two decades. Now there are many academic researchers with experience of forming and building businesses. Others will have a personal network with experience that can support the creation and management of a spinout. Those of you in this group will not require as much support from Imperial Innovations when setting up a new spin-out; you will be able to handle most (if not all) aspects of your spinout journey at Imperial yourself.
In cases where you take on most of the responsibility, it makes sense that you should also have a greater share of the founding equity than is currently possible under the standard College Rewards to Inventors policy. To this end Imperial is conducting an eighteen-month trial called Founders Choice™. This is a joint pilot programme with Imperial Innovations that is designed to facilitate Imperial College staff who consider that they are capable of finding the resources, finance and expertise necessary to make a spin-out company successful (with minimum of assistance from Imperial Innovations) by providing staff with the opportunity to pursue such a choice. The two options under Founders Choice™ are the Founder Driven route and the Jointly Driven route. The Founder Driven route receives the basic support package from Imperial Innovations and the Jointly Driven route receives an Enhanced level of Support.
Support documents and guidance
We have tried to supply sufficient information on these web-pages to allow you to undertstand and consider the Founders Choice pilot programme. However, you may also find these supporting documents and guidance pages useful.
Founders Choice Mini-guide
A PDF download of our mini-guide to the Founders Choice pilot programme. Contains information on the Founder driven and Jointly driven routes and a summary of support received under both options.
Imperial College London guidance
Visit the Imperial College London Research Office's website for information they have provided on the Founders Choice pilot programme
A PDF download comparing services received under the Jointly Driven and Founder Driven routes in Founders Choice
Equity Modelling Tool
Excel spreadsheet containing a tool enabling founders to explore a range of starting equity positions at foundation and through a number of funding rounds.
Preferred suppliers brochure
A document containing information on the Imperial Innovations Venture Support Unit's preferred suppliers
A Founder's guide to Spinouts
A comprehensive guide to founding a spinout at Imperial College London. This guide is intended for all academic founders, regardless of the level of support they select under Founders Choice.
Frequently asked questions about founding spinouts and Founders Choice
Guide to allocating equity in spin-outs
Guidance on factors to consider when allocating founding equity among spin-out founders
Options under Founders Choice
Founders of Imperial spinout companies can select between two options under Founders Choice which offer different levels of support from Imperial Innovations
Founder Driven Route
Founders take responsibility for a number of key aspects of company development. Imperial Innovations provides a basic level of support and initial University equity is between 5-10%.
Jointly Driven Route
Imperial Innovations provides an enhanced support package in which founders benefit from the resources, networks and experience of Imperial Innovations in founding spinouts.