Start-Up Lab Programmes: Initiate and Evolve

As part of 'Develop', our two new Start-Up Lab programmes, Initiate and Evolve, will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to kickstart a business or idea into the real deal!

Initiate - Open to all students, graduates (and even staff!) for all the basics you need to know to get your idea off the ground and get yourself started!

Every Thursday evening from 6.30pm - 8pm, all students, graduates and staff are welcome to join Student Enterprise Adviser, Dr Sophie-Louise Hyde, and her guests in The Start-Up Lab (Ideas Factory 2.01 in STEMLab) for our Initiate programme.

A workshop series with a difference; Initiate provides you with the opportunity to develop the entrepreneurial mindset, basic skills and knowledge you need to get your ideas off the ground, kickstart your own business or self-employment journey, or even apply such attributes to industry.

Sessions cover:

  • Idea Generation
  • Business Model Canvassing
  • Planning and Goalsetting
  • Values and the Importance of YOU in your Business
  • Time-Management, Organisation and Prioritisation (Business vs Life vs Studies balance!)
  • Effective Market Research
  • The Practicalities, such as Registration, Legal Entities and Intellectual Property
  • Pitching and Presentations (e.g. The Elevator Pitch)

Your entrepreneurial mindset, this knowledge and these skills are developed over seven sessions, with the workshop series being repeated each term.

The sessions will be available in digital (online workshop) form for access after each physical session has taken place. Sign-up now to come along and you'll be one of the first that is able to access them digitally at any time from any location, too!

At the end of the programme, you'll get the opportunity to pitch an idea, existing business or what you've learnt from the seven workshop sessions to a panel of experts for the chance to WIN BIG with our Student Start-Up Survival Kit Box, Amazon Vouchers and more.

This workshop series is free to attend and throughout the Initiate programme, food and refreshments will be provided.

Find out more and book onto the sessions here.

If you have trouble booking your slot via our Careers Online system (e.g. as a staff member or graduate who no longer has access), please email and we'll book you on manually.


Evolve - An opportunity to apply to take your business to the next level and become a member of our key Start-Up Lab cohort with additional benefits and more specialist training and support!

As part of our Start-Up Lab offering this year, we're providing a second level programme to students who are actively running their businesses, self-employed or freelancing, or looking to launch in the next 12 months alongside their studies.

Our Evolve programme will offer students the opportunity to do so with access to more specialist advice and a cohort of like-minded individuals. 

All students are able to apply to be a part of the Evolve programme and cohort, but the criteria below will be applied in the selection process.

Evolve programme and cohort criteria:

  • You should have a viable / feasible idea or an existing business already;
  • You and your idea (as above) should have been supported by LSU Enterprise at the 'Inspire' phase of the network and they (or another member of staff within the network and / or on campus) should be happy to endorse you as part of your application to this programme;
  • You should have completed the Initiate Programme or have attended our Develop workshops 2018-19;
  • You should have applied for, be ready to apply for, or have already received funding (from our Start-Up Fund or externally).

As part of the programme, you will receive:

  • Our Start-Up Survival Kit Box;
  • Access to peer-to-peer sessions with the Evolve cohort;
  • Monthly 1:1 support, advice and guidance from your Enterprise Adviser, guests and experts;
  • Access to our specialist training sessions and Business Clinics;
  • Coffee tokens for when you're working in our co-working space, The Start-Up Lab!

To find out more or if you have any questions about this programme and opportunity, please email and Sophie will get back to you.

For more information on how to apply or to find out about the businesses already involved in our Evolve cohort this year, click the relevant button below.

It's not just about kickstarting your business or idea either! We help you to become self-employed, freelance, and how your entrepreneurial mindset can be beneficial in industry.