Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship - Student Business Incubator and Entrepreneurship Hub
The HCfE manages both the 'Entrepreneurship Hub' and the 'Henley Start-Up Business Incubator' to provide support to students and recent graduates who have set up, or are in the process of setting up, a business.
The Entrepreneurship Hub
The Hub, set up in 2018, is a new initiative to provide current University of Reading or Henley Business School students with a workplace to develop their business ideas whilst either studying on their entrepreneurship modules or participating in the IDEAFEST Business Idea Competition or similar competitions held by other departments. By using the Hub, located in room 273 of the Edith Morley building, students can work on their business ideas, with use of shared IT facilities, office space and lockers provided.
To apply for the Hub, students must complete the application form here. Once this form has been completed, please hand it into room 270 of the Edith Morley building and your application will be reviewed by Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of HCfE.
The Start-Up Business Incubator
The Incubator, launched in 2013 and located at the Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP), supports students and graduates by providing:
- office facilities at the TVSP
- general services including heat, light, power, wireless internet and other services
- business support, specifically mentorship, professional services, skills building and pitch events
Occupants also have access to common areas of the TVSP, including the photocopiers, use of reception services and access to a mail pigeon hole dedicated to the Student Incubator. The occupants are invited to become members of the Reading Enterprise Network (REN), receive newsletters and attend networking events.
Admission to the Incubator is by application and a decision is made by the selection committee led by the HCfE. Recent graduates that have utilised the Entrepreneurship Hub are encouraged to apply for the Incubator to further develop their business. To be admitted to the Incubator the student will need to:
- have a business plan setting out what the business intends to achieve
- show they are a current student (or a graduate of no more than 12 months) of Henley Business School or the University of Reading
- demonstrate that the business has (or has the prospect of raising) funds to execute on the business plan
- not occupy space anywhere else
- show a background or strong evidence of commitment to the business
- have appropriate work authorisation if from outside the EEA/Switzerland
Recent graduates who have secured endorsement by the University under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa qualify for occupancy of the Student Business Incubator.
HCfE is delighted to announce that the Incubator is supported and sponsored by NatWest and Renal Services.
As a result of the sponsorship, HCfE also offers workshops and an award to each of the occupying businesses to help with costs of professional services.
Piers Rudgard-Redsell, co-founder of Airbyte and a former occupant of the Incubator, said: "The hub has been an incredible asset for us. It has provided a space for us to meet and work, in order to plan and build our future. This would have been a lot harder for us without a central, local location such as the hub. It has also sparked some fantastic conversations with like-minded, fellow young business minds who have different experiences to us. We hope it continues to grow and thrive."
Tim Brownstone, CEO of KYMIRA and a former resident of the Incubator, said: "The support from the University has been incredibly valuable, with PR opportunities and mentoring as well as office space."
The application form to apply for a spot in the Incubator can be downloaded here. Availability is all year round, provided that the Incubator is not already full. Once you have completed the above form, please email it to Jurek Sikorski.