Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship - Student Business Incubator

The HCfE manages the 'Henley Start-Up Business Incubator' which provides support to students and recent graduates who have set up, or are in the process of setting up, a business.


The Incubator, launched in 2013 and located in a dedicated building at Earley Gate, supports students and graduates by providing:

  • office facilities in a dedicated building adjacent to the Science and Technology Centre (STC), Earley Gate  
  • 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 Science and Technology Centre and the Reading Enterprise Centre, 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. 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.       

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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.

Additionally, HCfE hosts an annual ‘Best Start-Up of the Year’ competition and will award cash prizes for the winner and runner up. The competition is open to businesses started by graduates of the University or Henley Business School in the last two years, including those occupying the Incubator. In addition to ‘Best Start-Up of the Year’ there will be a special prize for the ‘Best Innovation Start-Up’ which delivers something fundamentally new and disruptive to the market. The Competition is open to receive entries from 3 October 2016 closes on 18 November 2016. Further details are on the 'Best Start-Up Competition' page, which you can view here

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 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 submit to Jurek Sikorski.