Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship - Start-Up Business Incubator

The HCfE manages 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 Start-Up Business Incubator

The Incubator, launched in 2013 and located at the Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP), supports University of Reading and Henley Business School graduates by providing:

  • Co-working space at the TVSP - the space is open plan and is offered with all facilities, a kitchen and a washroom/toilet/shower
  • Access to the TVSP builing during working hours
  • Consumables including non-alcoholic beverages
  • Access to common areas of the TVSP, including the photocopiers (at a small charge), three meeting rooms, a cafe, use of reception services and access to a mail pigeon hole
  • Business support, specifically mentorship, professional services, skills building workshops and SME targeted events led by HCfE
  • Membership of the Innovation Catalyst community, with associated regular networking, commercial and technical events
  • Car parking spaces
  • Heat, light, power, Wi-Fi connectivity and security services

Occupants have the opportunity to apply for a place on the Barclays Eagle Flight Accelerator programme, along with membership of the Barclays Eagle Lab Network and links to other groups, including IET, BCS and Google Developers Group. The occupants are invited to become members of the Reading Enterprise Network (REN), receive newsletters and attend networking events. Occupants can also apply for AWS hosting credits and support with up to $15,000.

Occupants are required to sign a licence agreement with VitalSix, which runs the co-working space at TVSP, as a condition of admission to the programme of support and are admitted for a period of 12 months. Applications to the Incubator are accepted throughout the year. Support throughout the period of occupancy is provided to Occupants free of charge.

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 over the 12 month period
  • 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
  • Commit to work full time on the business

Recent graduates who have secured endorsement by the University under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa qualify for occupancy of the Student Business Incubator.

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 on jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk