Accelerator Programmes

Building and scaling impactful businesses

At LSE, we support staff, students and alumni to develop and scale businesses contributing to tackle the world's toughest challenges. Discover the opportunities below. 

This represents an even stronger commitment to employ social science research to tackle the world’s biggest problems

Professor Julia Black

LSE Lean Launchpad (previously the Lean Accelerator)

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The LSE Lean Launchpad is a virtual programme designed to help deliver commercial and social impact by developing promising ideas into spin-out companies, consultancies, and licensable innovations. The initiative offers entrepreneurship and commercialisation training for LSE researchers, students, and alumni.

Each selected team receives a grant of £2,000 for its venture activities, and has access to experienced industry mentors who help develop the team's idea. Admitted teams also compete for awards for the top three best performing prizes for a total of £5,000.

Get in touch

Visit the Lean Launchpad webpage for more information and to submit an application. If you have any questions, please get in touch via email.



With a focus on specific ‘missions’, Zinc helps entrepreneurs to create technology-based companies and products to address specific social challenges on a global scale. The intensive accelerator programmes bring together experts in social sciences, design, technology, and business, and give you access to insightful research, entrepreneurial mentors and potential investors. 


The Zinc Accelerator Programmes, led by LSE Visiting Professor in Practice Paul Kirby, focus on missions to unite, mobilise and organise the best talent, knowledge and capital needed to break through at scale. Zinc's current missions are:

Who is it for?

Academic staff - building a network of Zinc Fellows

Zinc is always looking for Fellows who can bring their expertise to the founders through a variety of means (e.g. giving a talk, running a workshop, offering office hours, being a point-of-contact to access specialist networks, etc).

In exchange for your generously donated time, they offer all Fellows the chance to come to any of the events in the programme (e.g. talks and workshops) and they bring them together as a community, offering the chance to make fresh connections.

With a flexible time input, involvement can be in the early stages when the focus is on understanding problems and creative thinking about solutions, or later on, when the focus is on implementation and experimentation.

Students - student placements

Zinc are looking for students to work with their businesses on a project basis, an opportunity to get applied experience working in social entrepreneurship and, potentially, to contribute to research projects.

The timing for placements is flexible.

Alumni - building connections to users

It's extremely important to Zinc that the businesses coming out of their next programme are designed with input from (and research with) the end-users of their products and services.

They want to ensure that they are working with a diverse range of different user groups, and are looking for partnerships with organisations that can make this happen (e.g. job centres, health centres, local authorities, charities/NGOs).

Get in touch

There are many ways to get involved with Zinc. If you want to provide expert help, coach teams, or offer research and ideas, you can contact us at For more information, visit the Zinc website.

LSE Generate

Girl with headphones

LSE Generate is the School's home for entrepreneurship, supporting students and alumni to build a socially responsible business. The all-year round programme – packed with events, funding opportunities and courses – supports LSE innovators at whatever stage of their entrepreneurial journey, and provides the infrastructure to build, develop and scale their ideas.

The LSE Generate Accelerator is a 6-month intensive journey helping you to refine, develop and grow your start-up - this is an exclusive opportunity to access the best and brightest talent, speakers and knowledge at LSE.

You will be part of an LSE cohort made up of like-minded entrepreneurs, with access to acceleration-only events and mentoring opportunities.

Get in touch

There are different ways to get involved with LSE Generate. Visit the webpage for more information about Generate's activities or get in touch via email.


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LSE is a member of CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences. New opportunities are emerging all the time……

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