Accelerator Programmes

LSE in partnership with Zinc - tackling the world’s biggest problems

This represents an even stronger commitment from LSE and our partners to employ social science research to tackle the world’s biggest problems

The Zinc Accelerator Programmes, led by LSE Visiting Professor in Practice Paul Kirby, brings together experts from:

  • Social sciences.
  • Design.
  • Technology.
  • Business.
  • Potential investors.

The Zinc Accelerator Programmes help budding entrepreneurs create technology-based companies and products to fulfil specific social missions.

Programmes are mission-led, with cohorts of participants facing up to a specific economic or social problem. Each cohort aims to fulfil an unmet need of at least 100 million people in the developed world through the creation of 10-15 investable businesses.

Zinc’s first cohort, had over 50 individuals from diverse backgrounds - including computer science, entrepreneurship and medicine - in place to create businesses and products to tackle the crisis in women and girls’ emotional and mental health. As part of a six-month incubation programme they have access to insights from leading research, entrepreneurial mentors and potential investors.

This year, Zinc's second programme started in London on 1st October 2018. Its mission is to unlock new opportunities for people in places hard-hit by globalisation and automation. 


MISSION 2: The Portfolio + Show&Tells

Our second company builder programme with the mission to unlock new opportunities for people in places hard-hit by globalisation and automation has now entered its final three months.

18 companies have been created. Browse the full list.

Throughout April, May and June 2019 we will be hosting a series of events called Show&Tells, on a fortnightly basis, where each of our portfolio companies will be presenting. These events are a great way to learn more about the new companies, meet the teams, see their progression and find ways to support them.

Learn more

We look forward to seeing you there. Register here 

Please note: these events are not held in our HQ, you will receive an email with the venue details at least a week in advance of each event.

MISSION 3: Founders, Fellows and Research Fellows > Searching for the best talent

Founders:  Do you know brilliant, creative and entrepreneurial people who want to build a company that will add 5 years of high quality to later life?
Fellows:     Do you know experts who are passionate about later life and would want to support new start-ups?
Research Fellows:  Do you know early career researchers who are looking for an opportunity to apply their research skills in a creative, entrepreneurial environment?  

Talent Search

We are looking for talented individuals to join our company builder programme with the mission to add 5 more years of high quality to later life, starting on 30th September in London.

We are looking for the very best people to join us - there are three main ways to get involved: as Founders (entrepreneurs looking to build a new business who join the programme full-time), Fellows (experts looking to support the Founders by giving talks, offering advice and support) and full-time Research Fellows (researchers looking to apply their skills in a creative, entrepreneurial environment).

We would particularly love your help engaging with individuals with the following backgrounds or expertise:

  • Medical and social care professionals (nursing, general practice, physiotherapy, podiatry, dietetics, geriatrics, dementia specialism, palliative care, adult social care).
  • Entrepreneurs in the later life market ( eg. health services, financial services, social care, etc.).
  • Creative technologists (data science, software development, hardware development, robotics, audio and voice control, etc.).
  • Social scientists (behavioural science, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, etc.).
  • Creatives (product and service design, broadcast, games design, architects, etc.).

Learn more about the mission, programme and ways you can get involved

You can also come along to our weekly informational Meet&Greet sessions, held in our Central London HQ.

Who is it for?

Academic staff - building a network of Zinc Fellows

For the next programme, Zinc is looking for Fellows, who can bring their expertise to the 50 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 (for example talks and workshops) and they bring them together as a community, offering the chance to make fresh connections.

The time input is very flexible - from coming in to give a talk, to offering weekly office hours, to being available for a few phone calls.

There is no formal deadline for Zinc Fellows. Involvement can be in the early stages when the focus is on understanding problems and creative thinking about solutions, and/or later on, when the focus is on implementation and experimentation. And the time input is very flexible.

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 from January 2019 onwards.

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 lots of 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 .


LSE Generate

LSE Generate is dedicated to supporting student and alumni socially-driven business which demonstrate high growth potential.  In order to support the very brightest and best entrepreneurs at the School, two new accelerators are due to launch in 2019 and will be open to both student and alumni innovators. 

The programmes provide intensive educational workshops, mentorship, funding and alumni connections as well as start-up treks and retreats.

Two pre-accelerators will run in the Summer break to pilot the new iniatives.  All acceleration activity will take place in the LSE Generate coworking space

Accelerator Programmes 


Gener8 is LSE’s inaugural accelerator programme that will develop eight to ten LSE student or alumni founder teams. Assisting them as they learn how to influence and shape the world though their enterprises, collaboration, community and innovation.

The accelerator will be open to applications from students and alumni. The programme will also be sector-agnostic and the School anticipates ideas ranging from Fintech to food and beverage start-ups.


elleSE is Europe's first university accelerator for female founders with an exclusive focus on global social impact.

LSE Generate has seen evidence showing the lack of access to the early-stage support for female entrepreneurs that is often granted to male counterparts. This tailor-made programme is based on LSE Generate’s years of work with female entrepreneurs, analysing their unique strengths and particular needs.

Both accelerator programmes will be provided with initial seed funding and will be based in a coworking space in London for eight months.

The accelerators feature the following key support components:

  • 1-2-1 weekly sector-specific mentoring with our pre-screened business experts.
  • Ten full-day learning workshops focused on themes such as product and market-fit, sales and business development, and scalability.
  • Socially-responsible boot camp.
  • Weekly mindfulness course for entrepreneurs.
  • Founder team-building away day and trek to Liverpool (UK’s burgeoning social innovation hub to explore the theme of social innovation.
  • Demo days and pitching practice.
  • Investor speed mentoring.

Email for more information on the Generate acceleration activity.


Research and Innovation LSE_RI

Join the social impact funding competition 'Energy for Tomorrow' and win £2,000! @LSEGenerate is helping……

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Research and Innovation LSE_RI

Permanent member of LSE faculty? Apply for the RIIF Seed Fund and get funding up to £20k for small projects likely……

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