Founderships


Founderships are educational innovation grants, designed to help provide financial security for LSE entrepreneurs as they build their business. 

The Founderships offer up to seven months of (equity-free) funding and a tailored advisory package

Why LSE founderships?

Setting up a business comes with its own challenges. To name a few, it can take up to three years to generate real business profit, students graduate with average debts of £50,800 and the costs of living in London are much higher than other areas of the UK and Europe.

Our unique Founderships allow entrepreneurs an essential opportunity to focus on market researching their ideas, to engage with future users, to stay closely connected with the LSE entrepreneurial ecosystem, and to build a product or service that can eventually serve as a solution to pressing global problems.

The Founderships offer up to seven months of (equity-free) funding and a tailored advisory package, aiming to provide students with enough capital and an adequate support structure to spend a dedicated amount of time creating an enterprise that is well on the way to being investor-ready. 

Students and alumni might think it's impossible to journey directly from academia to entrepreneurship, but through the Foundership, a viable and realistic path to incorporating and scaling an enterprise opens up.

Who can apply?

The grants are available to all studens and recent alumni at LSE. However, as a way of being able to focus exclusively on their projects, we particularly encourage students and alumni endorsed by the previous Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs Visa and the more recent Start-up Visa as well as graduates of our pre-accelerator.

What we offer 

The Founderships consist of the following components:

  • £7000 to be used over the course of 7 months – at least 50% of the Founderships will be awarded to female founders.
  • 1:1 monthly clinics with an LSE alumni mentor
  • Access to the LSE coworking space 3 times a week
  • 2x full day bootcamps 
  • Monthly networking breakfasts with fellow Foundership recipients
  • Final demo day with early-stage alumni angels and investor network
  • Graduation ceremony

What we expect from you

We will be looking for budding entrepreneurs who can demonstrate/provide:

  • A business idea at pre-revenue (or pre-external funding) stage
  • A research-heavy business canvas that can evidence a market gap and growth potential
  • A commitment to developing the business in London/UK across the 7-month duration of the Foundership.
  • Regular engagement with the Generate programme including reaching the second stage of the funding competition

How to apply

You can apply for a foundership via this online form in which we'll ask a few questions about your venture. All information you give is private and will only be viewed by the Founderships decision panel.