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Students and graduates


Entrepreneurship competition




Eight weeks

An amazing opportunity for students and graduates

The STEAM Hatchery is designed for those with an innovative and exciting business idea who wish to develop it into a viable business.

Participants can enter individually or as part of a team.

The programme is limited to 100 places and is open to final-year, Master’s and PhD students (home and international), as well as alumni that have graduated within the past two years.

Participants compete for a share of the £10,000 prize fund and the chance to start their business in STEAMhouse Incubator.

The programme culminates in participants submitting a business plan and presenting their business idea to a panel of judges

Expert advice from academics and business leaders

Over the eight weeks, participants attend taught sessions, learning vital skills in:

  • Building a sustainable business model
  • Creating an efficient sales strategy
  • Perfecting business pitches
  • Financial planning
  • Prototyping

Furthermore, there is also the opportunity for participants to spend another day working on their business plans, collaborating appointed mentors and learning from experts who can help them develop their idea.

Throughout the programme, participants are based in the new STEAMhouse innovation centre, a 120,000 sq ft building that boasts state-of-the-art production space, workshops, meeting rooms and cutting-edge technology.

Taught sessions are delivered by facilitators from a range of disciplines, offering experience and key insight to help participants develop their skills and their business idea.

Case Studies

The first ever STEAM Hatchery competition saw over 60 students and graduates work collaboratively and individually on designing business plans, all competing for a chance to win part of a £10,000 prize fund. Find out more about some of 2022’s participants.

Rishika Bhalla – Sole Circle UK

“Sole Circle UK is a not-for-profit organisation. We work within the sneaker community, which is filled with avid collectors of footwear, to reallocate their pre-loved sneakers to those living in shoe poverty. The STEAM Hatchery gave me an opportunity to look at my business from a clear lens and decide what I wanted it to be. It pushed me to think about areas of business I wouldn’t normally think about. I have gained so many skills and become a more well-rounded person. You’re in a room with so many people, all bringing so many different qualities, and that energy really rubs off on you.”

Sophina Masih – Constructive Mess

“I am the Founder of Constructive Mess, a textile company offering bespoke, handmade furniture, furnishings and clothing. The Hatchery taught me the ins and outs of a business. It allows you to turn your concepts and ideas into a business. It’s not something that’s offered regularly so it really feels like a gift and a dream come true. I feel I have gained so much confidence and have built lifelong connections, especially from working with my peers, who are there to bounce ideas off and help you develop further. Whatever you may have dreamed about as a young person, you can achieve this here!”

Anne Edwards – Co-Creative Jewellers

“My business is all about making a unique consumer experience for creating bespoke jewellery. I was serious about my business but wasn’t sure if it would work or not, so I joined the Hatchery. It’s been so helpful to me as I’m a creative, not a businessperson. When it came to support regarding business and finance, the mentors and guidance really helped me to grow my knowledge and move my business forward. I’m definitely more confident in my business and professional skills after the Hatchery.”

Helena Hunt – Business idea – Bespoke art on products

“I want to have my own small business selling bespoke art in forms such as canvas paintings, digital prints and tote bags. The STEAM Hatchery competition is a great opportunity to challenge myself and see what I can achieve in this setting. Having a business of any kind means networking is important, so the Hatchery programme is the perfect opportunity to meet likeminded people who are also aiming for the same goal. It really helped me to create the necessary products to help my idea grow into a business in a fun way, while simultaneously learning something new.”

Sanelisiwe Mafa – Studio Mafa Ltd

“I have just set up my own business and needed expert knowledge, but I didn’t have the funds for such services. To receive this kind of support, as well as great access to facilities and more, from the STEAM Hatchery is incredibly helpful. When you finish university, sometimes you wonder where you go from there. This programme gives you extra guidance, the kind you don’t get when you’re studying a specific subject, as well as the skills and confidence to navigate setting up a business.”

STEAM Hatchery will return on Monday 5 June for a new edition. Interested in taking part? Contact for more information. ”