Innovation Hub

 Innovation hub

About the Brunel Innovation Hub

The Brunel Innovation Hub aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and encourage students and graduates to turn their ideas into business. We bring together a collaborative and supportive network of successful entrepreneurs, experienced business mentors, investors and professional service providers to support the next generation of entrepreneurs to be discovered.

If you are a budding entrepreneur with an exciting new business or existing business idea and would like to learn more about how the Innovation Hub can support and benefit you, including a chance to win funding through our Venture Competition then get in touch with us today!

To learn much more about the Hub, read testimonials from entrepreneurs we have helped in the past and insights from business figures, please visit our blog:


Here's some more information about what we do: 



Help and Assistance

Do you need a hand making your dream a reality? If so, we can help you in the following ways:

Workspace to hatch your ideas!

We have an open plan space where you can come and brainstorm the next big idea. You can also book it to hold presentations or team meetings. (Please contact us to find out availability)

Access to funding and investment ideas

Finance is one of the biggest barriers to a start-ups success. The good news is that today with the use of new technologies there are multiple ways to fund a business venture. Come and speak to us to explore what funding options are available to help you can make your idea become a reality.

1-2-1 business advice and planning:

We offer free business advice sessions to all students and graduates designed to help you develop and progress your ideas into business. These 1-1 sessions are completely confidential and free of charge. They are run by our professional innovation and entrepreneurship consultants.

For an appointment please email or call 01895 267423.

Drop in Sessions:

The Innovation Hub runs a drop in session for all Brunel students on Wednesday’s from 10am-12pm, giving advice and guidance on enterprise and entrepreneurship. So if you want to start or grow your business come along to LC003 and get your questions answered by our Innovation and Entrepreneurship Consultants!

Don’t forget we also offer 1-1 sessions with the Entrepreneurship Consultants during the week which you can book by emailing or by calling 01895 267423.

Business mentoring and access to experts:

We can provide invaluable support and guidance for your start-ups and small business through our network of mentors and experts which includes accountants, lawyers, financial advisors and IP consultants and successful Brunel alumni.

• Accountants

• Lawyers

• Qualified Coaches

• Financial advisors

• IP Consultants

• Successful Brunel Alumni

Networking and Social Events

We can also offer training and access to networking opportunities and organise social events in collaboration with Brunel Entrepreneur’s Society.

The Brunel Entrepreneurs Society welcomes students from all backgrounds and courses to spread the entrepreneurial spirit. We provide members with a platform to promote themselves and improve your skills in:

• Employability

• Public speaking

• Networking

• Self confidence

• Organisation

Graduate Entrepreneurs Visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa category provides international students who are graduating from UK universities with the opportunity to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish a business. For the purpose of UK Immigration Rules, ‘business’ refers to all enterprises: sole-trader, partnership, or company that is registered in the UK.

Want to find out more about the Entrepreneur Visa? Click here to email one of the team for more information.

Venture Competition

Got a bright idea? Make your business idea a reality, or take it to the next level and win £5000

The Venture Competition is an opportunity for our students and alumni to develop entrepreneurial skills and ideas with a chance to win up to £5,000 of start-up funding plus so much more!

Find out more and apply on the Venture Competition webpage.

Support Brunel Entrepreneurs

If you are a mentor, investor or service provider with experience of supporting early stage start-ups and SME’s and feel that you can contribute to helping out in any way, then we would love to hear from you too!

Please e-mail  or call or call 01895 267423 tospeak to a member of our team.

Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visa Scheme 2017

Are you a graduating overseas student / entrepreneur with a great business idea?

Brunel University London will once again be sponsoring a number of International students, supporting them in applying for a Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visa. This will enable exceptional entrepreneurial graduates with exciting and commercially viable ideas, to extend their stay in the UK for 12 months (renewable to 24 months), whilst they explore and implement their businesses.


To apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visa, you need an endorsement from a UK higher education institution. Brunel University London is offering to endorse a select few students through the Innovation Hub’s Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visa Scheme. Find out more about the Graduate Entrepreneur Tier Visa here.

If you are truly passionate about your business idea and eager to succeed, we want to help you reach your goals.

Visa Pic

What kind of people and businesses are we looking for?

We are interested in enthusiastic people with innovative business ideas with a strong potential for success, that could even change the world! See further below this page for examples of previous Brunel students, who have started up their business after attaining a Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visa.

Can I apply?

This scheme is open to International students who have graduated this year or will be graduating within 12 months from 1 May 2017 and will apply for the visa within three months of their graduation.

This year the Innovation Hub has introduced some criteria around the submissions:

1. The student must have financial ability and commitment to spend the majority of their working time solely on developing their business. This is now a new requirement in the visa rules.

2. Their idea must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Clear links with Brunel University London (e.g. a business directly applying learning from Brunel)
  • Is a very novel entrepreneurial idea displaying innovation and creativity
  • Shows a clear evolution path to the Central Research Laboratory (a manufacturing entrepreneur incubator which is sponsored by Brunel)

3. The student must have evidence of entrepreneurship. The student must have taken steps to prepare themselves and have what it takes to run a business

4. The student must agree to assist Brunel with promoting entrepreneurship

5. The student must submit annual and quarterly updated plans in advance of pre-agreed meeting dates with defined activities (i.e. ongoing work) and deliverables (measurable outcomes) that can be measured against plans and recorded and evidenced for UK immigration.

How do I apply?

Write to the Innovation Hub requesting a 2017 Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 visa programme application form and let us have your full name, student number and a contact mobile number.

You will receive the application forms to be completed and returned to by midnight on 7 June 2017.

Key Dates:

Thursday 1 December 2016 – Wednesday 7 June 2017

Submission of applications. From 1 December 2016, the application forms and process will be available

Friday 9 June 2017

Shortlist of candidates announced

Monday 26 June 2017 – Friday 30 June 2017

Training workshops and tuning of business cases

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Presentations to panel

Friday 14 July 2017

Visa sponsorship selection announced

Case Study 1

Student's Name: Carlton Cummins
Business Name: Aceleron


The aim of Aceleron is to create a multinational energy storage company, which is able to take ‘waste’ electric vehicle batteries and convert them into useful home energy storage devices.

Carlton has now been sponsored and will be taking up the visa this summer. He has a background in mechanical engineering and upon completing his Master’s degree at Brunel University London, in Sustainability Entrepreneurship and Design. He filed his first patent in a battery technology, based on his dissertation research in electric vehicle waste management. Carlton was also a finalist in London Mayor’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Competition and is currently working in a company which does research on low emissions transportation solutions.

Case Study 2

Student's Name: David Nyaga
Business Name: Just Start Trading (FXJST)


David Nyaga is an alumnus of Brunel University who obtained his visa this year. He developed a trading platform: Just Start Trading (FXJST), which is a Pan-African FX Brokerage House, providing financial and investment services. Just Start Trading offers online Foreign Exchange trading to clients through their partnership with an UK FCA regulated broker.

Their clients consist of institutional, retail, corporate and small to medium sized investment banks in East Africa. They found that they could fill the gap in Africa, since many wanted to trade but did not have a local presence so they felt it would be advantageous to set up in this region.

FXJST’s aim is to be the first of its kind: a mass-marketing trading platform and community network for Africa.

Case Study 3

Student's Name: Soroush Pourhashemi
Business Name: Lozi


Soroush graduated in 2012 with a Master’s degree in advanced engineering design at Brunel University. He was on the Brunel Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa for 2 years and is now on the full UK Entrepreneur Visa.

Currently, he runs a bespoke furniture design and manufacturing studio called Lozi, which is based in London. Lozi combines modern technology with traditional wood working methods, hand crafting every item to the highest quality by carefully shaping and bending wood. Everything they produce reflects the three basic elements of design: point, line and surface. They care about how furniture feels and that is why they use natural and sustainable materials to produce their pieces.

If you think your idea has what it takes, apply for the Graduate Visa Scheme from the 1 December 2016- 7 June 2017!

Page last updated: Wednesday 18 May 2016