Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to answer all your questions.
At which stage of my PhD or Msc degree can I apply?
Conception places no restriction on that, as long as your supervisor agrees and your academic work is not jeopardised.
Can I apply if I do not have a business idea?
If you do not have a specific idea but have a strong technical profile and an interest in entrepreneurship, you can still apply.
Can I apply if I have already formed a company?
Yes. If you are at an early stage of formation and are looking for co-founders, you can still apply to Conception. This applies to both students and entrepreneurs.
Can I apply if I have raised investment already?
You are still eligible to apply if you have taken a very small amount of investment or been awarded a grant. We deal with these situations on a case-by-case basis and you should email if unsure.
Can more than one student be involved on one startup?
This is permitted as long as the startup is relevant to all of the students’ theses.
How does the shareholding work?
When a startup is formed, the founding team decide amongst themselves how the majority of shareholding will be distributed, based on their contribution and ongoing commitment. Should the team receive investment from an investor, the founding team guided by the entrepreneur negotiate equity with the investor on commercial terms. In situations where the student’s supervisor or a university staff member is heavily involved in the project, the university might have claim to the IP, and subsequently own a part of the startup. Every startup will be considered on a case by case basis.
Who owns the Intellectual Property?
This depends, in part, on the policy that the university has in place. For example, in UCL, students own their IP and college makes no claim on any work you may have developed as part of normal student activity. In some cases, if you have been sponsored by a commercial group, or if you are part of a joint IP development team then you may need to clarify with the team or the sponsor the IP responsibilities. We can offer some confidential advise on this if you are uncertain and we can suggest ways you may seek clarification too.