Business start up support for University Researchers

If you have an idea emerging from your research that may have commercial potential, or could be the basis of a new spin-out company, then help is at hand! 

The University of Exeter’s Research Commercialisation Team can help you define and protect your intellectual property (University of Exeter staff access only), protect your investment and support your company formation process.


ICURe is a SETsquared initiative that has now become a national programme funded by InnovateUK North, Midlands, and SETsquared. It provides entrepreneurial training and funding for teams consisting of a Principal Investigator, early career researcher and a business advisor to validate your business proposition.  

We will support you to develop your ICURe application and through our network of associates (University of Exeter staff access only) can help identify business advisors to complete the team.

Researcher to Innovator

Researcher to Innovator is a residential training programme designed to help you develop entrepreneurial competencies and skills to help you commercialise your research and launch spin out projects.

University internal funding

A grant / loan of up to £15,000 for start-up expenses may be applied for via the University’s Internal Funding Commercialisation Fund (University of Exeter staff access only).

Research Commercialisation Managers  

Once you have demonstrated there is sufficient demand for your idea (market validation) and have a compelling case for a spin-out company, your Research Commercialisation Manager will work with you to: develop a business plan, incorporate the company and negotiate the necessary legal documentation.  

Your Commercialisation Manager will continue to support you post-incorporation helping you prepare for investment and access further support through entry into the SETsquared Business Acceleration Programme.

For more information about any of these support services please contact one of our Commercialisation Managers to help you start your journey: Neil Hayes, Tori Hammond and Jim Williams.

Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs)

Our EiRs bring expertise and experience in starting and growing businesses across a range of sectors and industries. They can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of starting a business and can provide strategic advice and direction tailored to the needs of your fledgling business. Researchers can also acces the Royal Society Entrepreneurs in Residence.