PhD Accelerator

The mission of the PhD Accelerator programme is to cultivate a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem within our university, leveraging the incredible potential of our PhD students' research to drive commercialisation and start-up creation.

Join us on this exciting journey as we empower PhD students to shape the future, create ground-breaking start-ups, and make a difference in the world.

Comprehensive Support for Entrepreneurial Success

The PhD Accelerator programme offers comprehensive support to students embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, ensuring they have the resources, guidance, and networks necessary to succeed. Here's what participants can expect:

  1. Mentorship from Industry Experts: Our students will have access to a curated network of experienced mentors who will provide invaluable guidance, industry insights, and support throughout their entrepreneurial endeavours.
  2. Tailored Training and Workshops: We will offer a series of specialised training sessions and workshops that cover essential topics such as business planning, market research, funding strategies, intellectual property protection, and more. These sessions will equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape.
  3. Access to Funding Opportunities: We understand that funding is critical for turning ideas into reality. Through the PhD Accelerator programme, students will have access to information and guidance on funding opportunities, including grants, Founderships, Inventorship Awards (in recognition for when you register your invention with a view to file a patent) and start-up funding, to help fuel their ventures.
  4. Industry Connections and Networking: Building strong connections with industry professionals, potential investors, and fellow entrepreneurs is crucial for success. Our programme, in collaboration with the Surrey Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation will facilitate networking events, pitching sessions, and collaborations to help students forge valuable relationships and explore partnership opportunities. The University is also a member of the SETsquared Partnership providing further access to valuable networks and support programmes including Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe).
  5. Legal and Intellectual Property Support: We recognise the importance of protecting intellectual property. Our programme will provide guidance and assistance in navigating the patenting process and securing legal support for students' research and innovations. Here are some essential guides and reading:

How to Get Involved

PhD students interested to join the PhD Accelerator should register their interest here (requires Surrey account).

Their supervisors and university colleagues interested in learning more and contributing to the PhD Accelerator programme are encouraged to express their interest and learn more by contacting either Kat Mack ( or Geoffrey Knott ( - you can also see some FAQs below.

For Supervisors

We believe that this programme will not only benefit our PhD students but also contribute to the overall research and innovation ecosystem at the University of Surrey. We appreciate your continued support and collaboration in ensuring the success of this initiative.