How it works.
Join us for a 6 month program together with an incredible bunch of scientists intent on changing the world. Ahead of the start date you'll get to meet your potential co-founders and start throwing ideas around. Then it starts: 3 months to find the right team, opportunity and solution.

Even if you don't find the right team or opportunity, DSV Founders are constantly offered jobs whilst exploring ideas. Moreover, DSV Founders have the option to join us in subsequent batches for a second attempt. Some move back to academia, stimulated by new insights and an incredible network. Read our post on Nature Jobs on how commercial experience boosts an academic career, regardless of outcome.
What to expect from DSV
Application submitted
Application submitted
The application process
We review applications continuously, if you look like a good fit you will hear back from us within a couple of weeks. We'll then set up a quick call and if successful customise a more in-depth interview process around you, often helping you to work up a project of your own interest.
Month 1
Month 1
Finding the people and ideas that inspire you
The first month is about quickly testing out lots of ideas with different people to find the best personality and skill fit. Both the programme team and industry experts will work closely with you (meeting 2-3 times a week) to help you find and explore opportunities. There will also be skill sharing sessions, talks with industry and entrepreneurs and insight from investors to help you shape your ideas.
Month 2
Month 2
Begin to settle on vision and start exploring viability
By this point you will have a broad idea of the big vision and a team that could work. You will be spending a lot of time out with potential customers and exploring the technical viability. Some teams try 10s of ideas, some teams hit on the right thing straight away.
Month 3
Month 3
Sense check the biggest risks
By now you will have ruled out several routes and will be beginning to focus down on a particular customer and technical plan. You will still be meeting with the DSV team several times a week and we will be continually introducing you to contacts that can help to get you to the next step as quickly as possible. We can provide access to labs to test technical risks and work with your university on any IP concerns.
Pre-seed investment
Pre-seed investment
Most viable ideas recieve backing to explore further
Exciting and potentially feasible ideas will receive a £30k pre-seed investment to build prototypes and get the proof points required for grant and seed funding. We'll also help you with the grant funding. At Imperial most teams brought in at least £200k non-dilutive funding and some as much as £2m.
Months 3-6
Months 3-6
Getting ready for seed
During this time you will be further de-risking the venture by creating proof of customer interest and technical feasibility, all whilst starting to talk to relevant investors and bringing expertise in to the team (both within our network and outside).
Beyond 6 months
Beyond 6 months
Growing beyond DSV
By this time you will be fairly independent and beginning to work with downstream investors. However we will always be available to help, from connections to sourcing talent.

How to Apply
Join the team from July.
We run two groups per year starting in January and July. We accept around 10% of applicants and build teams around great people as we go, finding 3-5 areas of common ground with at least 3 other people ensuring that plenty of people will be passionate about the same things that you are. Come along to events to explore ideas and meet your potential co-founders.

Find out how to join us in July
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