I have been in the forefront at UCL in establishing courses and an infrastructure to encourage Entrepreneurship. This includes the highly popular 30-lecture foundation course Introduction to Business & Entrepreneurship. The Computer Science Department, to encourage people to exploit their research, also allows staff and PhD students to start companies 'at their desk'. A number of companies are being incubated in the Department. I have published a number of books in the area and led the UK Government (DTI) Mission to the USA, Israel, Taiwan etc. study government schemes to support and encourage entrepreneurship.

I am the Director of three companies and serve on the Advisory Board of a Venture Capital company.

Virtual Company Strategy

Working with Prof. Mike Smith, we have developed the so-called Virtual Company strategy. For many years, nearly every business school has taught that high-technology start-ups are built on the dream of raising millions of dollars of venture capital, working frantically for two to three years to build value, then going public or selling the venture for a vast amount of money. We call this the Venture Capital paradigm, and argue it is unrealistic for aspiring UK entrepreneurs, such as university staff and students.

Our Virtual Company paradigm encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to identify a moneymaking idea, assemble a team, explore new markets and grow the business organically. We teach (and practice) that while investment, IPO, trade sale and other forms of harvest are desirable outcomes, entrepreneurs should not overlook the option of creating durable businesses that they intended to operate personally for a considerable part of their career. Although not appropriate for all new ventures, we believe the Virtual Company is a viable option in the UK for many entrepreneurs who are seeking to create high-technology ventures. We also encourage technologists to consider founding new ventures as a natural, early and career-boosting step, even if their ultimate aspirations are to work within established businesses.

Bodymetrics and Sizemic

Bodymetrics and Sizemic are fashion technology companies established to support and commercialise the research from the Centre for 3D Electronic Commerce. Bodymetrics' major business stream is Made-to-Measure clothing supported by scanning services in Selfridges and Harrods. Sizemic specialises in B2B clothing technology services including the sale of the SizeUK data, data analysis, pattern generation software and CNC-cut fit mannequins.

Incubating High-tech Business Ideas

Universities are a natural incubator for high-tech Start-ups. I am working with a number of UCL staff and students, and external entrepreneurs, to incubate ideas for high-tech start-ups.