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Successful Entrepreneurship

Turning innovation into successful real-world businesses

Dates: New dates to be announced soon

Duration: One day, 9am – 5.30pm, followed by networking drinks until 7pm

Location: RCA Kensington

Fee: £900

Register your interest

Course overview

This intensive one-day course is led by Dr Nadia Danhash and colleagues from InnovationRCA, the RCA’s highly successful incubator, voted Accelerator of the Year 2019 by the UK Business Angels Association. With its unique design-led methodology and an unrivalled five-year spin-out survival rate of 87 per cent, InnovationRCA was assessed as ‘world-class’ in a review by McKinsey & Co in 2017. 

The course is based on tried and tested material developed for InnovationRCA start-ups that has underpinned their  success. 

A distinguishing feature of this course is a focus on design-led innovation, an approach based on unconstrained thinking that casts a unique perspective on business opportunities by combining technology and creativity in equal measure. This sets it apart from the typical business school offering. 

Topics covered include:

  • practical ideation
  • assessing market fit
  • developing new products and brand value
  • investment readiness. 

There will be short presentations by the founders of InnovationRCA spin-outs that may include Gravity Sketch, In House Records and Loowatt, with a Q&A session offering key insights from those that have successfully travelled the entrepreneurial journey before. 

At the end of this course you will gain confidence to feel better equipped with the fundamentals and building blocks of effective entrepreneurship, to develop a successful real-world venture.

There will be an opportunity to become part of the InnovationRCA network, and attend future events.

What will I learn?

You will:

  • learn about the key aspects and building blocks that underpin successful entrepreneurship
  • gain practical and actionable advice on how to assess and test the market, build a strong business case and ultimately turn ideas into sustainable businesses
  • have the opportunity to meet and network with speakers, early-stage start-up founders, mentors from InnovationRCA and other attendees.

How will I learn?

Learning takes place in small groups of 5–6 participants, and includes: 

  • a series of brief masterclasses
  • interactive workshops 
  • hands-on innovation exercises to explore ideation by solving a practical challenge and developing business models.

Who should attend?

Individuals, SMEs and corporates in the early stages of starting their own business.

Anyone who encourages and supports business creation, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Programme team

Dr Nadia Danhash, Director, InnovationRCA (Course Leader)

In her role as Director, Nadia has led investments in more than 50 companies building an exciting portfolio of disruptive companies. Nadia is also the founding director of AngelClubRCA, an angel investor network in London that has over sixty investor members. She is a founding trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work, a member of the executive boards of the European League of Institutions of Arts and of ImmerseUK’s Access to Finance and Investment.  

An angel investor in her own right, Nadia has a PhD in life sciences and a Master’s in Business Administration, and has mentored over a hundred early-stage companies. Prior to joining the RCA, Nadia held senior business and commercial roles at GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Thermo Fisher Scientific. She has worked in Europe, the USA and Asia.

Stephen Rockman, InnovationRCA Entrepreneur in Residence

Stephen helps guide and challenge the entrepreneurs and start-ups based at InnovationRCA. He’s been investing in, advising and mentoring start-ups for over a decade, and actively champions entrepreneurship, innovation and social impact. Following commercial and strategic roles with technology corporates and start-ups, he founded Merism Capital in 2010, to invest in seed and early-stage impact businesses.

Stephen is a trustee of Shift Ventures Trust, which researches, designs and builds social businesses that solve social problems. He sits on the advisory boards of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills and CW+, the charity supporting Chelsea and Westminster Hospital by funding pioneering research, innovation, art and design. He is also an assessor for Innovate UK and was a member of the Department of Health and Design Council’s advisory board for the ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Challenge. 

Raphael Channer, Head of Incubation, InnovationRCA 

As Head of Incubation, Raphael leads the InnovationRCA start-up programme, mentoring and guiding company founders and managing them through a structured programme of development as they build their businesses.

Raphael has extensive commercial experience both in the UK and internationally, following a career in the telecoms sector commercialising technological developments around the world, and latterly with UK Trade & Investment where he worked as an international trade adviser and led trade missions into new and developing markets. He has worked with start-up businesses in the tech, construction and design sectors and brings specific expertise in finance, business planning and strategic development.

Dr Albert Demargne, Head of Commercialisation, InnovationRCA 

Albert is responsible for the commercialisation of RCA Intellectual Property and of InnovationRCA’s various entrepreneurship programmes, helping individuals, institutions and corporations develop their businesses through effective and sustained design-led innovation.

Albert is a chartered aeronautical engineer. His career brings together broad technical knowledge and significant commercial and operational experience of growing start-ups and SMEs. He’s developed business for several early-stage technology companies, and has delivered multiple consultancy assignments, advising on major engineering programmes, on technology valuation and on commercialisation of innovation. His experience includes raising funds, licensing technology, and establishing and managing partnerships with top-tier global OEMs and government laboratories, in sectors ranging from electronics to Formula 1 and nuclear power.

Adam Sutcliffe

After graduating from Imperial College with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering, Adam went into digital, working as an executive producer until he started  the business consultancy Fagence & Foster. Whilst there he returned to studying, taking aMaster’s at the RCA in Industrial Design Engineering. 

During the final year of his MA Adam launched Orbel, a medtech venture which was subsequently incubated in InnovationRCA and is now solid internationally. Since then, Adam has created a number of products and helped launch a number of businesses. As well as running his innovation consultancy, Mental, Adam is a business fellow and coach at InnovationRCA. He is very keen to help start-up businesses get to being investor/market ready in the quickest, most effective way.

Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described courses as circumstances dictate. Staff members are subject to availability and may change.


+44 (0)20 7590 4279
[email protected]

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Please register your interest to download the full course description.

"The course gives participants an initial design-led entrepreneurial perspective that helps them understand how to frame new ideas with sound business principles." Dr Nadia Danhash

Director, InnovationRCA

"The whole team at InnovationRCA had a hugely influential and important impact on the project." S Dzisiewski-Smith, Co-Founder, BuffaloGrid

Co-Founder, BuffaloGrid

Dr Nadia Danhash
Dr Nadia Danhash