Inspire our Students

Spotlight on The Lion’s Den – alumni help our students to shine.


King’s alumni have provided invaluable support to the Lion’s Den by volunteering to mentor students through the process and advising them on how to transform their ideas into actual businesses. 

Organised by King’s Business in conjunction with King’s Graduate School, the Lion’s Den is a Graduate Business Plan competition which is open to any King’s student registered on a master’s degree, PhD or any post doctoral researchers. 

With total prizes and funding of £10,000 entrants have access to a series of enterprise seminars, workshops and events with input from entrepreneurs and business alumni to acquire vital skills such as networking, ideas generating technique, marketing and market research.  


What the mentors say:

“I volunteered as a Lion’s Den mentor, because both my work experience and wish to help new graduates from my College were perfect for the role of Mentor in the Lion’s Den which I enjoy immensely.”
Mike Leyland, Chemistry, 1970
Lion’s Den Mentor
“The most rewarding aspect of volunteering is the satisfaction of knowing you have added to students’ understanding of how business works and how they can reduce the risk of failure for their future projects.”
Zufi Deo, War Studies, 1998
Lion’s Den Mentor

And the mentees:

 “The whole process was very refreshing, stimulating and always surrounded by humour and a belief in the project.  The Lion’s Den has been the best experience for me on a professional as well as personal level.  It has challenged me in a way that I have not been tested before, helping me to achieve a clear view of my capabilities and potential to succeed.”
Patapia Tzotzoli, Lion’s Den mentee

 “Participating in Lion’s Den was an amazing experience. It not only introduced me to the world of business, intellectual property and product commercialisation, but also taught me that the skills I’ve acquired in academia can translate into other arena.  The training seminars were an invaluable crash-course in entrepreneurship that changed the way I think about scientific innovation.  Most importantly, I now feel that I can confidently pitch my ideas to academics and investors.”
Jason Mellad, former Lion’s Den winner


Lion's Den success stories:


Luke Blaxill and Shuzhi Zhou won £4,000 to develop their business to help students fund postgraduate studies through grants from charity. Since the Lion's Den, GradFunding has diversified its products by moving into digital media and doubled its customer base. It now supplies over 50 UK universities and has sold over 100,000 licences for its products.
  Sock Mob Events

Helen Milne and Lidija Mavra set up Sock Mob Events from the work of ‘The Sock Mob’  an informal volunteer network that engages with London's street people through regular weekly walks, using the ice-breaking power of socks and conversation.  Sock Mob coaches homeless people to be tour guides, taking walkers along an entertaining as well as meaningful walk. Sock Mob was awarded a grant from Unltd to help them to set up as a social enterprise.
Alex Kapustin and Yiwen Liu won £5,000 in prizes for ‘Indica’ – their business idea for a diagnostic kit for the early identification of vascular calcification.  King’s Business filed a patent on the idea and have awarded close to £8,000 proof of concept funding.
B-Stable designs and markets medical devices that improve balance and promote physical activity. Their first product, the B-Walker, is an innovative, hands-free walking aid.  They won £2,000 which they used to put a patent on the B-Walker and are looking for investment to develop their prototype further.  Jason Mellad, Massimo Barcellona and inventor Jeroen Bergmann aims to revolutionise the approach to balance and mobility problems.