A Look Back at Our Innovations

London Business School has a long history of entrepreneurialism and innovation – an agenda which has gathered momentum and importance over the last 30 years.

Image of student talking to a member of faculty

The impact of LBS Incubator

Over 13 years, more than 130 businesses and in excess of £130m raised in seed funding – just a few of the incredible numbers that sum up LBS Incubator.

Celebrating £100m raised by LBS Startups

Now in it’s 13th year, the London Business School Incubator has achieved staggering success in terms of business supported and seed capital raised.

“This is a phenomenal figure which points to the many diverse skills, talents and business ideas cultivated by the LBS Incubator, and also speaks to the power of the LBS brand,” says Jane Khedair, Director, Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC).

At a time when the need for sustainability and the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment has never been more significant, the LBS Incubator is nurturing a growing number of start-ups with sustainability at the fore of their business plans.

“The Incubator team are also extremely proud of the incredible levels of innovation we continue to see each year. Innovation is a definitely the defining feature of each year’s cohort.”

A stylish thermos bottle business which funds ocean plastic salvage, an app which aims to encourage people to plant one tree for free every day, and a carbon offset fintech that enables its customers to see the impact of their spend – these are just three of what are now several leading ventures the LBS Incubator has supported in recent years. “While the LBS Incubator programme is sector agnostic, it is clear that sustainability is at the forefront of a growing number of the ventures we have supported,” says Jane, who chairs and runs the Incubator programme.

“The Incubator team are also extremely proud of the incredible levels of innovation we continue to see each year. Innovation is a definitely the defining feature of each year’s cohort.”

Starting a business is always challenging. Many young companies find it hard to survive negative cash flow in the early stages of a company’s life. “It’s a testament to London Business School’s Incubator that 93% of the early stage companies supported and launched by our team over the last five years have survived, and have gone on to become successful brands in their own right,” says Jane.

“The success of the Incubator programme is founded on the School and programme’s ability to impart years of frontline business experience” says Jane. Incubator cohort members do not face a single-handed journey when embarking on the development of their ventures. An amazing list of multi-national companies provide pro-bono support to the entrepreneurs. “LBS and our supporters are fully invested in the development of the tremendous ideas originating from each cohort. The fact that we are able to help these new companies navigate through to the proverbial ‘minimum viable product’, impress investors and get their products and services properly showcased is exciting, not because we’re able to achieve this once, but because we’re amazingly repeatable with our successes.” says Jane.

An Incubator case study: TreeApp

the treeapp logo

The catastrophic wildfires that took place in Greece in 2018, impelled Athens resident Godefroy Harito MiM2018 to try to combat the effects of climate change.

The same year, Harito met Jules Buker MiM2018 at London Business School. Buker also had a strong personal interest in fighting climate change – and together with LBS classmate Leo Ng, the three resolved to found a business that would both combat climate change and have a positive social impact.

As Buker recalls: “We came to the conclusion that planting a tree is quite concrete – everyone knows what a tree looks like. It’s not just about carbon-capture – it’s also about the fact that local flora and fauna are restored and the positive economic impact it has on local economies. This was a huge factor in our choices.”

The founders realised their solution needed to be simple and enjoyable to use to attract sufficient user numbers; a free-to-use mobile app met all of those criteria.

Treeaapp launched in the UK and Ireland on 22 April 2020 to coincide with Earth Day, and had generated more than 1,000 downloads two weeks after launch. The app enables users to plant a tree for free simply by watching three short ads from one of Treeapp’s branding partners. The brand partner gives £1 to Treeapp, who then arranges to plant the tree in its user-chosen site.

“We just want to improve the world we live in, and the one we leave for future generations.”

App users can fund additional planting voluntarily and can calculate their carbon footprint. Users ‘pay’ by donating time to watch the ads. Working with brands also gives Treeapp access to the brands’ networks – the more brands it works with, the more exposure it gets, which increases the number of brands that want to work with it. Treeapp only works with brand and local planting partners that satisfy strict ESG criteria.

To date, Treeapp has planted over 600,000 trees. The founders now need to grow the business globally to deliver environmental and social impact at scale, setting themselves the ‘stretch’ target of planting a million trees every day.

As Harito says: “We just want to improve the world we live in, and the one we leave for future generations.”

Collaborative Learning Classroom in focus

LBS Collaborative Learning Classroom

Opened in 2019, London Business School’s Collaborative Learning Classroom has been transforming the way students and alumni interact and learn.

This next generation learning space is pushing the boundaries of innovation and leveraging the value of technology. Designed to be flexible, accessible and fully technology-enabled, the classroom is compatible with emerging styles of learning.


The Collaborative Learning Classroom allows co-teaching initiatives which pool faculty expertise, generating learning outcomes that no teacher could facilitate alone. It integrates the strengths of multiple perspectives, allowing students to benefit from a range of viewpoints while ensuring consistency and continuity of delivery and materials.

Richard Hytner in an LBS classroom

Richard Hytner discusses collaborative learning at LBS

Blended learning

Course delivery within the Collaborative Learning Classroom effectively harnesses the potential of blended learning – the integration of digital media with traditional classroom teaching methods, adding significant value to the learning experience.

Hear from Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Richard Hytner on his experiences teaching in the Collaborative Learning Classroom.

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