Start Up and Innovator Visa programmes: Unleashing the talent of international students and graduates

2:00 pm - 4:15 pm 16/06/2021

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Start Up and Innovator Visa programmes: Unleashing the talent of international students and graduates.

Wednesday 16th June 2021, 2pm to 4.10pm


Delegates had the opportunity to:

  • Hear examples of good practice in the delivery of the Start-up and Innovator visa schemes
  • Discuss obstacles and areas of challenge
  • Consider how to capture and showcase impact created by international talent
  • Learn from others who are adapting to new needs and world context post-covid
  • Take away learnings to apply in their own institutions to revitalise the visa schemes they run including better capture of impact.
  • Gain a better understanding of how the UK fares in the race to attract global talent
  • Help to shape a more permanent network/forum for universities that are endorsing bodies for Start-Up and Innovator Visas.


This online Enterprise Exchange event, co-hosted by EEUK and Oxford Brookes University, provided a forum for sharing good practice and discussing new ideas and approaches to the Start-up and Innovator Visa schemes. We also discussed the impact of the introduction of the new Graduate Visa route.

The UK Government is keen to attract international talent and innovation in many industries. There is a strong pool of UK universities currently attracting and/or retaining talent through the Start-Up Visa Scheme (formerly Tier 1) as part of their offering. This is a key selling point for UK universities to attract international students. The Start-Up Visa and Innovator Visa schemes are aligned with UK economic ambitions and play a vital role in creating and nurturing a pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and innovators who then move on to other Visa Schemes once they have acquired traction.


  • Rebecca Lissaman, Home office – unable to contribute but slides available below
  • Katie Newbury, Partner, Kingsley Napley LLP
  • Jivko Hristov, Entrepreneurship Advisor, University College London
  • Paul Thorning, Director of Open Innovation, Bradford University
  • Kate Bray, Business Process Advisor for Student Enterprise, University of Surrey
  • Clelia Bevillard, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consultant, Oxford Brookes University
  • Oli Monks, Visa Programme Manager at Tech Nation

Visa Holders Panel

  • Anastasia Agafonova, founder at UKHired, endorsed by University College London
  • Mainideep Singh, founder of Eat Drink Flash and Maini Books, endorsed by Oxford Brookes University


Rebecca Lissaman Home Office

Paul Thorning University of Bradford

Oli Monks Tech Nation

Jivko Hristov UCL

Clelia Bevillard Oxford Brookes University

Attendee details

Bookings are closed for this event.