CESP 2021 – Apply to CESP 2021 to develop your start-up ideas

The fourth edition of the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP) is here to welcome master's-level students to develop their entrepreneurial skills


CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP)
CESP 2021 (Image: CERN)

Merging technology with entrepreneurship helps to drive innovative solutions to existing challenges. With this in mind, the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP) returns for its fourth edition, training the next generation of entrepreneurs.

This five-week programme will give master’s-level students the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, in collaboration with external mentors, technical experts from CERN and supporters of the CERN entrepreneurship programme. Students studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects from across the world can apply for the chance to spend five weeks learning the venture creation process, with guidance from technology and business experts.

Last year, due to the challenges of the pandemic, CERN adapted the CESP programme to a virtual format that took place in October and November. This year’s virtual edition, however, returns to its original July and August timeframe, to make best use of the students’ summer break.

A great deal was learned from last year’s virtual programme. While the challenges of missing live interaction were clear, the resilience of participants was impressive, adapting and excelling despite the unprecedented situation. The virtual format also improved accessibility, with participants able to connect with a wider range of mentors and potential customers than before.

For this year’s virtual edition, CERN is looking for master’s-level students working on interesting problems. Submit a proposal on why your problem is important, for whom it is a problem and why you are the right team/person to solve this. If you are successful, the CESP project team will connect you to experts at CERN and network mentors. Moreover, CESP will bring you in contact with start-up accelerators, seed funds and venture funds to help you navigate your start-up journey after the completion of the CESP programme.

Applications are open from now until 1 July 2021 and the programme will be held from 26 July to 27 August. CESP is managed by the CERN Knowledge Transfer group and enabled by the CERN & Society Foundation. The 2021 edition is made possible by the Arconic Foundation.

For more details, including how to apply, see the CESP page.


The CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme is an Education & Outreach project enabled by the CERN & Society Foundation thanks to donations by private individuals, foundations and companies. The 2021 edition is made possible by the Arconic Foundation.

The Arconic Foundation supports programmes that prepare the advanced manufacturing workforce through education and skill-building. The Arconic Foundation is independently endowed and invests in the communities of Arconic Corporation.