Home | Accelerate@Babraham | Accelerate@Babraham 2018 Programme Highlights


After a challenging selection process and a highly competitive pitch contest, five science start-ups were awarded £20k and access to the Babraham Research Campus’ bio-incubator facilities, Accelerate@Babraham. In addition, a spin-out from the Babraham Institute, SNPr was invited to attend the programme.

The winning ventures - Antiverse, Qkine, VisusNano, Oppilotech and Kalium Diagnostics – plus SNPr, spent three months on the Campus, from September to December 2018, receiving 1-2-1 mentoring from world-class scientific and business experts, bespoke training sessions and access to the Babraham Research Campus’ highly experienced life science, healthcare and investor networks.

Dr Tanya Hutter, Co-founder, Kalium Health said:

“Accelerate@Babraham is the whole package – lab space, cash award and biotech mentoring – and the fact that it all comes together to enable you to execute your idea is what makes it so valuable.”

Further feedback from the programme - the first of its kind to offer laboratory space, mentoring and a cash-prize, in Cambridge - has been overwhelmingly positive, with the start-ups reporting successful prototype builds, refined business plans and further international award success.

Dr Joanna Gould, CEO of VisusNano said:

“The minute you say you are based at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge everyone gets very excited, so that’s really useful. We’ve made some amazing progress whilst we’ve been on the programme, including winning best healthcare company in Hong Kong, featuring in the Top 500 for Hello Tomorrow and in addition, we’ve been approached by two major lens companies.”

The winners’ package also included the use of communal equipped laboratory space, flexible workspace within the Campus’ stimulating and supportive environment and access to the community hub, which includes office, meeting and social spaces.

Dr Ajay Mistry, CEO of Oppilotech said:

“We’ve achieved so much in a short space of time. We used the funding to buy compounds to screen against a new drug target. We have initiated the screening and already have an active compound.”

Dr Luba Chakalova, Head of Science, SNPr said:

“I would eagerly recommend the Accelerate@Babraham programme to early start-ups. Provided the timing is right, participation in the programme would be extremely useful in helping a start-up to become investor-ready.”

Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Bioscience Technologies said:

“I’m thrilled to see what the first group of Accelerate@Babraham trailblazers have achieved and how they have developed during the course of the programme. This is a learning experience for us too and we’re now looking forward to refining what we do to ensure we can build upon the success of this year’s accelerator for future cohorts. Being able to support life sciences ventures from concept through to company, providing space from a bench to a building, is a distinct feature of the Campus.”

Dr Karolina Zapadka, Business Acceleration Manager at Babraham Research Campus said:

“I am incredibly proud of what our first cohort have achieved. We share in their successes, which are also successes for the wider Campus and the Cambridge life sciences cluster as a whole.

“I’d like to thank the incredibly experienced and innovative group of strategic partners, all the mentors and other individuals who have supported Accelerate@Babraham, giving generously of their time and expertise to help develop the life science ventures of the future.”

Although the three-month programme is now complete, the start-ups report that they are ready to take their ideas to the next stage and that the networks and relationships they have developed in the past three months will have long-lasting benefits.

Dr Rowina Westermeier, CEO of Antiverse, said:

“The accelerator has acted as a gateway for us to facilitate those first introductions, make new connections and grow our network, which will in turn help our company to grow.”

Dr Catherine Elton, CEO of QKINE said:

“My overarching learning point from Accelerate@Babraham has been that input from many mentors and peers helps to build a strong framework for a new company and test the business model. I learnt that we need to aim bigger to grow a sustainable business and build investor value as a result of this.”


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Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd
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CB22 3AT, United Kingdom

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