Introduced by the Babraham Research Campus in 2018, the Accelerate@Babraham initiative supports ambitious early stage life science ventures within the active Babraham Research Campus community. As part of this initiative StartUP@Babraham is a competition specifically to support ideas and/or companies that are pre-seed to seed stage (below £500k investment). Each year, via a rigorous application and selection process, a handful of early stage life sciences enterprises are selected to take part in this bio-entrepreneurial programme. In addition to a place on the programme, ventures also receive a non-diluted cash award, free lab and office space and proactive introductions to the campus’ global network, including mentoring and business support.
In December 2019, as part of its wider support of Accelerate@Babraham, medical charity LifeArc released an additional £10,000 from its funding of the programme in the form of a prize to be awarded to the venture which could evidence the most marked translation of its idea during the course of the programme. The winning venture was required to satisfy a number of criteria including, addressing a valuable patient need, the strategic development of staff and facilities (virtual or otherwise), demonstrating traction with commercial partners or investors and the prosecution of a market led Intellectual Property strategy.
The winners of the award were announced at the final presentation day for the current cohort, which took place on the 28thFebruary, with LifeArc choosing, on this occasion, to split the prize between CC Bio and Reflection Therapeutics.
David Holbrook, Head of Seed Funds, LifeArc said: “I have been incredibly impressed with the calibre of the start-ups and the progress each has made during this second StartUP@Babraham programme. It was no easy task to select who we felt had taken best advantage of the totality of the capabilities of this accelerator programme and who had really made headway in translating their science – and team – towards the next inflection point. Both CC Bio and Reflection Therapeutics were impossible to separate, and it is therefore my pleasure to split the award between these two young ventures. I very much look forward to following their progress and that of the remainder of the cohort as they continue to develop the science in their respective fields.”
As a competition, StartUP@Babraham is widely supported by companies on campus, who give freely of their expertise and time to help the young ventures refine and progress their innovations. In addition, the wider Accelerate@Babraham initiative is supported by a group of strategic partners, including LifeArc, all of whom are engaged in helping to shape and evolve the Accelerate@Babraham activities and StartUP@Babraham competition year on year.
Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus added: “I would like to congratulate all the start-ups who took part in our second StartUP@Babraham competition. Their engagement with the process and progress throughout has been exceptional; it has been a pleasure to work with them and although the programme is now officially over, we will continue to support them in a variety of ways as they move forward.
“One of our constant objectives with this programme is to continue to evolve what we offer, learning from the experiences of past cohorts. We know that giving our young ventures proactive access to our exceptional network of mentors and advisors and being able to help them get in front of potential investors and pharma partners is invaluable. However, what we have learnt from this cohort is that the 5-month programme is potentially not long enough when trying to combine all the benefits of access to the wider network whilst also trying to get those initial killer experiments done in the lab. Our job now, in consultation with our strategic partners, is to evolve and develop the programme further to ensure we are truly meeting the needs of future cohorts.”
Applications for the 2020/21 StartUp@Babraham programme are now invited. To find out more visit: https://www.babraham.com/accelerate-babraham/accelerate-babraham-competition-2020/
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