Accelerate@Babraham Start-up Competition: Winners announced


Five science start-ups have been awarded £20k and access to the Babraham Research Campus bio-incubator facilities, Accelerate@Babraham.

The search for the next tranche of innovative, exciting and potentially disruptive life science start-ups, who will further the development of their ventures at the Babraham Research Campus is complete. On Wednesday 11thJuly, eight finalists presented to a packed lecture theatre of members of the Babraham Research Campus community, ON Helix delegates, supporters and an expert judging panel, for the chance to win access to Accelerate@Babraham’s bio-incubator facilities, plus a raft of additional benefits.

Of the eight, fivestart-ups were chosen as the overall winners. The successful ventures are:

  • Antiverse Ltd
  • Kalium Diagnostics
  • Oppilotech Ltd
  • Qkine Ltd
  • VisusNano Ltd

The winning ventures secure access to Accelerate@Babraham’s bio-incubator facilities, including use of communal equipped laboratory space, flexible workspace within the campus’ stimulating and supportive environment and access to its community hub, which includes office, meeting and social spaces. In addition, each also receives:

  • £20K non-dilutive funding.
  • 1-2-1 mentoring from world-class scientific, technical and business experts.
  • Access to the Babraham Research Campus’ highly experienced life science, healthcare, business and investor networks.
  • Access to Accelerate@Babraham’s top quality programme, which will run from September to December this year and includes bespoke training sessions and a final Demo Day – all run by practitioners’ expert in life science and bio-innovation.

The competition attracted a rich variety of high calibre applications, all of which were reviewed by a panel of senior academics, investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.  After this challenging selection process, eight companies made it through to the second stage where they pitched to the competition panel and faced a quick-fire Q & A.  The panel consisted of John Trainer, VP and Head, Partnering and Strategy at MedImmune, Jo Parfrey, Non-exec Director of Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd, David Grainger, Partner at Medicxi, Tony Kouzarides, Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge and Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd.

Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltdsaid: “It is extremely challenging to communicate a business idea, cutting-edge science, and quantify the potential and convince a panel of judges that your proposition is better than the competition, whatever the situation. However, all eight finalists did incredibly well, and we were so impressed with all the pitches that we hope to be able to offer mentoring support and useful introductions to the runners up too.

“To those that made it through – we are delighted to welcome you to Accelerate@Babraham and look forward to working with you from September!”

John Trainer, VP and Head of Partnering and Strategy, MedImmune commented:“It was a real pleasure to be part of this process. The eight finalists presented their ventures with professionalism, enthusiasm and a high level of competency, which was very impressive, but made our decision-making very challenging.

“Becoming part of the Babraham Research Campus community via the Accelerate@Babraham programme offers the chosen five ventures an exciting opportunity to join an environment that has an exceptional reputation for nurturing and supporting new life science concepts and companies. I wish them all well and look forward to seeing how they progress.”

Jill Reckless, CEO, RxCelerate, which is one of Accelerate@Babraham’s five strategic partners along with AstraZeneca, MedImmune, One Nucleus and Eli Lilly commented:“RxCelerate is proud to support Accelerate@Babraham, which provides valuable resources to the early stage life science ecosystem. Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to working with you all as you continue to develop your innovative technologies.” 

This inaugural competition supports the overall objectives of Accelerate@Babraham - to support the development of new science concepts and the creation of new companies. It is also complementary of the Babraham Research Campus’ ongoing support of the Cambridge life science cluster, through the provision of access to the campus community and infrastructure without the need to be an established occupier on site.