University of Edinburgh partners with Cancer Research UK to build startup companies

pharmafile | September 22, 2021 | News story | Research and Development  

The University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator, a business support programme, has partnered with Cancer Research UK to help build startup companies focused on combatting cancer.

This programme is part of the University’s endeavours to drive innovation in the wake of COVID-19, and it is another example of Cancer Research’s UK-wide programme of support for entrepreneurial activity. Applicants can be PhD students and postdoctorates at the University of Edinburgh or Heriot-Watt, as well as research staff from all around the UK.

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Ten participants will be funded in the second round of the University’s Incubator, and they will be supported in developing their startup ideas for three months. Cancer-related projects are expected to consist of half the incubator’s second cohort. Each team will be provided with £2,000, workshops, networking events, and one-to-one mentoring.

Iain Foulkes, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Cancer Research UK, said:

“As funders of much of the world-class, cutting-edge cancer research in the UK, we know how important it is that these discoveries make it out of the lab and into the clinic.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship in our researchers is key to achieving this, which is why we are excited to be a part of the DDE Venture Builder Incubator.”

Businesses will pitch their business plans to an expert judging panel at a ‘Demo Day’ in March, where they will have a chance to win £5,000.

The incubator will be managed by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialization service, which leads the University’s activities in industry engagement and business development. The delivery of the programme is supported by Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy Nile. 

Dr John Lonsdale, Head of Enterprise Services at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “The Venture Builder Incubator has proven itself a powerful tool that sets innovators on a firm course to success as entrepreneurs.”

This programme follows the charity’s partnership with KQ Labs, which supported early stage data driven health companies focused on cancer.

Lina Adams


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