Applications now open for the second Accelerate@Babraham life-science start-up competition

Life science start-ups are invited to apply for the opportunity to win access to the Babraham Research Campus bio-incubator facilities, plus an extended programme of support and mentoring

Babraham 6th March 2019: Accelerate@Babraham supports the development of early-stage science concepts and the creation of new life science companies through access to equipped communal laboratories on short-term agreements, as well as guidance from mentors and introductions to investors. The annual Accelerate@Babraham competition gives up to five ventures the opportunity to win access to these facilities, and in addition, take part in a fast-paced programme of support, led by a hand-picked group of experienced academic and commercial life science experts.

Building on the success of the 2018 competition, the Accelerate@Babraham 2019 cohort will benefit from an enhanced programme - extended from three months to five – running from September 2019 until the end of February 2020. Successful ventures will be ‘on-boarded’ over the summer. The programme, which will include bespoke training sessions, workshops and tailored mentoring will be run by practitioners expert in life science and bio-innovation.

In addition to the programme, the five successful winners will gain access to Accelerate@Babraham’s bio-incubator facilities, including communal equipped laboratory space, flexible workspace within the Babraham Research Campus’ stimulating and supportive environment and access to its community hub which includes office, meeting and social spaces.

Being part of the Accelerate@Babraham programme will also give the five successful ventures access, and personal introductions, to the Babraham Research Campus’ highly experienced life science, healthcare, business and investor networks. This aspect of the programme was something the 2018 cohort found particularly valuable:

Luba Chakalova, Hd of Biology, SNPr, said: “Before applying I thought the free lab space was the greatest benefit of the programme. It quickly became obvious that in fact the real and long-lasting value was in the rewarding professional relationships we established and developed. The Accelerate@Babraham team with the help of outstanding experts from a wide variety of backgrounds not only worked with us but made sure that each individual start-up received support uniquely tailored to its needs. We became part of a stimulating professional community.”

Rowina Westermeier, Co-founder, Antiverse added: “The Babraham Accelerator was a great experience for Antiverse. We got introductions which were rigorously tailored to our needs at any point in time, had the opportunity to meet leaders in the field and be mentored by some of them. Overall, this resulted in very valuable input with regards to our strategy and new partnering opportunities. We strongly recommend applying to the Accelerator.”

Accelerate@Babraham complements 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.

Jackie Hunter, Chief Executive Chief Executive Clinical Programmes & Strategic Partnerships, Benevolent AI and key supporter of the 2018 programme commented: “Encouraging the next generation of life science entrepreneurs by providing the space, expertise and experienced ear of those that have gone before is a powerful combination. The Accelerate@Babraham programme does exactly this, and is an excellent opportunity for start-ups to access lab and office space alongside the critically important expertise and mentoring. All the companies I have spoken to have found it an extremely valuable experience for both them and their investors.”

Ventures wishing to apply to take part in Accelerate@Babraham’s 2019 Start-up Competition, should complete the online competition application form here by midnight on 22nd April 2019

Shortlisted applicants will be notified at the beginning of May and will need to be available to pitch to a judging panel of business leaders, life science experts and investors at the Babraham Investor Conference at the Babraham Research Campus on the 15th May.  The successful five ventures will be announced at a drinks reception immediately following the pitches.

To discover more about Accelerate@Babraham please visit

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