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Bio-start 2.0

  • Posted on 25 July

On 11th of July 2017, 11 months to the day from the launch of the Bio-start competition, CustoMem was announced as the overall winner, receiving £100k, with Colorifix and Quethera claiming the other two Growth Awards on offer.

Bio-start was created with the aim of supporting early-stage start-up companies using synthetic biology to solve significant global problems, providing mentoring, networking and entrepreneurial training. The competition focused primarily on developing the business acumen of the start-ups that entered. Crucial skills learnt included learning how to shift from academia to a business-like approach, as well as learning how to present only the salient facts to investors.

Bio-start met an unaddressed need – you can teach entrepreneurial skills to ambitious scientists. It was met with widespread enthusiasm and support, with 34 companies applying to take part in Bio-start, 9 leading companies and institutions sponsoring the competition, and a crowd of over 100 leaders from the synthetic biology and entrepreneurial community attending the awards ceremony. Bio-start gives early-stage companies an opportunity to build their strategic networks. Many spin-outs have strong academic and local support from the universities, but Bio-start is able to introduce support from all over the country, helping them expand their networks in valuable ways.

In light of the hugely positive response and feedback from this year’s competition, SynbiCITE fully intend to take the competition into its second year in 2018, with new sponsors, mentors and an eager new cohort of start-ups. In its first year, Bio-start has exceeded all our expectations. We look forward to embarking on this exciting process once again in 2018, meeting new innovators in the synthetic biology sector. It will also be interesting to follow the progress of this year’s competitors over the coming months.

We are now looking for sponsors for 2018, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved.