University’s incubator programme selects cancer-fighting start-ups

TWENTY start-ups — eight of them operating projects in the field of cancer — have been selected for a University of Edinburgh incubator programme to develop and commercialise academic entrepreneurship.

Cancer startup entrepreneurs
Participants selected for the programme

The Venture Builder Incubator 2.0, part of the Data-Driven Entrepreneur Programme, is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service. The incubator is delivered by the Bayes Centre on behalf of the university’s five data-driven innovation hubs.

This follows a new partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Cancer Research UK to support PhD students and researchers developing and accelerating promising ideas.

The ventures include NanoTara, exploring early cancer diagnosis using magnetic nanorobots; 10zyme, a start-up devising a simple method of detecting cancers through urine or saliva samples; and ForceBiology, developers of a versatile, high-throughput drug-screening platform.

The programme includes start-ups from other sectors, including Quas, which makes a plant-based non-alcoholic beverage. Also selected are Zoforia Technologies, developers of an online wellbeing platform for children; Amitabha, an efficient and accurate AI-driven conveyancing solution; and Robocean, a subsea robot that can plant seagrass 30 times faster than other methods.

Other participating ventures are: Amytis Labs, Cexal, EVA Biosystems, FastMedCare, Flimology, Insilico, Janus, Onboard.ID, Outfit of Tomorrow, Oxford Onco-Therapeutics, Sentinal4D, Therapev, and Whimsylabs.

The Venture Builder Incubator is designed to help fledgling entrepreneurs build their skills and take their businesses to the next level. Selections were made after an application process which included PhD and post doctorate students from the University of Edinburgh or Heriot-Watt University, as well as research staff focused on cancer-related projects from across the UK.

Each venture is provided with £2,000 and business support through a series of workshops, networking events, mentoring, peer-to-peer consultation and access to the university of Edinburgh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its data expertise.

The Venture Builder Incubator forms part of the Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Beacon Programme at the University of Edinburgh to support post-Covid recovery.

The delivery of the programme is supported by Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy Nile, Scale Space, and Edventure, a pan-European university venture builder and accelerator launched by three Edinburgh students.

The Incubator has also formed a partnership with FinTech Scotland to leverage its network to support entrepreneurs.

Charlotte Waugh, of Edinburgh Innovations, said the programme “builds on our ambition to establish Edinburgh as the Data Capital of Europe”.