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A Word of Advice

Start Codon, a life science accelerator which aims to help start up  companies get their feet off the ground, has recently joined Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative. The programme aims to promote the development of new business ventures within academia and encourage entrepreneurship in the oncology space. 

Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer at Cancer Research UK, explained that the newly formed partnership would help address the current translational gap in oncology in the UK and help accelerate more promising ideas into the clinic and to people with cancer.

“Even though many of the professions that the programme is aimed at are in industry already, we want to get them to start thinking more entrepreneurially,” explained Jason Mellad, CEO and Cofounder of Start Codon. “In doing so we expect to see more opportunities for novel technologies to make it to market.” 

One of the biggest challenges for startups, according to Mellad, is that they are unsure of how to get started. “Translating novel technologies into commercial products is a stumbling block for many. Through the Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiatives both Cancer Research and Start Codon will support PhD students, postdocs, and junior group leaders in bridging that gap,” said Mellad.

The programme will help its applicants build a network within the industry. Through the events it plans to host, the applicants will have the chance to meet companies and individuals who have successfully commercialized products, giving them access to relevant and ongoing mentorship.The programme also helps startups get to grips with intellectual property laws, the fundamentals of marketing and how to write foolproof business plans.

“We’re also helping our applicants flesh out ideas that haven’t made it through the programme. They’ll have the opportunity to pitch their ideas and we’ll give them guidance as to how the idea can be launched in the commercial space,” Mellad added.

The partners are now actively looking for companies interested in applying to the programme.

To find out more about what the Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative has to offer click here.

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About the Author
Maryam Mahdi

Deputy Editor

After finishing my degree, I envisioned a career in science communications. However, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up teaching abroad. Though the experience was amazing and I learned a great deal from it, I jumped at the opportunity to work for Texere. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me!

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