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Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

Sunday 18 October 2015

In October, PhD students Aimee Paskins, Jodi Brookes, Karl Norris and Joseph Snuggs took part in the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES), an innovative competition developed to raise awareness of the commercialisation of bioscience ideas among early career researchers. The competition, funded by sponsorship, aims to encourage an entrepreneurial culture for the benefit of the UK economy.

Biotechnology YES is organised jointly by The University of Nottingham’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HGI), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

The challenge was to prepare an oral business plan presentation, in a team of four or five, for a hypothetical bioscience start-up company seeking equity investment.

This challenge provided a learning experience with many benefits including

  • the development of enterprise skills
  • cultivating business acumen
  • thinking creatively to produce innovative solutions to major challenges
  • winning £2,500 and an opportunity to go to the Rice Business Plan Competition in Texas

Karl Norris commented

During our time at the competition, we learned how to take a scientific idea and potentially turn it into a business. We learned how to obtain investment for our idea, how to protect our intellectual property and how to manage finances within a company. We were mentored by patent attorneys, marketing advisors and by people who had set up their own businesses. Overall the experience was excellent and I would personally recommend Biotechnology YES to any scientist; especially those who have a burning idea they believe could have a large impact on the world.

Although the BMRC were not the winners, it was a close-run call!

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