Students triumph at Biotechnology Entrepreneurs Scheme
A team of Queen Mary postgraduate students are through to the final of the annual Biotechnology YES (Young Entrepreneur Scheme) competition.
21 October 2015
Now in its 20th year, Biotechnology YES is a national business competition for postgraduate students, funded by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council and industry. The aim of the scheme is to raise awareness and develop skills associated with the commercialisation of bioscience research.
Teams of early careers researchers across the UK attended the three-day residential workshop at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage earlier in October, which culminated in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch where participants presented their hypothetical business plan, based on a scientifically plausible idea.
The central idea of the Queen Mary team focused on healing wounds: their fictional company, “Gexoderm”, created an anti-microbial wound healing gel that decreases the time taken for pressure ulcers to heal. They presented their idea to leading business specialists, including the CEO of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.
Ambika Kumar, one of the PhD students based in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences who was part of the winning team, commented:
“Taking part in the competition has given us a great insight and valuable experience into the business potential of our research, which is something we wouldn’t have necessarily got in our everyday work. Roll on the final!"
Around 100 people took part in the competition, with only a few groups selected to take part in the final in London on Thursday 10 December 2015. The winners will win £2,500 and a chance to attend the Rice Business Plan Competition in Texas, USA.
The Queen Mary team consisted on two PhD students from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and three from the Blizard Institute:
- Ambika Kumar: PhD student, supervisor: Dr Shane Wilkinson (SBCS)
- Ismail Uddin: PhD student, supervisor: Prof Richard Pickersgill (SBCS)
- Inva Hoti: PhD student, supervisor: Dr Andrew Stagg (Blizard Institute)
- Stefania Martin: PhD student, supervisor: Prof Daniel Pennington (Blizard Institute)
- Hannah Thompson: PhD student, supervisor: Prof Andrew Silver and Dr Cleo Bishop (Blizard Institute)