Cambridge Biotech Startup Weekend 20-22 March 2015

    Friday, March 20 - 22, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Cambridge Biotech Startup Weekend 20-22 March 2015

Friday, March 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, March 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Cambridge Judge Business School
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, UK CB2 1AG,

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Biotech Startup Weekend @ Cambridge Judge Business School

During the weekend of the 20-22nd March Accelerate Cambridge will be hosting the first Cambridge Biotech Startup Weekend at Cambridge Judge Business School. 

Accelerate Cambridge is the Cambridge Judge Business School’s in-house early venture accelerator. It complements the entrepreneurship programme at Cambridge Judge Business School by focusing on venture creation by teams with a structured combination of training, and mentoring.

Biotechnology — the use of living organisms to develop drugs and therapies - is an area of increasing focus for investors, the pharma industry and the general public. In 2014 McKinsey explained: "Investing in biotech R&D has yielded better returns than the pharma-industry average. The current biologics-development pipeline supports an outlook of continued healthy growth."

During the first half of February 2015, eight biotech firm launched IPOs in the US and combined raised $500 million. In the past 12 months biotech firm share prices have risen by almost 60%.

For startups in this sector the technical and financial challenges can be daunting. For financing, some large firms finance the scientific work of smaller companies and then takeovers the development once clinical trials are needed. AstraZeneca's Chief Executive, Pascal Soriot, has explained that they "will do what a biotech would do" to build a development model based on "entrepreneurial spirit and speed."

In February 2015 in the UK, Cell Therapy closed a £700,000 fundraising round. They are working to advance a heart disease treatment pioneered by the Nobel prize winner Sir Martin Evans. In Scotland, Parkure raised £60,000 for researching Parkinson's disease, while in France, EyeBrain a medical diagnostics company closed a €1.3m round.

Format for the Weekend

Friday 20 March: Delegates register for the event. There will then be a meal and a networking event. Following that, participants pitch their ideas to the rest of the attendees. There is a vote to choose the most compelling ideas and the owners of these then choose and ‘recruit’ co-founders from the other participants to form teams.

Saturday 21 March: A catered breakfast is served, after which a presentation on business model canvas will be given by Simon Stockley, the Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School. Delegates then continue to work on their business proposals with the assistance of a team of mentors. Lunch and dinner are provided. 

Sunday 22 March: A catered breakfast is served, after which the delegates will be given a 30-minute presentation on  presentation skills. They then continue to work on their proposals with the mentors. 
At 5pm the teams get to pitch their ideas to the panel of judges, who select the winners. 
The weekend concludes with a dinner and networking event.


Friday March 20th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in
Registration at the Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS)

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants at Royal Cambridge Hotel (RCH)

7:00 pm
Introductions and agenda for the weekend, @CJBS Lecture Theatre 3 (LT3)

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top 10 ideas

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. Teams retire to their rooms and work on their ideas @CJBS

11:30 pm
Wrap Up
Venue closes, you may stay and work until midnight.

Saturday March 21st

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams brainstorm in their workspace over the weekend @CJBS

12:00 pm
Working Lunch
Business Model Canvas by Simon Stockley in Keynes House room KH107

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! They are available until 6PM

3:00 pm
Afternoon Tea
Afternoon serving of Fairtrade tea and coffee, chilled water (still/sparkling) and tray bakes @CJBS Common Room

6:30 pm
Pizza and Beer
Fuel your ideas @CJBS Common Room

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:30 pm
Venue closes, you may stay and work until midnight.

Sunday March 22nd

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive @CJBS… ASK QUESTIONS, they are available till 2PM

12:30 pm
Working Lunch
Working Lunch with Presentation Skills by Simon Stockley @CJBS Common Room

3:00 pm
Afternoon Tea
15.00 Afternoon serving of Fairtrade tea and coffee, chilled water (still/sparkling) and tray bakes @CJBS Common Room

4:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hour of work time should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Teams make their final presentations to our distinguished panel of Judges

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Judges evaluate presentations against set criteria and award prizes

7:30 pm

8:00 pm
Networking Dinner!
Royal Cambridge Hotel


Simon Stockley
Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Cambridge Judge Business School

Simon is a Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School and Deputy Director of Accelerate Cambridge, the School’s new enterprise accelerator. Prior to his recent appointment at Cambridge, Simon spent 10 years at Imperial College Business School as director of the full-time MBA programme and a principal teaching fellow. His MBA course in entrepreneurship was ranked 3rd in the world by the Financial Times. Outside work, Simon is a social entrepreneur and an advocate for trafficked women in which capacity he has advised Parliament. He holds several non-executive directorships and has advised well over 100 technology start-ups.

Event Judges

Miranda Weston-Smith

Miranda helps early stage biomedical businesses to attract investment, develop their business strategy.   She advises entrepreneurs, companies and universities and is experienced in fundraising, business planning and intellectual property. She has strong links with the Cambridge cluster.  Miranda founded and runs BioBeat, a programme to inspire the next wave of bioentrepreneurs.  

Earlier, as a Technology Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, Miranda mentored researchers starting companies, helping them to raise funds, and handled many licensing projects.  She was responsible for the technology transfer programme of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, has worked in the US, and earlier spent five years in the seed capital firm, Cambridge Research and Innovation Limited.

Miranda is a graduate in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, holds the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ Diploma in Management Accounting, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

Shaun Grady
VP Business Development

Vice President Business Development Operations; leading AstraZeneca’s transaction execution, due diligence and Alliance and Integration Management function including early and late stage and on-market licensing and partnering, M&A, and divestments

Career background
ICI, Zeneca, AstraZeneca roles in Corporate, Pharmaceuticals and US Legal departments, HR and Business Development

Major Projects
AZ Merger, Creation of Avecia and Syngenta, Acquisition of CAT, MedImmune and Amylin, Spin out of Albireo

Rugby Football, Soccer, Sports writing

Alan Barrell

After three score years and more than 10, Professor Alan Barrell DBA FRSA finds it hard to say "no" to innovation and entrepreneurial ideas which arrive in his life by all known communication means daily.

Biologist with experience in NHS medical technology, turned salesman turned businessman, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and labelled now "pracademic", Alan is a champion of the next generation and the vision of A World Without Borders - through Education Without Borders and Open Innovation. Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge Judge Business School, Visiting Professor at University of Sunderland and in China at Xiamen University, Shanghai University and Shanghai College of Science and Technology, International Research Fellow at Laurea University Helsinki and Lahti University in Finland, and at the Tohoku Fukushi University Sendai Japan, Alan is also engaged in support of NHS Healthcare Reforms after being Chair of NHS Health Enterprise East for eight years. His next generation work extends to Board Membership / shareholdings in four early stage health care companies and to being Chairman of Trustees of NACUE - National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs and advisor to Start Up Generation International and Youth Business China.

In his spare time Alan raises money for the charitable causes he supports. In July 2013 his latest book - co-authored with David Gill and Martin Rigby - was published: Show me the money - how to raise the money needed to get your business off the ground. In 2012 he was knighted in Finland by the President there for services to education, becoming a Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, having earlier been one of the first 10 recipients of The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion.

Alan travels widely but always loves coming home to Cambridge.

Coaches and Mentors

Hanadi Jabado
Director, Accelerate Cambridge

Hanadi is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. She has founded and built businesses in several industries, including education, online retail and property, and has used her multicultural background and experience with new technologies to cofound Ecamb, a business accelerator aiming at helping entrepreneurs to succeed globally. Hanadi has driven the creation of Accelerate Cambridge, the new accelerator at the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is currently its director.Hanadi has been closely involved with over 100 start-ups over the globe and across industries over the last three years. Born in Lebanon and raised in France, she is fluent in English, French and Arabic and speaks another four languages. She lives in London with her four children.

Iain Comley
Business Development Director

Iain joined AstraZeneca in 2006 as Associate Director in Discovery Alliances for Discovery Enabling Capabilities & Sciences (DECS); the first member of what later became the Science and Technology Licensing group.  In this role and his subsequent position of Business Development Director he grew the team and led negotiation and management of a number of deals on behalf of the Discovery Science organization, including those with the MRC,WuXiAppTech, Heptares Therapeutics, Knode and Conformetrix.  In 2012 he took up the role of Business Development Director, Regional and Corporate Business Development with the responsibility of identifying and transacting late-stage and on-market asset acquisitions and divestitures.  With the formation of Scientific Partnerships and Alliances Iain returned to R&D as Business Development Director aligned to Discovery Sciences and Drug Safety &Metabolism.   
Prior to joining AstraZeneca Iain was Head of Business Development at QTLBiosystems, responsible for European corporate and business development.  In all Iain has more than 19 years commercial experience in the life science sector having also held European management positions at De Novo Pharmaceuticals and Applied Biosystems (now part of Fischer Scientific).

Melanie Brown

Melanie Brown is a Vice President of business strategy for BNY Mellon’s Investment  Management businesses. Responsible for planning and executing initiatives sponsored by both the BNY Mellon Executive Committee and the Investment Management businesses.

Since January 2012, Melanie has worked on projects including acquisitions, strategic partnerships and integration planning at BNY Mellon. Prior to this, she spent five years at the Global Corporate Development team at Barclays Group, advising on acquisition targets such as banks, loan portfolios and other financial businesses spanning the globe from Asia to Africa and the United States.

Melanie was awarded a Master of Chemistry (First Class Hons.) from The University of Edinburgh and spent a research year abroad at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as part of her degree. Melanie has passed Levels 1 and 2 of the CFA programme.

Hitesh Sanganee
Director Emerging Innovations Unit

Dr Hitesh Sanganee is currently a Director in the Emerging Innovations group. His main role is to participate and execute the open innovation strategy within the innovative medicines function in AZ.  This involves collaborating with academic institutions such as MRC (UK) NIH (US) to identify novel uses for our medicines and hence build a portfolio of projects.  He has also been involved in internal ideation events (open innovation within a large company setting) in AZ.

Previously his role was in the science function within the AstraZeneca. His main role was as a chemistry cluster lead inputting into external and internal drug repositioning projects and potential in-licensing projects. Other roles also have included CDL (candidate drug leader) working on regenerative medicine, and a Team Leader in the respiratory & inflammation therapeutic area. He originally received his degree and DPhil from Oxford University in chemistry and subsequently held a postdoctoral research position at Florida State University. He joined AstraZeneca as a Medicinal Chemist in 1999 conducting research within respiratory & inflammation related disease areas and has led teams to successful milestone transitions in all phases of drug discovery. He has >40 patents and publications.

Steven Twait
VP Alliance and Integration Management, Business Development

Steve has responsibility to continue to shape AstraZeneca’s alliance and integration strategy and capabilities in line with more diverse and varied externalisation deals.

Steve recently joined AZ from Lilly’s Alliance Management and M&A Integration group with responsibility for acquisition integration as well as alliance management for development, commercial and manufacturing alliances. Steve was a founding member of Lilly’s Office of Alliance Management and over 14 years played an integral role in worldwide partnerships with BMS, BI and Daiichi Sankyo. Steve’s experience also includes the post-acquisition integration of ImClone Systems, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals.  

Steve holds an MBA, Marketing from Indiana University - Kelley School of Business and a BSEE, Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University.

Thirumalairajan Subramaniam

Holding dual engineering degrees from India and General Management from University of Cambridge, Thiru Subramaniam is an accomplished software architect and technopreneur.

Hands on programmer with sincere belief in keeping software simple and intuitive.Loves developing high volume systems and has worked across plethora of technology stacks. Current interests include developing mobile applications.

In the past 12 years, Thiru has worked across UK, US, India and South Africa with clients like AT&T wireless, Lloyds bank, ABSA bank and J.P.Morgan on enterprise software development. In 2011, he founded Jayam ltd in London with the objective of helping startups build their Minimum Viable Product and also offering technical consultancy to major corporates. 

An avid traveller, a decent cook and immensely interested in experiencing different cultures.

Robert Tansley

After seven years working in hospital medicine, Robert joined the pharma industry gaining broad experience in development, regulatory and commercialisation at Sanofi, MHRA and Roche before joining the Cambridge based company Arakis as Medical Director until its £106m sale to Sosei Inc. Since that acquisition, Robert has been involved in a number of start-up companies including founding the malaria-focused company Treague, being founding CEO of the University of Copenhagen spin-out Avilex Pharma and being part of the founding management team of KalVista which is developing the first plasma kallikrein inhibitor for diabetic macular edema in collaboration with its scientific co-founders from Harvard Medical School. He qualified in medicine from University College London, he is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and has an MBA from London Business School and an M.Phil in Biostatistics from the University of Cambridge.

Since January 2014, Robert has been Investment Director for Life Sciences at Cambridge Innovation Capital. Cambridge Innovation Capital combines a strong relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links, and aims to invest its initial capital of £50 million in Cambridge companies. The company strives to build leading businesses using a long term return strategy - removing the pressure to deliver the early exits associated with the traditional venture capital model.

Duncan Young
Academic Alliances Manager

Duncan is Academic Alliances Manager in the Scientific Partnering and Alliances team at AstraZeneca – responsible for oncology and open innovation interactions but also acting as a point for contact for the University.  

Duncan has a wealth of experience in technology transfer and translational research. Duncan joined MRCT as a Business Manager involved in the identification, protection and commercialisation of MRC intellectual property. As MRCT business model changed, Duncan moved into a newly created role of Business Development Manager to promote MRCT’s collaborative drug discovery capabilities, find new collaborative projects within academia and industry, and then source a commercial partner to help develop those projects to the clinic. These roles gave him experience in establishing and managing a wide variety of contractual relationships with academic, research charity and industrial partners, including shared-risk research, consortia models and licences. In recent years, Duncan has been responsible for commercial licences of over £25m in value, and led with Alzheimer’s Research UK on the formation of the Dementia Consortium, a novel business model to bring together the charity and Pharma sectors to drive new therapies to the clinic.

Caroline Austin
Transaction Director, Business Development

Caroline is a Transaction Director within the Business Development Operations function at AstraZeneca and is based in Cambridge. She has been working in Business Development for 14 years and has worked on search and evaluation of opportunities, negotiation of a variety of deal types including academic partnerships, licensing of discovery and development stage assets as well as on market products, divestment and acquisition, and has also led alliance management and business integration activities. Caroline has broad experience of working in transactions in many different therapeutic areas including Respiratory, Inflammatory, Cardiovascular and Infectious diseases.  Prior to working in Business Development,  Caroline worked in R&D in the Respiratory and Inflammation Therapy area at AstraZeneca. Caroline’s academic qualifications and experience include: PhD in Pharmacology, University College London and post-doctoral research at the Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, University of London and in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Tony Dutton

Tony is an executive coach, healthcare sector business consultant and private equity investment advisor. Prior to establishing his own consulting practice, Tony held senior leadership roles at Novartis, the Swiss life sciences and pharmaceuticals corporation. He is currently engaged as the CEO of a French veterinary biotechnology start-up.

Tony has been a country and regional CEO in Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Healthcare and Medical Nutrition businesses and has lived and worked in Switzerland, Brazil, Australia and the UK. Tony has extensive experience of leading, mentoring and coaching teams of senior commercial and technical executives and is currently supporting senior executives in an NHS Foundation Trust organisation, a multinational pharmaceutical company, a brewery conglomerate and a global insurance firm.

Tony is also providing career coaching and mentoring support to MBA candidates at the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is coaching EMBA and Sloan candidates as an Executive in Residence at The London Business School.

Lynne Murray

Lynne A. Murray has a PhD from Imperial College London in Immunology and Pathology and did a post-doc at UCLA. Lynne then moved into industry and set up fibrosis research first in Centocor/ J&J in the US, and at Promedior, a start-up developing therapeutics to treat fibrosis.  Now in MedImmune in Cambridge, UK, Lynne initially established MedImmune’s fibrosis research efforts, both internally and with external collaborators.  After doing an MBA at the Judge Business School, she is now in the Partnering & Strategy group, focused on business development and external partnerships. 

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Cambridge is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Luther
  • Orsolya
  • Stephen
  • Marta
  • Sayara
  • Brice


Hanadi Jabado
Director, Accelerate Cambridge

Hanadi is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. She has founded and built businesses in several industries, including education, online retail and property, and has used her multicultural background and experience with new technologies to cofound Ecamb, a business accelerator aiming at helping entrepreneurs to succeed globally. Hanadi has driven the creation of Accelerate Cambridge, the new accelerator at the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is currently its director.Hanadi has been closely involved with over 100 start-ups over the globe and across industries over the last three years. Born in Lebanon and raised in France, she is fluent in English, French and Arabic and speaks another four languages. She lives in London with her four children.

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