Startup masterclass series inspires data and biomedical scientist entrepreneurs

The Crick recently co-hosted a three-part virtual startup masterclass series in July to inspire data scientists and biomedical scientists to consider entrepreneurship as a means to enable their science to make an impact in the real world.
Masterclass series panel discussion

Following a highly successful Data x Biomedical Science Summer School in 2019, the Crick, Entrepreneur First and the Alan Turing Institute came together again in July to run a free startup Masterclass series. As COVID-19 precludes an in-person event this year, we turned to a virtual format, believing there was still significant demand for startup content specifically aimed at scientists.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the Masterclass series, with over 250 early-career researchers in data science and biomedical science in the UK participating in the workshops. The goal of the series was to inspire this segment of researchers to collaborate with each other, and to consider how they could use their skills and knowledge to make an impact through entrepreneurship.

The Masterclasses included a panel discussion, where successful researchers who founded startups were invited to share stories and show what’s possible. Three amazing speakers participated in the panel, including Professor Phil Beales, CMO of Congenica and Director of a Precision Medicine Accelerator, Peter Kecskemethy, co-founder and CEO of Kheiron Medical, and Ariane Gomes, from Baseimmune  who participated in last year's Summer school and went on to found a company and take part in the Crick’s data driven health accelerator, KQ Labs. This session was followed by two interactive workshops, educating participants in key frameworks to support them to take the first steps on the path to entrepreneurship. The topics included how to find your edge, identifying and framing your problem, and communication.

The 2020 virtual Masterclass series was a wonderful opportunity to meet and inspire budding scientist entrepreneurs and continue the collaboration between the Crick, Turing and Entrepreneur First. The partners have plans to run additional Masterclass workshops as well as a full in-person Summer School in 2021.

Want to attend the 2021 Summer School and participate in future events?

Register your interest here.

“I would have never thought of myself as a likely candidate to found a business and didn’t have a strong sense of what I could bring to such a project… Since the series, however, I have had a change of perspective on the matter. I’m not saying that I’m a natural entrepreneur, nor that I’m ready to build a company, but I am certainly thinking more carefully about it and have found some ideas percolating away in my head. In this regard, the Masterclass series has made me think of entrepreneurship as a more realistic possibility, and I have found that the concepts discussed during the series (particularly the notion of “edge”) provide a useful framework for interrogating any business ideas that I have more fully, and figuring out what might actually be plausible.”

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