PhD students sitting and talking at the Crick.

KQ Labs

KQ Labs is an intensive accelerator programme for startup teams with high growth potential in the area of data-driven health.


KQ Labs_Pexxi pitch

KQ Labs is an accelerator programme for early-stage data-driven health startup founders, to support them to validate their ideas and put their startups on a path to receive investment from business angel investors, venture capital and other sources including non-dilutive funding. 

The accelerator is called KQ Labs to represent the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ area around the King’s Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury regions of the city. The KQ Labs accelerator represents a unique opportunity to foster a vibrant ecosystem for data-driven health.

Run by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by LifeArc, KQ Labs offers a customised framework, providing critical expertise and support to ten carefully selected companies, all solving significant healthcare challenges. The programme runs annually between October-March.


Who is eligible?

The programme is aimed at early-stage data driven health entrepreneurs looking for support to validate their ideas and develop their business goals in a supportive and enriching environment. The programme is open to start-ups who have:

  • A focus on areas which have the potential to have a significant impact on health, and where use of data is a core part of the business model
  • Two or more founders or team members
  • A Minimum Viable Product, prototype or proof of concept
  • An early stage company (pre-series A)
  • A team based in the UK
  • The start-up's legal entity must be UK-based
KQ Labs Accelerator Programme_photo

Register your interest

Register your interest

Applications will open in May 2021 for the 2021-22 programme.

Please register your interest here and we will be in touch when applications open.

If you have any questions in the meantime, or would like to schedule a chat about your application, contact Emma Fox.

What does the programme offer?

What does the KQ Labs programme involve?

The programme kicks off with an intensive week with daily workshops for the selected startup teams (end of October), which all of the startups are expected to attend. This is to allow the KQ Labs team to get to know the new startups so as to identify any gaps and mentoring needs.

This is followed by a 5 month programme with once-weekly workshops (generally on Wednesdays) and seminars covering topics such as fundraising, pitch training, business models, team building and leadership, scaling, intellectual property, regulatory aspects, market access (UK and internationally), and various aspects of access to data including ethics. We will also facilitate introductions and mentoring with a hand-picked network of experts, investors and corporates.

The programme culminates in a Demo Day in March, where the startups pitch their ideas to potential investors and partners, including VCs, angel investors and pharma.

KQ Labs Accelerator Programme_photo

Why choose KQ Labs?

Why choose the KQ Labs Accelerator Programme?

  • Specialised investor introductions
  • Introductions to major corporates, especially pharma
  • Mentoring opportunities with a hand-picked network of experts
  • £40k funding in the form of a convertible loan
  • Tailored and customised weekly workshops covering:
    • Data accessibility and ethics
    • Finance and fundraising
    • Customer and market focus
    • Leadership and team building
    • Cybersecurity and IT Governance
    • Communications and pitching practice
    • Regulatory requirements
    • Protecting Intellectual Property
    • Corporate legal aspects
    • Market access (UK and international)
    • Scaling
    • Grant funding and writing
    • Pharma Office Hours 


KQ Labs Accelerator Programme_photo


Find out more about the previous cohorts of KQ Labs start-ups on our alumni page.

Interested in becoming a KQ Labs mentor?

We're looking for people with experience of commercialisation, entrepreneurship and fundraising, as well as with specialist areas of relevant expertise such as in accessing data, protecting IP or navigating the regulatory route to market for data driven health companies, who would be interested in mentoring this year's cohort of companies

If you think you might be a good fit, contact us and we'll be in touch. 

Our partners

LifeArc, strategic partner for KQ Labs
Alan Turing Institute logo
HDRUK Health Data Research UK
Genomics England logo
Knowledge Quarter
Covington & Burling logo

Sign up for our newsletters

Join our mailing lists to receive updates about our latest research and to hear about our free public events and exhibitions.  If you would like to find out more about how we manage your personal information please see our privacy policy.