PhD students sitting and talking at the Crick.

KQ Labs applications

KQ Labs is an intensive accelerator programme for startup teams in data-driven health. Applications are currently closed.

Application criteria

Application criteria

The selection process will be open to start-ups who have:

  1. 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
  2. Two or more founders or team members
  3. A Minimum Viable Product, prototype or proof of concept
  4. An early stage company (pre-series A)
  5. A team based in the UK 
  6. A legal entity based in the UK

Programme timeline

  • 17 May 2021

    Applications open

  • 20 July 2021

    Applications close at midnight

  • 22-23 September 2021


  • 25 October 2021

    Programme launch

  • March 2022

    Demo Day event

Guidance for applicants

Guidance for applicants

Applicants need to fill out a quick online form, submit a two-minute video pitch presenting what you see as the key aspects of your business, and submit a start-up deck of up to 12 slides covering the following areas:

  • The problem you are aiming to solve
  • Your solution: Is your solution disease or therapy area agnostic or how does it relate to one specific area?
  • Market opportunity: Size of addressable market, is this a substantial opportunity in terms of numbers of patients and value?
  • Technology: what is your technology, how is it innovative and how will you protect it (including intellectual property)?
  • Competitors: including direct competitors and also other approaches to solving the same problem. How far advanced are the competitors?
  • Business model: How you will make money? Who are your direct customers? What is your route to scale up and commercialisation?
  • Traction: Do you have any revenues? (not necessarily expected at this stage). What customer engagement? Any corporate partners? Investment - what funds, if any, have you raised so far? Please show any evidence of interest in your product.
  • Your team: What is your relevant domain experience? Why should you be the right people to execute on this opportunity? Do you have awareness of any key gaps in your team expertise and how do you plan to fill them (eg consultants/ advisers etc).
  • Roadmap and key milestones: What is your overall plan? What are the key value inflection points? Timescales?
  • Financials: What will you do with the KQ Labs funding? How much additional funding will you need to achieve your key milestones? Revenue projections (next 3 years).
  • Exit: what is the likely exit for your investors?

You should submit your two-minute video pitch using a permanent, non-password protected link to YouTube, Vimeo or Dropbox.


Logo for KQ Labs, the Crick's start-up accelerator.


Do we have to participate for the whole five month period? 

Yes. This will give you the opportunity to take full advantage of the numerous acceleration opportunities, networking events and coaching. 

Do we have to attend in person?

No. Due to the pandemic, the core programme content will be delivered virtually, supplemented with in-person or hybrid networking opportunities if circumstances allow. The virtual delivery of the core programme is aimed to facilitate participation from companies all over the UK.

Do we have to be UK citizens? 

No, as long as your start-up's legal entity is based in the UK, and the founding team is living in the UK, you are welcome to apply.

Do you only accept data-driven health startups? 

Yes. The programme and all of its experts, mentors and network will be tailored towards data-driven health start-ups, who will most benefit from this programme.

Do you offer funding?

Yes, we provide £40,000 as a convertible loan with valuation at the next funding round.  

We don’t really need any funding at this point. Does it still make sense to apply? 

Yes, funding is only a small part of what the accelerator will provide.

We know that we will require much more substantial investment. Does it still make sense to apply? 

Yes. We’ll help you build a solid proof of concept to take to later stage investors, and help you with introductions.

We have already obtained some funding. Can we still apply? 

Yes. It’s great you have generated some investor traction already, as long as you are pre-Series A.

Our start-up’s activities are already advancing quite well. Is the KQ Labs Accelerator right for us? 

Companies who have started but are still at the early stage are an ideal candidate for our programme. We are a perfect fit for startups that haven’t already raised a Series A round from investors.

Can a single person apply for the programme? 

Our advice is that one-person startups are tough and you’re more likely to succeed with a co-founder or team of like-minded entrepreneurs.

The accelerator is intensive and both the CEO and scientific team will be put through their paces for the duration of the programme. We look for balanced teams who have a full range of skills.

We strongly advise you to seek co-founders or team members who balance your skill-set. However, even if you do not have a full team yet, it might still be worth emailing us a pitch deck so that you are on our radar for future programmes.

What happens at the end of the KQ Labs accelerator, am I on my own? 

So long as you have made good progress on your objectives and milestones, you will continue to be supported by our post-accelerator activities such as ongoing advice and coaching from our team of mentors, as well as introductions to potential investors, corporate partners and other useful contacts.

Questions about your application?

Get in touch with programme manager Emma Fox on

Send an email >

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