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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, response to the 2020 Postdoc Business Plan Competition has been outstanding. The applications for entry were every bit as strong in 2020 as they have been in previous years.

Drum roll

We would like to offer a big thank you to all those who participated, especially given the stressful circumstances this year.

And now it’s our pleasure to announce that the twelve semi-finalist projects for 2020 are:

  • autohaem led by Samuel McDermott (Department of Physics)
  • Camadhere led by David Barrett (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy)
  • Cambridge Detectors led by Miguel Anaya (Department of Physics)
  • CelluNan led by Lukas Schertel (Department of Chemistry)
  • DX Analytics led by Vladimir Vilde (Department of Engineering)
  • EnzyScatter led by Mariana Rangel Pereira (Department of Biochemistry)
  • GlycoVue led by Gita Khalili Moghaddam (Department of Clinical Neurosciences)
  • MaterialsNexus led by Jonathan Bean (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy)
  • REAVIS led by Yuanbo Deng (Department of Engineering)
  • Smart Cochlea led by Iwan Roberts (Department of Clinical Neurosciences)
  • Stroma Biosciences led by Eugene Park (Department of Haematology)
  • Wearable UV and Air Quality Sensor led by Shahab Akhavan (Department of Engineering)

These semi-finalist projects—and their teams—now advance to the next phase of the competition. Postdocs will be matched with a seasoned mentor from Cambridge Enterprise’s network of experts. Each team will have three (virtual) one-to-one meetings with their mentor to help develop key business skills and hone their business plans.

Up to six finalists will then go on to compete at the online Grand Finale event, which will take place on Thursday 12 November 2020. Each team will pitch its business plan to a panel of judges who are experts in spin-out investment.

Three prizes will be awarded: £20,000, £10,000, and £5,000 in funding. The first and second place prizes are sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise, with the third prize sponsored by our sister organisation, Cambridge Innovation Capital.

The first place winner will also have the opportunity to pitch at the next Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners dinner, an investor forum of venture capitalists and business angels with more than £4 billion of funds under management by members.

On to the finale!


Rob Ince
Rob Ince