This year’s Chris Abell Postdoc Business Plan Competition is sponsored by Cambridge Innovation Capital, ideaSpace, Oxbridge Angels, Start Codon and Taylor Vinters

Having read through all of the applications received, we are happy to report that the quality of entries for 2022 has been impressive. A big thank you to all those who participated in the launch event in April, the subsequent training workshops with Ludo Chapman of The Innovation Practice and, finally, the weekly drop-in surgeries held with the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds team!

It is our pleasure, therefore, to announce that the 10 semi-finalist projects for 2022 are:

  • Autohaem led by Samuel McDermott (Department of Physics)
  • Automating Tissue Processing led by Ryman Hashem (Department of Engineering)
  • BrainChart led by Richard Bethlehem (Department of Psychiatry)
  • Cambridge Adaptive Testing led by Jan Stochl (Department of Psychiatry)
  • Earables led by Iwan Roberts (Department of Clinical Neurosciences)
  • Ethicronics led by Franck Courbon (Department of Computer Science and Technology)
  • Powersense led by Borong Hu (Department of Engineering)
  • SleepWell led by Sam Nallaperuma (Department of Engineering)
  • Smart Windows led by Junxin Wang (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy)
  • Sparxell led by Benjamin Droguet (Department of Chemistry)

The semi-finalists and their projects will 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 will have one-to-one meetings with their mentor to help develop key business skills and hone their business plans. In addition, applicants will benefit from even more support with our new summer programme, which offers an additional series of activities through a blend of round table discussions, one-to-one sessions and opportunities to engage with other semi-finalists. Topics covered include: customer validation, building a team, investment and pitching.

Up to six finalists shall then go on to compete at the Grand Finale event, taking place on Thursday 10 November 2022, pitching their business plans 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 place prize is sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise, the second prize sponsored by our sister organisation, Cambridge Innovation Capital, and the third prize sponsored by Oxbridge Angels.

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.

Good luck to all of our semi-finalists, and a big thank you to all the applicants who took part!