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The response to the 2018 Postdoc Business Plan Competition, which we run with the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC), has been terrific. Having read all of the plans, I can report that the field of entries was even stronger than last year. Thank you to everyone who participated!

I’m delighted to announce 12 semi-finalists.

Saif Ahmad (Department of Oncology) with project NeutroCheck

Tian Carey (Department of Engineering) with project Textile Two Dimensional

Paul R Coxon (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy) with project UroLogic

Andrew Hodgson (Stem Cell Institute/Department of Physics) with an as-yet unnamed project

Edmund Kay (Department of Engineering) with project Biophonics

Diego T D Magalhaes (Department of Politics and International Studies) with project Global Market X

Carmen Palacious Berraquero (Department of Physics) with project nu communications 

Marc Rodriguez Garcia (Department of Chemistry) with project PlantCaps

Hannah Stern (Department of Chemistry) with project Hexagon Fab

Jeroen Verheyen (Department of Physics) with project Semarion Discovery

Ali Özgür Yöntem (Department of Engineering) with project LightWARP

Tongtong Zhu (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy) with project Poro Tech 

The postdocs and their projects now advance to the next phase of the competition. The semi-finalists have each been matched with a seasoned mentor from Cambridge Enterprise’s network. Semi-finalists will each have three one-to-one meetings with their mentor to help develop key business skills and hone their business plans.

Up to six finalists will compete at the grand finale and awards ceremony on Thursday 1 November 2018, pitching their business plans to 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 and the third 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!