For the second year running the BIA and Francis Crick Institute held our PULSE workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs in March. We had 11 individual entrepreneurs from universities all across the country and 4 researchers from the Francis Crick Institute itself. The workshop was held at the iconic Francis Crick Institute with the sessions run by experienced life science professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs, largely from BIA membership.

Building on feedback from participants and session leaders last year, we developed a focused agenda that touched on many different aspects needed to start and develop a successful biotech company. There were information sessions on topics ranging from the idea generation, business model planning and IP considerations through to interactive workshops on different equity funding models and do’s and don’t’s of business plan pitching. Each day ended with ‘pivotal moments’ from both early-stage and seasoned entrepreneurs in the sector, imparting their knowledge and tips for how to succeed. The skills and advice learnt were put into practice on the last day, where each delegate was given the opportunity to pitch in front of three experienced investors. We saw some excellent pitches, with 3 candidates going forward to pitch in our Innovation Showcase session at our CEO & Investor Forum on 24 June.

Equity funding session, with the opportunity for participants to ‘speed date’ with investors from different areas of the VC and angel landscape.

To help the delegates form lasting relationships, not only with each other as a cohort, but with experts from wider in the Life Science sector, we arranged some organised networking activities for the evenings. An informal pub outing on the first evening was follow by a more formal networking reception on the second evening.  The networking reception was kicked off with a lively panel discussion lead by Steve Bates, BIA CEO, talking to three future industry leaders about the challenges they faced when beginning their business, the successes they had and how the next generation of leaders can get off to the right start.  

To further support this cohort and past PULSE cohorts, we are collaborating with members to provide follow-on support workshops. Maucher Jenkins will be hosting an afternoon workshop on ‘IP for my business’ on 17 April, and we will be offering an afternoon workshop on how to use the CRO expertise at Alderley Park to further your business outputs, alongside our regional event at Alderley Park on 18 June.

The PULSE 2019 cohort along with investors and mentors from the third day


“Many thanks for the great attention to detail for all aspects of the course. So well organised and delivered” – PULSE delegate, Pirbright Institute

“I was beyond impressed by both the breadth of the presenters' backgrounds and the depth to which they covered their area of expertise. Seeing the industry from the perspectives of both the starting entrepreneur and experienced investors provided me with an understanding of the past and present of biotech in the UK as well as a glimpse into what the future could look like. From my experience in the programme, I feel far more capable of navigating the entrepreneurial route and the feedback from investors helped to strengthen my enthusiasm for this journey” – PULSE delegate, University of Edinburgh

“A really excellent course, worth 3 days of a very busy academic's time, which I can say of almost no other course” – PULSE delegate, Francis Crick Institute