Who is Ignite for?

Ignite is for…

Ignite is for inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs from around the world who have an innovative business proposal or early stage venture. We also encourage those working on novel research and new technologies to explore the commercial viability of their ideas.

The Ignite programme bridges the gap for technologists hoping to reach new markets with their product and identify the best business model for their venture.

The programme will help you to assess and validate the commercial feasibility of your business plan and better define and shape its potential for success.  By increasing your network of contacts and surrounding you with the knowledge and experience of highly regarded industry mentors it will give you tools and knowledge that you can apply to your own venture.

Ignite - Who is it for?

The programme is primarily aimed at:

  • Students, graduates or academics conducting research in emerging technology and considering your own venture.
  • Founders of existing young businesses that are seeking to commercialise a new product or service and looking to determine the best business model and marketing strategy.
  • Researchers and managers from established organisations with business ideas for:
    • diversification of products and markets
    • an internal venture or a spin out from your company
    • developing commercial proposals to the company board in order to secure resources and internal support for your team.

Ignite attracts a diverse range of projects that can be broadly categorised as relating to such sectors as the life sciences, high tech including clean energy and environment, new materials and engineering.

The impact of Ignite

View our video to find out more about the Ignite programme from contributors, faculty and alumni.

Ignite 2022

Check out photos from the latest Ignite programme.

Ignite for life sciences

Ignite is highly relevant to those working in the life sciences sector. It enables companies to develop the entrepreneurial flair and skills needed to understand the opportunities for successful translation and commercialisation of innovations within a tightly regulated environment.

The Ignite workshops and mentor sessions are tailored to specific industry requirements or those looking at developing internal business projects.

Projects can come from any area within the life sciences sector including:

  • Medical devices for diagnostics and healthcare
  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Agriculture and plant sciences
  • Regenerative medicine and stem cell science

Ignite for high tech

Ignite has been attracting projects from the high technology sector for a number of years, influencing the development of numerous startups and spin-outs. The programme provides access to one of the most successful technology clusters in the world.

The Cambridge Phenomenon is a term used to describe the rapid and successful growth of science-based industry in and around the city, which has established a reputation as one of the most successful technology business clusters in the world and earned it the nickname ‘Silicon Fen’, a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem providing a wealth of invaluable networking opportunities and connections.

Many of these businesses have connections to the University of Cambridge, with innovations deriving from research conducted in University laboratories. The collaboration between academia and the private sector continues to influence the growth and prosperity of the Cambridge Phenomenon. 

Previous Ignite delegates have come from a range of business organisations and academic institutions including Microsoft, Good Year, ARM, Marshall Aerospace, Tata Ryerson (India), Toshiba Research Europe and BT. Projects can cover any area within the high technology sector. In the past, these have included:

  • AI applications
  • Aerospace technology
  • Biosensors
  • Environmental technology (greentech/cleantech)
  • Material sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optoelectronics
  • Robotics
  • Telecommunications
  • Electrical engineering
  • Web-based tools and enabling software