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Biotech & Healthcare Venture Creation Weekend, Jun 2017

Back to Past VCWs

Promoting or pitching your technology to large pharma - dos and don'ts

Kickstart your entrepreneurial career and start developing your venture at the next Venture Creation Weekend from 23 to 25 June 2017 at Cambridge Judge Business School. It's a chance to test your biotech or healthcare business idea, build a team and pitch to investors in 50 hours! 

This weekend is for students, postdocs, scientists and researchers working on emerging technologies and innovations in Biotech or Healthcare who are interested in learning how to translate their ideas into ventures as part of a startup team. 

The Entrepreneurship Centre is working in partnership with AstraZeneca and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA) at the University of Cambridge to offer aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators the chance to explore opportunities, ideas and applications in a range of technologies such as novel biological targets, therapeutics and research technologies, digital health (including artificial intelligence, connected data sets), diagnostics or any transformative healthcare solution.

Why attend the Biotech & Healthcare VCW?

It's a chance to create, test and validate your biotech or healthcare venture idea or application with industry experts. You can get inspiration from your peers and mentors, learn the basics of building a business and how to collaborate with others in a team environment. Some of you can go 'founder-dating', i.e. use the weekend to match up with one or more co-founders for your business. All participants will work together in teams on customer development, business models, pitching practice and building product prototypes (where appropriate). The most popular ideas are pitched to a panel of judges formed of industry leaders and investors who can provide expert feedback and analysis. At the end of the VCW, you will have developed your entrepreneurial skills, kick-started your venture, enjoyed the buzz of exploring and creating ideas; and potentially be ready to launch your business together with a talented team.

In addition, one or more of the participating teams will be invited for an interview to join our Accelerate Cambridge incubator programme delivered by the CJBS Entrepreneurship Centre. Please note that successful application is dependent on whether the team meets the selection criteria.

What is the VCW like?

Watch our video including views and comments from participants of the DisruptEd VCW - Exploring Emerging Technology for Education, March 2017.

I was inspired to believe in myself and to believe that if I follow my passion, I can really contribute.
Helene Fox, PhD candidate and member of venture team, EndoTraps, Biotech VCW, March 2015

When is it?

The Biotech & Healthcare VCW starts promptly at 17:30 on Friday 23 June and ends at 19:00 on Sunday 25 June. 

The exact dates and times are:

  • Fri 23 June 2017, 17:30-23:00
  • Sat 24 June 2017, 08:30-23:00
  • Sun 25 June 2017, 08:30-19:00 (dinner* from 19:00 - close)

* Please note there is a special closing dinner following the final pitches to celebrate the achievements of the weekend. 

The venue is Cambridge Judge Business School, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1AG. View our location and directions

in partnership with

AstraZeneca logo
OPdA logo

supported by

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1223 760959

What does big pharma look for in startups and innovators?

Read the blog by Duncan Young, Associate Director, Academic Alliances, and Vincenzo Garzya, Project Management Director, from our partners AstraZeneca.

Read more

Promoting or pitching your technology to large pharma

Duncan Young, Associate Director, Academic Alliances, and Vincenzo Garzya, Project Management Director, from our partners AstraZeneca, blog on the dos and don'ts of taking your tech to large pharma.

Read more

Friday 23 June 2017

17:30-18:00 Registration at Cambridge Judge Business School Foyer
18:00-19:00 Buffet dinner and networking Royal Cambridge Hotel
19:10-19:15 Welcome and introduction to the weekend (Hanadi Jabado) LT1
19:15-20:00 Half-baked session LT1
20:00-20:30 Pitch your idea LT1
20:30-20:45 Vote for your favourite ideas Foyer
20:45-21:00 Build your team LT1
21:00-23:00 Start working in your teams on your ideas Breakout rooms

Saturday 24 June 2017

08:30-09:00 Arrival, breakfast refreshments and sign-up for mentoring sessions Foyer
09:00-09:45 Business Model Canvas (Hanadi Jabado) LT1
09:45-11:00 Teams work on their ideas Breakout rooms
11:00-11:30 Tea and coffee break / Sign up for mentoring sessions Common Room
11:30-13:00 Teams work on their ideas Breakout rooms
13:00-13:40 Sandwich lunch Common Room
13:40-14:00 Teams check-in, report progress and call for help Foyer
14:00-15:30 Mentoring Breakout spaces
15:30-16:00 Tea and coffee break Common Room
16:00-18:00 Mentoring Breakout spaces
18:15-19:15 Beer and pizza Common Room
19:15-19:45 Teams check-in, report progress and call for help Foyer
19:45-23:00 Teams work on their ideas Breakout rooms

Sunday 25 June 2017

08:30-09:00 Arrival, breakfast refreshments and sign up for mentoring sessions Foyer
09:00-09:30 How to Pitch Your Idea (Hanadi Jabado) LT1
09:30-10:00 Teams work on their ideas / prepare for mentoring sessions Breakout rooms
10:00-13:00 Mentoring Breakout spaces
11:00-11:30 Tea and coffee available Common Room
13:00-14:00 Sandwich lunch Common Room
14:00-16:00 Teams finalise presentations Breakout rooms
15:30-16:00 Tea and coffee available Common Room
16:00-16:30 All presentations should be submitted and uploaded on PC LT1
16:30-18:15 Final presentations LT1
18:15-18:30 Break and judging LT1
18:30-18:45 Winners announced and awards presented LT1
19:00-21:00 Closing dinner Royal Cambridge Hotel
Mene Pangalos

Mene Pangalos

Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca's Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit and Global Business Development

A member of the company's Senior Executive team, Dr Mene Pangalos has overall responsibility for the company's small molecule discovery research and early development activities.

Since joining AstraZeneca in 2010, Mene has been instrumental in transforming the company's commitment to science. He has led the transformation of R&D productivity through the development and implementation of the "5R" framework (recently published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery); driven greater collaboration with academic, NGO and peer organisations; pioneered programmes to promote more open innovation and fostered a science-driven culture that rewards truth-seeking behaviours.

As one of AstraZeneca's leading scientists, Mene has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and has served as an editor of books and journals in neuroscience.

Mene is also a leading figure in UK science, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal Society of Biology. He is a Visiting Professor of Neuroscience at King's College London and is a Fellow of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge. Mene serves on the Medical Research Council (MRC), the council for the National Centre for Universities and Business, the Prime Minister's Research Champion Group for Dementia, and is part of the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group, and is a Non-Executive Director of the UK Precision Medicine Catapult.

Mene is also overseeing the creation of AstraZeneca's new £330 million research centre in Cambridge - a state-of-the-art facility designed to stimulate collaborative scientific innovation which will play an important role in the future success of the UK life science industry.

John Lee

John Lee

CFO, DisplayLink

John Lee is currently Chief Financial Officer of DisplayLink, a market-leading USB graphics software and hardware business. DisplayLink is one of the UK's most successful semiconductor companies. He has been actively involved for many years in the Cambridge technology scene and has been Chief Financial Officer and/or an investor in a number of startups, many of which have resulted in successful exits or IPOs.

Prior to his current role, he was CEO of Velocix, a leading provider of content delivery network solutions which was sold to Alcatel-Lucent and, prior to that, Chief Financial Officer of a number of early-stage technology based businesses. 

For the past eight years, John has been Chairman of the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds Investment Committee and has been involved, for the past 25 years, in supporting the emergence of University of Cambridge technology.

Simon Waters

Simon Waters

Market Development Manager, Aviva Health UK

Aviva is the UK's largest insurer and provides over 16 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products. Aviva has ambitions to transform into a fintech company, and at 321 years old, become the oldest disruptor in the industry.

Aviva Health provides customers with traditional private health insurance and is now expanding into other health services and condition specific solutions, alongside its international health insurance. Simon leads the team responsible for customer insight, innovation and introducing new technologies, services and benefits to the existing product range to improve all customers' experience. The team looks to bring external startup and tech companies into Aviva Health to meet clinical or service requirements.

Prior to leading the Market Development Team, Simon worked in both Customer Service and Procurement sectors, giving him a rounded knowledge of the insurance sector and a balanced view between commercial and customer benefits.

Shaun Grady

Shaun Grady

Vice President, Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca

Shaun is a Vice President in Business Development Operations; he is leading AstraZeneca's transaction execution, due diligence and Alliance and Integration Management function including early and late stage and on-market licensing and partnering, M&A and divestments.

Previously Shaun worked in ICI, Zeneca, AstraZeneca roles in corporate, pharmaceuticals and us legal departments, HR and business development.

Major projects include the AZ merger, the creation of Avecia and Syngenta, the acquisition of CAT, MedImmune and Amylin, and the spinout of Albireo.

Hitesh Sanganee

Hitesh Sanganee

Director of Emerging Innovations, AstraZeneca

Dr Hitesh Sanganee is currently a Director in the Emerging Innovations group. His main role is to participate and execute the open innovation strategy within the innovative medicines function in AZ. This involves collaborating with academic institutions such as MRC (UK) NIH (US) to identify novel uses for our medicines and hence build a portfolio of projects.

Previously his role was in the science function within the AstraZeneca. His main role was as a chemistry cluster lead inputting into external and internal drug repositioning projects and potential in-licensing projects. Other roles also have included CDL (candidate drug leader) working on regenerative medicine, and a Team Leader in the respiratory & inflammation therapeutic area.

Duncan Young

Duncan Young

Academic Alliances Manager, AstraZeneca

Duncan is Academic Alliances Manager in the Scientific Partnering and Alliances team at AstraZeneca – responsible for oncology and open innovation interactions but also acting as a point for contact for the University.

Duncan has a wealth of experience in technology transfer and translational research. Duncan joined MRCT as a Business Manager involved in the identification, protection and commercialisation of MRC intellectual property. As MRCT business model changed, Duncan moved into a newly created role of Business Development Manager to promote MRCT's collaborative drug discovery capabilities, find new collaborative projects within academia and industry, and then source a commercial partner to help develop those projects to the clinic.

Greg Mueller

Greg Mueller

Deputy General Counsel, International & Japan, AstraZeneca

In his current role, Greg has responsibility for managing all commercial legal risks for the company outside of the US, Canada and the EU. His geographic responsibility includes Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East & Africa, Russia & Eurasia and Latin America, a combined region in which AZ employs over 20,000 people and generates almost USD 10 billion in annual revenue. 

Prior to his current role, Greg was the Regional Legal Director for AZ's Asia- Pacific region and before that, he was the Legal Director for AZ's Canadian affiliate. Before joining AZ, he worked for Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, and a law firm, based in Toronto, Canada, where he practiced corporate and commercial law, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry.

Paolo Vicini

Paolo Vicini

UK & EU Director, IUSTITA

Paolo joined MedImmune in August 2015 as Senior Director and head of the Cambridge, UK Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK (CPD) department. This is one of three global Medlmmune sites providing translational and clinical pharmacology and bioanalytical support for the bio-therapeutic products pipeline. His responsibilities include establishing strategy, direction, and objectives for the CPD site and all aspects of CPD for products at discovery, nonclinical and clinical stages of development.

Paolo served on the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section from 2005 to 2009. He was elected Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 2011.

Steven Twait

Steven Twait

Vice President, Alliance and Integration Management (AIM), AstraZeneca

Steve has responsibility to continue to shape AstraZeneca's alliance and integration strategy and capabilities in line with more diverse and varied externalisation deals. 

Steve recently joined AZ from Lilly's Alliance Management and M&A Integration group with responsibility for acquisition integration as well as alliance management for development, commercial and manufacturing alliances. Steve was a founding member of Lilly's Office of Alliance Management and over 14 years played an integral role in worldwide partnerships with BMS, BI and Daiichi Sankyo. Steve's experience also includes the post-acquisition integration of ImClone Systems, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals.

Vincenzo Garzya

Vincenzo Garzya

Project Director, Strategy & Operations for Global Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca

Prior to his current role, Vincenzo was the Patient Centricity Excellence Director responsible for the strategic direction and delivery leadership of the overall capability programs to enable lifecycle teams to build patient value in R&D. Following his passion for advancement of medicines for patients, before joining AstraZeneca, Vincenzo has led several projects at GlaxoSmithKline-UK in World Wide Business Development, in the Centers of Excellence for Drug Discovery, in Global Project & Portfolio Management and in Global Medical Affairs. 

Vincenzo has contributed to several patented inventions, successfully led the in-licensing of gene-therapy treatments and built the global strategy, operations and governance for externally sponsored research.

Brice Fernandes

Brice Fernandes

Director, Sigma Forge

Brice has a broad technology background that includes physics simulation, Natural Language Processing, anomaly detection in real time, embedded development, web application and cloud architectures. He also has experiences in digital security, recruiting and testing developers, software good practice and the software development process. He is an engineer at heart rather than a hacker and cares about building reliable solutions, but experience has taught him to be pragmatic and business minded about his choices.

He can work with any language on any platform and has a professional interest in functional languages, flow-based programming, functional-reactive programming, polyglot frameworks and data-centric design.

Nick Brown

Nick Brown

Tech Incubation Lab Director, AstraZeneca

Nick Brown heads up the Technology Incubation Lab in Cambridge for AstraZeneca's IT organisation. This group scouts new, emerging technologies and gets hands on to pilot them in partnership with business customers across AstraZeneca, including R&D, Operations and Commercial.

Nick originally joined AstraZeneca in 2000, working within drug project teams developing software to analyse experimental microarray studies with thousands of data points. In 2004, he became a team leader in Advanced Science & Technology Labs, managing large computational clusters (100TB+) and designing automated image algorithms to screen millions of high-throughput screening images per day. His passion for handling Big Data grew further in 2007 in a new department, New Opportunities, focusing on identifying new disease areas for AstraZeneca to pursue, through drug repositioning, in-licensing and acquisitions. Here Nick worked closely with external partners to develop business intelligence applications by designing an internal search based platform with >60 million scientific documents. Nick led the programme to deliver this from idea to enterprise adoption before creating the TechLabs to work with external biotechs, startups and research labs to apply new IT breakthroughs within AstraZeneca.