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Business Plan Competition 2019

Postdoc Business Plan Competition 2019


EPOC Business Plan image.jpg

Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) host an annual business plan competition for postdocs of the University of Cambridge. It is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an entrepreneurial flair and desire to explore the commercial viability of their research. The 2019 Postdoc Business Competition, co-sponsored by Taylor Vinters, is now officially open for entry.


The Postdoc Business Plan competition offers University of Cambridge postdocs the chance to win early stage funding for their business ideas. Whether it’s a social enterprise or ground-breaking new invention, whatever your academic expertise, we want to hear from you. The prizes to be awarded this year are:

*£20k investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise *£10k investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise *£5k investment sponsored by Cambridge Innovation Capital *One year membership at ideaSpace for all finalists

To enter, postdocs must submit a business plan outlining their idea (even if it is not related to their research at the University). Full details of what the plan must include can be found within the competition handbook.



This competition is a truly great experience, the mentoring and coaching really helped improve my business plan and overall pitching skills. Now, having won first prize, and securing investment from Cambridge Enterprise, Poro Technologies has taken a further step towards the commercialisation of its scientific findings.

Tongtong Zhu, Poro Technologies founder and 2018 winner

2019 Semi-Finalists 

Mojtaba Abdi Jalebi (Department of Physics) with project MiniPV
Abdul Alzahrani (Department of Engineering) with project PARTIsense
Simon Baker (Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics) with project Versed AI
Jessica Iegre (Department of Chemistry) with project Pep2Smart
Freya Jephcott (Department of Veterinary Medicine) with project Univursa
Isaac Johnson (Cancer Research UK) with project BioVox
Geoff Macintyre (Cancer Research UK) with project Pinpoint Oncology
Leonard Ng (Department of Engineering) with project Inkling
Arnas Palaima (Department of Geography) with project Eco-Innovator
Chris Proctor (Department of Engineering) with project Cambridge Bioelectronics
Marta Serrani (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) with project Polivalve 
Yichuan Zhang (Department of Engineering) with project DeepInf


Competition timeline


Business Plan Competition 2019 timeline


Drop-in surgeries

To help with applications, Cambridge Enterprise shall be hosting weekly informal surgeries at the Hauser Forum (West Cambridge), The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA) on Mill Lane and the School of Clinical Medicine (click here for a full timetable). During the competition, if you would like to talk through your business idea, you can drop by any of these locations to discuss your queries with our colleagues. To schedule an informal chat at a different time, simply send us an email.


Professional business coaching workshops

All postdocs are free to attend our professional business plan writing workshop on the 15th May with Adelina Chalmers, a.k.a “The Geek Whisperer”, and later, if shortlisted as a finalist, will also receive expert one-to-one pitch training with Adelina. Postdocs will also have the opportunity to attend a free introduction to business modelling session on the 6th June with Ludo Chapman of The Innovation Practice, looking at how to effectively make use of the business model canvas when applying to the competition.


High quality mentor matching

After the first selection round, each semi-finalist is matched with a mentor: a seasoned academic entrepreneur from Cambridge Enterprise’s network. The mentors help to improve the business plans.


Grand Finale pitching event

Finalists will eventually pitch their business plans to a panel of judges at the Grand Finale event, this year taking place at Downing College. The winners will be announced on the same evening.


Important documents

*Please note: projects must be led by a current postdoc of the University or have a majority of team members who are current postdocs of the University. For an informal chat about your entry, please contact Senior Investment Associate, James Thomas.