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Entrepreneurship

Synthetic Biology is a growing industry with excellent opportunities for entrepreneurship. The University of Cambridge, being at the centre of Europe's most dynamic high-technology cluster, is a great place to take forward ideas.

EntrepreneurshipEntrepreneurship Programmes

A range of courses, programmes and facilities is available for actual and would-be entrepreneurs:

To identify enterprise contacts and oppprtunities for synthetic biology, you can contact the Synthetic Biology Entrerprise Champion, Dr Jenny Molloy on jcm80@cam.ac.uk.

Latest Events and Opportunities

UK SynBio Start-Up Survey published - University of Cambridge has second highest number of SynBio spin-offs in UK
SynbiCITE have published the first survey of the UK synthetic biology start-up ecosystem, highlighting the changing sources of innovation and entrepreneurship at work in the sector from a macro-level perspective.
Cambridge SynBio Startup Colorifix Wins Rainbow Seed Fund “Breaking New Ground” Award at Bio-start Competition
Cambridge-based start-up Colorifix entered the Bio-start competition for companies using engineering biology to solve significant global problems and won the “Breaking New Ground” Award for its technology manufacturing vibrant and long lasting fabric dyes entirely using biological processes to help the textile industry dramatically and cost-effectively reduce its environmental impact.
The Frontier venture-focused challenge prize launched with opportunities for synthetic biology
The world's first venture-focused challenge prize The Frontier has been launched by Hello Tomorrow, a global non-profit supporting science driven innovation and Deep Science Ventures. Six challenges are proposed and several have scope for synthetic biology-based solutions.
Biocoder actively seeking submissions for O'Reilly Bio webpage
O'Reilly Bio and BioCoder are actively seeking original content submissions for their O'Reilly Bio Ideas webpage.
[Closes 1 June 2017] Make a Difference Challenge
Make A Difference is an idea challenge hosted by the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) and the Institute of Production Engineering at the Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) in Hamburg. It aims towards making a social and ecological impact based on the open source principles.
[24 May 2017] Business plan writing & pitching workshop
Are you a postdoc looking to start a company? Perhaps you’ve got an idea, but you need help getting it down on paper or presenting to investors.
[Closes April 28 2017]Call for Papers - 9th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA) from Aug 08, 2017 09:40 PM to Aug 10, 2017 05:40 PM Pittsburgh, PA,,
The Bio-Design Automation Consortium (BDAC) has announced the Ninth International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA) at the University of Pittsburgh, set to bring together researchers from the synthetic biology, systems biology, and design automation communities to discuss concepts, methodologies and software tools for the computational analysis and synthesis of biological systems.
[23rd - 25th Jun 2017] Biotech & Healthcare Venture Creation Weekend
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!
[Closes 31st May] Border Labs Award 2017
Border Labs have opened a 2017 award competition for inspiring explorers who go beyond the expected.
[Closes 2 May 2017] Interested in alleviating global poverty using Cambridge synbio ideas? - APPLY for Development i-Teams
Dr James Ajioka and Dr Orr Yarkoni are offering a Development i-Teams project for Easter Term 2017, exploring the potential of their new way of dyeing fabric using engineered microorganisms in India.
Call for abstracts: Low Cost Instrumentation symposium at IMRC 2017 (Cancún, México, August 20-25, 2017)
The International Materials Research Congress 2017 (IMRC) will provide and excellent opportunity to showcase open-source/low-cost hardwares.
(Closes March 31st 2017) Deep Science Ventures 6-month venture building program
Deep Science Ventures offers a paid and fully funded 6-month venture building program to change the world.
Invitation to join the Global Challenges Forum
A university-wide research network for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Deep Science Ventures - 6-month funded venture building program.
Where Scientists and Engineers come together to build ventures that matter.
[Closes 15 Apr 2017] 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are now accepting applications for the 2017 Summer Course in Synthetic Biology.
[22nd – 24th March 2017] Agro-Innovation 3-day workshop and networking event
Are you interested in ‘Entrepreneurial’ way of thinking? Do you think you could make a difference with your ideas? (but don’t know how) Thinking of starting your own business?
(Closes April 15 2017) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology 2017
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are now accepting applications for the 2017 Summer Course in Synthetic Biology.
African Diaspora Biotech Summit 2017 to be held in Cambridge
Seventy candidates will be selected to participate in the African Diaspora Biotech Summit 2017. The Summit will trigger discussion on how Africa's present and future leaders and all stakeholders can work collaboratively to strengthen research capacity building, innovation and commercialization in Africa.
SynBioBeta London 2017 from Apr 04, 2017 09:00 AM to Apr 06, 2017 06:00 PM Imperial College, London,
For the 5th year in a row, SynBioBeta London 2017 will bring together thought leaders and entrepreneurs from multiple facets of the synthetic biology industry. Our focus is to unite attendees through thought-provoking talks, panels and networking opportunities, allowing the science and business sides of the industry to make critical connections.
Synthetic biology: does industry get it? Feb 08, 2017 from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG ,
This Royal Society This conference will provide an honest and open appraisal of how industry is using synthetic biology, acknowledging successes and strengths but also looking at where there are weaknesses or potential risks.
SynBioBeta London 2017, Imperial College London from Apr 04, 2016 09:00 AM to Apr 06, 2016 06:00 PM
Applications for the 2017 EUSynBioS Steering Committee are now open!
The EUSynBioS initiative is run entirely by dedicated students and postdocs keen to make a difference in European synthetic biology. The initiative is currently looking for new members to join their 2017 EUSynBioS Steering Committee!
[Closes 4 Dec 2016] SynbiCITE 4-Day MBA at Imperial College London from Dec 11, 2016 06:00 PM to Dec 15, 2016 09:00 PM
SynbiCITE is running a 4-Day MBA 'More Business Acumen: Building a Synthetic Biology-rich Biotech Business from Scratch' again this December.
[Closes 23 Nov 2016] BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships
The Fellowships enable the recipient to concentrate on developing the commercial potential of their research, whilst also receiving formal training in relevant business skills.
Development i-Teams Final Presentation inc. Exploring potential global health applications of cell-free synthetic biology Nov 22, 2016 from 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM Institute for Manufacturing, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS,
A team of eight students and postdocs from across all five schools have been exploring potential global health applications of cell-free synthetic biology as part of the Development i-Teams programme - come and hear their conclusions!
Interested in alleviating global poverty using Cambridge ideas, including synthetic biology? - APPLY for Development i-Teams by Friday October 7th
Have you ever wondered how new ideas can help people in the developing world? Are you interested in what Cambridge can do to help? If so, then Centre for Global Equality Development i-Teams programme is for you!
Bio-start UK offers £200k of funding & support for your biotech startup
SynbiCITE in partnership with Rainbow Seed Fund is running Bio-start, a competition to help promote the commercialisation the engineering of biology in the UK.
Deep Science Ventures offers full-time biotech start-up programme
Interested in working in the world of biotech start-ups? A new programme called Deep Science Ventures works with PhD graduates to create high-tech startups from scratch even if you haven’t yet found the right idea or team.
Managing intellectual property and technology transfer inquiry launched by Commons Science and Technology Committee
The Science and Technology Committee launches its new inquiry into Managing intellectual property and technology transfer.
The UK's First Bio-Hackathon supported by SynBio Fund: Outcomes
Tom Meany reports on the recent Bio-Hackathon held by CUTEC in the Department of Plant Sciences and supported by the SynBio SRi's SynBio Fund.

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The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative provides a hub for anyone interested in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, including researchers, commercial partners and external collaborators. 

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