We are excited to announce that Empire has been selected as one of ten Finalists in the OneStart Americas competition!
OneStart is the world’s largest life sciences and health care startup accelerator programme focused on spurring early-stage companies and entrepreneurs. The Grand Prize for the OneStart 2015 Americas winner is $150k in non-dilutive funding along with free lab space for a year and extensive follow-on mentoring.
Read more about OneStart and our progress below or at the OneStart website.
In the most competitive year of OneStart yet, the 20 finalist startups – 10 from the Americas, and 10 from Europe and the rest of the world – have now been selected by our expert judging panel. Each of our 70 semi-finalist startups (click here to watch their video pitches) have experienced an intensive two-day Biotech Bootcamp in February and worked with experienced mentors for an intensive 6-week period to help them prepare a 5-page business plan and 10-slide investor pitch deck.
The selected finalists have stood out from over 630 life science and health care applicant startups worldwide, and have shown the most incredible growth out of the semi-finalists in the past few months of mentoring and training. “The best thing about OneStart,” said Matthew Foy, Partner at SR One, “is being able to access networks of people who have done it before, and are willing to give you their time.”
These 20 finalist startups are working on a broad range of disruptive ideas, from elegant devices to replace dated yet commonplace clinical procedures, to time-saving diagnostic solutions for hospitals and patients, to innovative molecular therapeutics for diseases that have challenged researchers for decades.
SR One and the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) co-founded OneStart with mentorship as its core component. “We want to give these talented, young entrepreneurs a head start with our mentors’ decades of experience,” said Daniel Perez, CEO & Founder of OBR. “If you mentor someone, and you see progress in a very short amount of time, it’s a beautiful thing,” Jens Eckstein, President of SR One remarked.
Almost 200 experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals, including mentors from our partners Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Takeda Ventures, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GSK, Roche, McKinsey, AstraZeneca, Silicon Valley Bank, MedCity, Forresters and Olswang, have supported the OneStart semi-finalists this year.
“Innovation is best nurtured by the people who came up with the idea, and what we can bring them is the skill sets to help them do that.” commented Jeanne Bolger, VP Venture Investing at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC and speaker at the London Bootcamp.
“Nurturing this entrepreneurial ecosystem is beneficial to everybody in the long run,” said Ilan Zipkin, Senior Investment Director at Takeda Ventures and mentor of two OneStart teams this year. “The learning from their interactions here will help them, and it will help us to understand what are the trends overall and what are the important investment themes for us to go into,” commented Matthias Essenpreis, CTO of Roche Diagnostics and OneStart mentor.
“OneStart is an amazing way for up and coming entrepreneurs to have direct interactions with future decision makers,” said Lynne Murray, Partnering & Strategy, MedImmune, OneStart mentor and panellist at the London Bootcamp. “The competition provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, at an early stage of their career, to present to an audience of seasoned biotech and pharma leaders, and at the same time, this audience gets direct insight in to novel ways of thinking that are emerging from academic research.”
“OneStart offers a fantastic range of expertise,” Sarah Haywood, COO of MedCity remarked, “We have people here who have worked with successful multinational companies and the NHS, lawyers, financial experts and more.” “We see it as a responsibility of ours to find those leaders, those fresh new companies of tomorrow with exciting ideas,” expressed Nooman Haque, Director of Life Sciences at Silicon Valley Bank. Both Sarah and Nooman spoke at the London Bootcamp.
“One piece of advice for young entrepreneurs that I would have is quite simply – join OneStart,” said Thorsten Melcher, Senior Director for New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California and OneStart mentor, “It is a very, very tough road to start a company, to pull a team together, to be knowledgeable in the legal, financial and business aspects, and OneStart is a fantastic medium to help people accomplish that.”