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Deadline for applications to IGNITE programme looming

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The deadline for applications to the intensive IGNITE entrepreneurship training programme at the Cambridge Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre is May 31.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer
Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer

IGNITE has been running for 22 years, in which time it has raised more than £410million in investment and funding for the alumni’s trail-blazing ventures.

The companies have all been created by founders who completed the one-week programme – to date 1,100 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across Europe, Asia and the US. In the last five years alone the programme has helped to launch 300 game-changing technology and life science-related businesses. These include:

  • California-based Deepcell Inc: raised $73m in March to further AI-driven platform and single-cell imaging tech
  • Cambridge-based micro-display technology pioneer Porotech: raised $20m in February
  • Cambridge-based green aerospace champion, Satavia: has won multiple awards for its climate impact platform
  • Cambridge-based Audio Analytic: global leader in intelligent sound recognition using cloudless AI
  • Pathfinder Medical: raised £8.5m this year for its electronic guidance system during endovascular surgery
  • Microfluidx: raised £1.5m in 2020 to advance its microfluidics-based technology for cell and gene therapies
  • Bound4Blue: Spanish start-up reinventing the sail for sustainable shipping
  • Ohio-based AlgoSurg: developing 3D surgery simulation algorithms
  • India’s leading agritech innovator, BioPrime Agri-Solutions PVT

Deepcell’s co-founder, CTO and president, Mahyar Salek, says: “Ahead of IGNITE, I didn’t feel ready to strike out and do something on my own. But, by the end of the programme, I had learned that, while experience is everything, the best way to gain the necessary experience to do something is simply to start doing it.

“IGNITE shaped who I am in ways that I never imagined and turned me from a researcher into an entrepreneur.”

Another IGNITE alumnus is Dr Tongtong Zhu, CEO and founder of Porotech.

Dr Zhu says: “As a material scientist with very limited business know-how, IGNITE literally transformed me as well as my business idea.”

Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu with a PoroGaN template
Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu with a PoroGaN template

Dr Renuka Diwan, co-founder of Indian agritech company, BioPrime AgriSolutions Pvt, says: “When I attended IGNITE, we had just founded the company and were at a crossroads, trying to understand which way to go – B2B or B2C? I cannot emphasise enough how important IGNITE was in our decision making. In one session, led by legendary entrepreneur and Arm co-founder, Jamie Urquhart, I got instant clarity from him. was able to speak to him one-on-one, and he was supremely inspirational.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer, is a long-time contributor to IGNITE.

He says: “IGNITE is entrepreneurship at the heart of Cambridge. You are at a leading business school, at one of the best universities in the world, in one of the best entrepreneurial clusters in the world, and you’re immersed in it for one week – and, when you emerge, you have more knowledge and are better equipped to put your ideas into action around the world.”

The summer Ignite programme takes place July 3-8.

Details here.

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