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The Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre: Supporting the next generation of medtech innovators




The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School is sponsoring the Medtech Company of the Year category at the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards. We caught up with executive director Bruno Cotta to find out more about its work.

Where do aspiring entrepreneurs go to translate good ideas into viable businesses?

The Entrepreneurship Centre at the Cambridge Judge Business School is designed to give innovators the tools they need to succeed - and its track record speaks for itself.

Aiming to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship, the centre’s initiatives are aligned to the concept of the ‘entrepreneurial journey’.

Inside the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell
Inside the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell

From the empowerment of aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs, through to the creation and development of early-stage ventures, and on to fostering the leadership and management skills needed to scale enterprises globally, the centre has proved instrumental for many burgeoning businesses.

This year, the centre has been instrumental in supporting entrepreneurs active in several sectors, including artificial intelligence, cleantech and agritech, but there has been a particular interest in early-stage ventures pursuing medtech innovations.

The centre’s new Medtech Initiative provides access to experienced industry professionals in the field with a proven track record of bringing medical technology to the market.

Aimed at start-ups looking to join the Accelerate Cambridge programme, it offers innovators an understanding of how health organisations work through medical professionals and NHS innovation experts, while connections to legal firms help to tackle regulatory issues faced by those developing new ideas for this sector.

And in March, four early-stage ventures tackling skin disease, heart defects in newborns, cancer treatment and female contraceptive treatments won prizes at the centre’s inaugural MedTech Venture Competition.

Then last month, as the Cambridge Independent reported, the centre co-sponsored the Medtech Boost programme with the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN), which aimed to tackle challenges in how AI and other technologies can support mental health and healthy ageing.

Bruno Cotta, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bruno Cotta, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell

Bruno Cotta, executive director at the Entrepreneurship Centre, said: “It’s been a busy year for us. We are delighted to be sponsoring the Medtech Company of the Year award at this year’s Cambridge Independent Science & Technology Awards, which recognise the achievements of some of Cambridge’s most promising innovators and entrepreneurs in this space.

“I look forward to meeting the shortlisted candidates later this month - Cambridge Epigenetix, Congenica, Endomag and PredictImmune - and wish each of them every success with their own inspiring entrepreneurial journeys, whoever wins the award.”

The Entrepreneurship Centre has aided a number of the ventures in other categories, including Healx and Satavia, both shortlisted for AI Company of the Year, Spark, which is shortlisted for Cleantech Company of the Year, and Smartbell and KisanHub, which are vying for the the Agritech Company of the Year award.

All these were participants in the Entrepreneurship Centre’s flagship programme, Accelerate Cambridge, and some also participated in its other programmes for early-stage entrepreneurs such as Ignite, which celebrated its 20-year anniversary this year.

Another alumnus of Accelerate Cambridge, POCKiT Diagnostics, has been shortlisted for The One to Watch award. The team has discovered a new combination of biomarkers for the diagnosis of stroke patients with large vessel occlusion.

The POCKiT Diagnostics team at the Cambridge Judge Business School, from left, Gonzalo Ladreda, Edoardo Gaude, and Marcos Ladreda. Picture: Keith Heppell
The POCKiT Diagnostics team at the Cambridge Judge Business School, from left, Gonzalo Ladreda, Edoardo Gaude, and Marcos Ladreda. Picture: Keith Heppell

With the aid of funding from Innovate UK and working with leading physicians and opinion leaders in the field, the largest stroke biomarker study ever conducted is under way at centres in the UK and will soon reach the US.

Gonzalo and Marcos Ladreda, Edoardo Gaude, co-founders of POCKiT Diagnostics, said: “We are really excited to be shortlisted for this award and hugely grateful for the motivation and guidance that the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre has given us. It’s helped us develop the skills and confidence to secure significant support from Santander, Pitch@Palace and now nearly £1million from Innovate UK, to make a real impact by bringing our technology to market.”

The winners of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards will be announced at a ceremony taking place at the Bradfield Centre on Cambridge Science Park on October 30.

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