Poro Technologies wins Postdoc prize
Next-generation LED firm shines in Business Plan competition
“We are delighted to take this opportunity to accelerate future prototype and product development and to bring the beneficial impacts of our next-generation energy-efficient LED technology to the world,” said Dr Tongtong Zhu, CEO of Poro Technologies, after winning the £20,000 first prize in the Postdoc Business Plan competition in Cambridge.
The Grand Finale at Peterhouse Theatre attracted a record number of nearly 200 postdocs, researchers, senior members of the University, corporates, mentors and investors.
The audience heard from eah of the six finalists including:
- Nu Quantum, which is pioneering in the field of encrypted communication
- PlantCaps, which has developed an entirely new class of bio-material for capsules and other non-plastic storage options
- Textile Two Dimensional, which is innovating the materials and technology to create fully-functional wearable electronics.
The presenters were then put through their paces with questions from the judging panel consisting of Anne Dobrée, head of seed funds at Cambridge Enterprise; Michael Anstey, investment director at CIC (Cambridge Innovation Capital) specialising in healthcare investment; Srishti Gupta, president of Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPoC); and Charles Cotton, member of the Cambridge Enterprise Investment Committee and founder and chairman of Cambridge Phenomenon International Ltd.
The audience also heard from previous winners Maximilian Bock, founder of award-winning start-up Netwookie, and Hanbin Ma, co-founder of AXCEL. Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University, also gave a short speech in which he extolled the virtues of the competition. He explained the Postdoc Business Plan Finale is one of his favourite events, citing it as a strong example of the Cambridge ecosystem at work, with researchers focused on how they can develop their research to create a positive impact on society. He also applauded the high level of passion and potential demonstrated by the contenders.
The competition is run by Cambridge Enterprise and EPoC, and this year was sponsored by Holben Holt, a private capital investment company specialising in technological business ideas at the embryonic stage. ideaSpace provided the six finalists with membership, including tailored support and office space, for one year.
The second prize of £10,000 went to NeutroCheck, which is developing a new medical device that will deliver more efficient healthcare for cancer patients worldwide. The third prize of £5,000 was awarded to Semarion Discovery, which is pioneering a novel in-depth protein fingerprint insight into a patient’s state of health that should triple the success rate of clinical trials.
Cambridge Enterprise sponsored the first and second prizes while Cambridge Innovation Capital sponsored the third.
The Postdoc Business Plan Competition 2019 will be open for entries in May 2019.