We have worked closely with key stakeholders in the Cambridge ecosystem to establish two accelerators: Start Codon for life sciences and healthcare businesses, and Deeptech Labs for technology businesses. The goal of these accelerators is to speed up the process of going from “bench to product” by compressing years of learning for many companies and researchers into structured and intensive programmes, ending in a demo day.

Our strategic rationale
The Cambridge ecosystem is globally recognised as a centre of academic excellence and innovation, with an incredible track record for building category-leading life sciences and technology businesses. However, we identified an important gap in the ecosystem: dedicated hands-on support to bridge the gap between translational research and Series A ready businesses. As a limited partner in the accelerator funds, CIC will benefit from pre-emption rights in companies participating in the accelerators.

The programme and support offered to entrepreneurs
The accelerators support early stage businesses in multiple ways, including providing:

  • seed funding;
  • state-of-the-art lab and office space;
  • access to expert and hands on practitioners to support business model development and product-directed discovery;
  • integration into the Cambridge ecosystem; and
  • access to a global network of investors and corporate partners.

start something amazing

Start Codon was established as a partnership between CIC, The Milner Institute and the Babraham Institute. It leverages the unique resources of the Cambridge Cluster to identify, seed-fund and drive the success of truly disruptive healthcare start-ups.

Start Codon leverages the unique resources of the Cambridge ecosystem to identify, seed-fund and drive the success of truly disruptive healthcare start-ups. It aims to disrupt monocultures and stagnation.

Start Codon focuses on supporting highly disruptive, translational innovations created by exceptional teams from across the globe, accepting a small number of exceptional applicants onto its programme. Each year ten companies to join a 6-month programme, each company receives:

  • £250k seed funding
  • Access to state-of-the-art office and lab facilities via its headquarters in the Milner Therapeutics Institute (MTI)
  • Hands on mentorship from leading industry experts and serially successful entrepreneurs
  • Support with raising a Series A fundraise through their global network of venture capital and strategic investors

Click here to apply to participate in the next Start Codon cohort

The catalyst for deeptech success

Deeptech Labs (DTL) was established as a partnership between CIC, ARM, the University of Cambridge, and Marshalls. DTL provide seed funding, mentorship, and access to resources in the Cambridge ecosystem for early stage companies in the deep technology sector. 

Twice a year, DTL’s cohort of startups are embedded in a powerful network of successful entrepreneurs, expert practitioners, leading researchers, and deeptech organisations worldwide.

Having a new technology at the heart of a business isn’t just an extra work stream, it fundamentally changes the nature of the challenge. It’s not just a startup + tech, it’s a technology startup.

Cambridge is Europe’s leading technology cluster and has been a leading source of technological understanding and commercialisation as far back as Babbage and Lovelace.

Many technologies fail to be widely deployed due to strategically ill-judged early decisions. Deeptech Labs offers startups access to expert practitioners who have successfully trodden this path.

  • Twice a year we invest £350k in a small number of deeptech post-Seed startups. Then we work intensively with them in a structured, three-month programme, which ends in a Demo Day.
  • 50+ deeptech leaders: We work with an elite community of leaders who have built and scaled deep technology companies to develop our cohort’s networks.
  • 30 events: Our programme is made up of intimate Fireside Chats, in-depth Workshops, and community Forum Days. Our entrepreneurs and network have numerous opportunities to interact about their business and the challenges they face.

Click here to apply to participate in the next DTL cohort

CIC is a signatory of PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) and the Investing In Women Code and a founding partner of LSX Female Founders.

PRI works to understand the investment implications of ESG factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment.

The Investing in Women Code is a commitment by financial services firms to the advancement of female entrepreneurship through improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance.

LSX Female Founders was founded to connect women entrepreneurs in the health and life science field with investors as well as offer mentorship from relevant industry professionals. Together with our fellow founding partners we can offer a combined network of over 10,000 investors to support the progression of new businesses.

CIC is a Carbon Neutral Business