Budding Bio-Entrepreneurs Sought for BioCity Boot Camp

Applications are now being sought for the BioCity Boot Camp which will take place at BioCity Nottingham from 6th to 8th April 2011. Suited to recent graduates, post-docs and academic researchers - or simply those with experience within a larger organisation who feel the urge to break out on their own - the Boot Camp, formerly known as the Bio-Entrepreneur School, is ideal for anyone looking to commercialise a life science discovery, invention or great idea.

Applications are now being sought for the BioCity Boot Camp which will take place at BioCity Nottingham from 6th to 8th April 2011.

Now in its fifth year, the three-day programme has an international reputation for delivering expert guidance and advice and places are very much in demand. BioCity Incubation Manager, Nick Gostick says, “The feedback we’ve had from delegates has always been very positive. The Boot Camp has helped many budding entrepreneurs focus on their goals and develop a business mind-set that has been invaluable as they’ve set out on their road to future success.” 
The Boot Camp, delivered by seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals, proffers commercial wisdom to those who have traditionally been more at home in a scientific environment.  Delegates are taken through an intense three-day programme which includes practical exercises, case studies, lively discussion, networking, mentoring and presentations and culminates in a ‘Dragon’s Den’-style pitch to a panel of industry experts. Nick added: “The aim is to develop delegates’ business skills and give them the confidence they will need to succeed in this rapidly expanding sector.”
Andrew Stacey, Director of bioscience consultants, Cellular Systems, attended the very first Bio-Entrepreneur School in 2007 and says the contacts he made have been invaluable. “It was really interesting to meet so many people with different perspectives and hear about the various trends and technologies they were interested in.” he said. 
“The workshops really help delegates focus on all aspects of running a commercial business rather than just the scientific element. And, on top of the expert advice delivered during the three days, there is on-going support available through organisations such as Connect Midlands who can help with investment and funding requirements.” 
Andrew says he would particularly recommend the event to university graduates or to those coming out of a large organisation who may be thinking of starting their own business. He said: “The three days clearly acts as a catalyst to focus delegates’ minds and enables them to take a major step up to commercial thinking. The presentations and workshops also cover every aspect of running a small business and really open your eyes to the amount of work that is going to be involved.”
A fellow delegate on the 2007 Bio-entrepreneur School was Dr John Okyere, Founder and Chief Scientist of CrossGen, a biotech company providing gene expression tools for drug development. Needing help moving forward with his business idea, John attended on the recommendation of Business Link and says it really helped him understand what both investors and clients are looking for.   “The event taught me that the needs of the two groups are very different and that the pitches need to be tailored accordingly.” he said. 
“I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a business idea. The programmed is very useful for widening your network of support and meeting professionals who are experts in helping start-up businesses. It’s also a really useful insight into the BioCity community and the benefits that being part of that community can bring.”
Clinical Researcher, Sarah Hill, attended the 2010 Bio-entrepreneur School just days after the closure announcement of her employer, AstraZeneca’s Loughborough facility. She says it helped set her on a life-changing journey as she now prepares for the summer 2011 launch of new enterprise, Genios Ltd.
“It all happened very quickly but it really helped me to focus on the potential of the future of Genius and, since attending, I have received additional support with branding, intellectual property issues and gained advice from the many events offered to me as a BioCity tenant, including financial workshops delivered by Deloitte.”
Sponsorship support from AstraZeneca, PERA and AdamsonJones means that a number of fully-funded, partially-funded and corporate places for this year’s BioCity Boot Camp are available.
Louise Reynolds, Global HR Business Partner and Charnwood HR Director at AstraZeneca, said: “AstraZeneca are very proud to sponsor the BioCity Boot Camp again.  The sponsorship is part of a programme of events we are involved with that demonstrates a commitment to science and innovation in the region whilst enabling our employees to explore new ventures. AstraZeneca is committed to preparing and supporting our employees in finding opportunities.”
For more information and to apply for a place on the 2011 BioCity Boot Camp, visit

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