Our role

As part of the Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative, Start Codon aims to help and educate a multi-disciplinary oncology research community about entrepreneurship, how to start a company, how to fundraise and similar topics, with the goal of supporting the development of viable start-up businesses that will address unmet medical needs focused around oncology. The scheme is open nationwide and will be provided on a hybrid basis from Cambridge, UK.


The training scheme

The scheme is designed primarily to help PhD students, postdocs, and junior group leaders; however, all researchers interested in fighting cancer are encouraged to get involved, regardless of their career stage or discipline.

As part of the scheme, researchers will be:

  • invited to attend educational workshops on a wide range of topics such as entrepreneurship, how to start a company, how to fundraise, team building and market and product research.
  • exposed to in-person networking events to connect them with mentors and serial entrepreneurs.
  • given the opportunity to interact with scientists from vastly different disciplines to co-develop ground-breaking new cancer therapeutic diagnostic and preventative solutions.
  • provided with information and access relating to available funding opportunities to support their work, including grants and other non-dilutive funding, as well as angel investment and venture capital.


Learn how to start your entrepreneurial journey from academia to industry and through to the board room.

Start Codon and Cancer Research Horizons are launching a series of free, online seminars to support and develop an entrepreneurial culture among cancer researchers in the UK.

The series is part of Start Codon and Cancer Research Horizon's Entrepreneurial Programme described above which aims to promote the development of new business ventures within academia and encourage entrepreneurship. This five-part series is open to anyone working in oncology research, with any level of knowledge or experience in entrepreneurship. You do not need to have Cancer Research UK funding to join.

The topics that will be covered will be:

How to start and grow a business (with Dr Jason Mellad, CEO, Start Codon)

Thursday 12 May 2022, 12:00 – 13:00 BST

How to raise funds and make your IP count (Daniel Rooke, COO, Start Codon, and Taylor Wessing LLP)

Wednesday 6th July 2022, 11:45 - 13:00 BST

How building a successful team will help you raise money (Emma Plowman, Talent Director, Start Codon and CRSI)

Friday 23rd September, 12:00 - 13:15 BST

The Science of Business - why market research and product development matter (Michael Salako, Investment Director, Start Codon and Alex Hellawell, Innovia Technology

To be announced - but late November 2022

The importance of marketing, design and branding (Lorna Cuddon, Zyme Communications and others)

To be announced - but late January 2023


Together we can stop cancer in its tracks