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BioAccelerate, AberInnovation’s flagship accelerator programme for early-stage businesses and start-ups is back for its third year and seeking participants for its next cohort.
Launched in 2018, BioAccelerate is a programme of training and mentoring which helps entrepreneurs and business founders to bring the best ideas within the biosciences, healthcare, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors to market.

The tailored 13-week programme blends intensive workshops with group activities and hands-on mentoring. BioAccelerate 2020’s first workshop kicks off on Wednesday 21st October 2020 and applications are open from 7 September to 14 October 2020.

The 2020 BioAccelerate programme is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation
Participation in the programme is free of charge to successful applicants, with a total of six awards of £10,000 available to the strongest pitches as judged by a panel of experts in business growth on the final day.

Those six finalists will then be invited onto the second phase of the programme and given further opportunities to develop their business plans and products. Culminating once again in a pitch day, this time to venture capital specialists and investors, the best two propositions will be awarded £50,000 each to help take their innovation to market.

Dr Rhian Hayward MBE, CEO of AberInnovation said: “We are delighted to deliver BioAccelerate again this year. With new support from UKRI- BBSRC we can now give intensive and thorough investor-readiness support to start ups in food and drink, all aspects of the circular economy, health and agri-tech in an unprecedented way here in Wales. I look forward to applications from entrepreneurs and business founders, whether they have incorporated a business already or have not yet quite taken the plunge, and to seeing their planning and strategising develop during BioAccelerate.”

Recognising BioAccelerate’s highly successful pilot stage in 2018 and 2019 and its potential to provide innovative companies and individuals with a platform to drive local economic growth and societal benefits, the BBSRC is supporting AberInnovation to deliver their BioAccelerate programme in 2020. 

Bill Poll, BBSRC’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “BBSRC is delighted to be able to support AberInnovation’s 2020 accelerator programme. The successes of individuals who were part of previous years’ cohorts clearly demonstrate the value of this kind of programme, and its contribution to a vibrant and thriving innovation community where entrepreneurship is actively encouraged, supported and celebrated”.

The support from BBSRC is allowing BioAccelerate to increase its workshop and mentoring provision. In addition, the second phase of the programme scheduled for 2021 will enable the most promising ideas from phase one to access the world-leading facilities at AberInnovation with the opportunity to develop and prototype their innovation.
Brand-new event and conference space within AberInnovation will allow BioAccelerate workshops to take place in a socially-distanced manner and the programme will be delivered using a mixture of in-person and virtual methods. The programme delivery will once again be led by investment-readiness specialists Nurture Ventures.

Jeff Bartlett, Founder of Nurture Ventures, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the BioAccelerate programme for the third successive year. The year’s programme offers even more hands-on support as well as a new incubation phase in 2021. Our aim is to unearth distinctive innovations that have global potential and entrepreneurs with the appetite to succeed. Past programmes have helped create new businesses including ARCITEKBio, Shire Meadery, Flatpac Farms and Terrafix and supported others like Phytorigins, GreenSeas and Amply so we’re certainly looking forward to meeting this year’s applicants.”

AberInnovation recently marked the official key handover from its main contractor and beginning of its operational activities with a socially-distanced ceremony attended by key stakeholders. The £40.5m development is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government; the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (part of UKRI); and by Aberystwyth University.


Further Information:
Ben Jones, Marketing and Partnerships Manager, AberInnovation: