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Accountants James Cowper Kreston encourages entrepreneurship in biotech researchers

9 December 2011

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Accountants and business advisers James Cowper Kreston is providing entrepreneurship mentoring and coaching to early career researchers through the annual and prestigious Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme and awards.

Sue Staunton, partner and head of James Cowper Kreston’s Technology practice, has for the past 10 years been involved with the programme – this year judging the annual awards alongside representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, Syngenta, Nestle and Proctor & Gamble.  The firm also sponsored the ‘Best Consideration of Financial Planning Strategy’ prize.

Sue said: “The Government has consistently underlined how important the commercialisation of our world-class life sciences research is to driving economic growth, and this awards programme plays a valuable role in creating a greater understanding of what is needed to take scientific research to market.”

The Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme is open to bioscience post-graduate and post-doctorate researchers, with teams invited to prepare a business plan for an imaginary company based upon hypothetical, yet plausible, science.  Team members assume the role of company directors seeking equity investment.

Sue adds: “This year’s awards attracted almost 400 competitors from across the UK.  This year’s winners, announced on 5 December, were from the University of Oxford with their business plan for Metachem, an imaginary business that produces high value fragrance components from yeasts.

“The winners of the James Cowper Kreston ‘Best Consideration of Financial Planning Strategy’ prize were Instant Diagnostics from University College London and its idea for an antibody-based diagnostic kit for the detection of sexually transmitted disease.”

In addition to judging the awards and sponsoring a prize, James Cowper Kreston’s Sue Staunton and colleagues, Mark Munro and Alan Poole also provided workshops and mentoring to help competitors with their business plans and commercialisation ideas.

Sue adds: “Researchers who can show a greater understanding and awareness of the commercial environment in which they operate are infinitely more attractive to employers and will generally have brighter career prospects.  Participants leave this competition with a greater understanding of marketing, finance and of the value of the IP they create, and that can only be a good thing. I hope that some of those we have seen this week will go on to become entrepreneurs of the future”

Sue Staunton, Partner James Cowper Kreston LLP, Tel +44 (0)1865 200500 or email sstaunton@jamescowper.co.uk