Press release: Gutsy biotech start-up heads for success with support from Venturefest Oxford
A group of young entrepreneurs with roots in the medical and biological sciences proves that Oxfordshire is the place to be when it comes to innovation and starting up businesses. Only 12 months after registering with Companies House, BioMe Oxford have begun drafting a promising patent that aims to catalyse a transformation in gut health. Looking to develop a minimally-invasive and cost-effective device for sampling gut bacteria that could eventually advance the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders, the scientists and PhD students who formed this new biotech company received crucial support from Venturefest Oxford.
After winning Idea Idol 2015, a competition for emerging businesses run by the University of Oxford’s entrepreneurship society Oxford Entrepreneurs, BioMe Oxford presented at Pitchfest in November 2015. This event, run by Venturefest Oxford, gives budding businesses a unique opportunity to pitch in front of multiple potential investors in a bid to secure core funding. Pitchfest helped the ambitious team to establish essential links with the investor community and improve their pitch through prior presentation training.
Thanks to the advice and connections these events provided, the start-up has been able to successfully attract seed funding which will be used to fund prototype development. Looking forward, the CEO at BioMe Oxford, Soren Thomsen is confident that their progress to market will be rapid,
Our technology will provide a method for gut sampling that is superior to existing methods (such as faecal swabs) in a number of ways, and we believe that our invention could revolutionise this field. Based on latest progress, I expect that the product could be rolled out in 2-3 years for research purposes and in 4-5 years for human health diagnostics.
The new sampling device, an ingestible capsule, will allow researchers to target any part of the intestines and will eliminate the need for electronic machinery. In the near future, this simple yet brilliant invention could be used to study gut-related health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome without the need for invasive interventions.
Touching upon the many resources available for start-up businesses, Soren Thomsen comments,
While working as scientists at the University of Oxford, the advice and feedback we receive from new business nurturing organisations such as Venturefest Oxford is invaluable. We plan to attend this year’s Venturefest at the King’s Centre on 29 June and we are looking forward to further developing our business skills and relationships.
Lynn Shepherd, Executive Chair at Venturefest Oxford says:
Our reason for being is to connect entrepreneurs with people who have resources to invest in them and help them grow their business. The success of BioMe Oxford proves that the central idea behind Venturefest works very well and I am sure that we will be able to provide further support and guidance to the company, for example during our annual networking event which this year is set to be bigger and better than ever before.
BioMe Oxford has also been entered for The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards 2016, which will be presented at a gala dinner on Tuesday June 28th, the night before Venturefest Oxford 2016 and will help launch the annual event by showcasing the region’s new business innovation stars.
For full details of the Venturefest Oxford 2016 programme or to book tickets visit www.venturefestoxford.com.
For further information, images, or to arrange interviews contact: Susannah Penn or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to [email protected] or [email protected]NOTES TO EDITORS
Venturefest is a gateway for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect with investors and advisors at all stages of the business life cycle. Venturefest Oxford’s mission is to provide a platform to support the innovation eco system in Oxfordshire, offering new and growing businesses, investors and innovators connections to support, services and opportunities
Venturefest Oxford is now in its 18th year. Venturefest Oxford has gone from strength to strength, with Yorkshire and Bristol using the model to establish sister events. Venturefest and Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board are now rolling out annual events across the entire UK as part of a national Venturefest Network, supported by KTN – The Knowledge Transfer Network.
The Board of Venturefest Oxford includes key local organisations such as the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, The University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Innovation and The Oxford Trust as well as key local Angel and VC organisations and tech-based business representatives.