Unlock the Potential of your Ideas

Startup School for genomics and biodata

Learn to think like an entrepreneur in a  highly supportive environment for early-stage genomes and biodata innovation arising from both Campus science and our peer institutes like Wellcome Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute.

Why? Because we all share the same mission to help improve healthcare and lives.

Our lean virtual  Startup School is designed for genomics and biodata scientists but we also welcome participants from related disciplines and those whose skills and expertise can help enrich, diversify, and launch the early ideas generated by each cohort.

Startup school at the wellcome genome campus

2020-21 Programme has completed

We are currently planning the second run-through of the Startup School and if you would like to take part, pre-register at the bottom of this page.

Course Structure

With eight content-rich sessions, plus an introductory and a wrap-up session, our curriculum is delivered in ten online sessions, each lasting an hour plus networking time. Each of our modules will help you step out of your comfort zone, help you begin to validate and test your ideas, inspire through peer to peer interaction as well as provide you with an opportunity to put your thoughts into practice. The very targeted nature of our curriculum means this syllabus is unique- unlike more generalized pre-accelerators that are designed to appeal to many, this one will only focus on genomics and biodata. This means that everyone involved in our School has strong connections to the healthcare sector, so you can save hours of networking time, by accessing the right individuals who are best placed to support you in the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey.

30 years

The UK biotech sector is relatively young, and after 30 years it already includes mature, revenue-generating companies, as well as innovative start-ups building new technologies, and new business models.

The right place

In 2019 the Cambridge Cluster housed approx. 456 small and large biomedical companies and over 3,000 in the IT and tech fields, with a combined turnover of £11bn.

10 yrs of growth

The sector enjoys strong government support and with record levels of private and public investment poured into biotech over the last decade, the sector’s position as a key strategic sector is set to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic.


There is a lot more to the healthcare industry than just the big pharma. Areas with potential high growth are cell and gene therapy, orphan drugs, CRISPR gene editing, robotics, telemedicine, and AI.


Julia Wilson_square_image_Startup_School

Dr Julia Wilson, Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute

“The Sanger Institute is delighted to support this programme.

Many of us dream about turning an idea into an empire, and this course is a great opportunity to gain the skills and insight that could make it a reality. The course will provide and understanding of the key strategic, technical, financial, and commercial issues linked to the creation and development of an idea into a start-up. It contains a mixture of teamwork, speakers sharing their experience, coaching sessions, and is a great opportunity to test a business idea and get a taste of what life could be like as an entrepreneur.

It’s a mini-bootcamp which aims to give you the tools needed to build your own venture with meaningful insights to help consolidate your plans.”


Shai Vyakarnam in black and white

Dr Shai Vyakarnam, Visiting Professor at Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship University of Cranfield

“I was delighted to see the outline of the programme. It is spot on in terms of unlocking the curiosity of  the scientist in learning how to make an impact with their science and taking the early first steps.

They will learn about the various options open to them and gain inspiration from those that have made the journey to impact.

Role models are crucial for the young scientist to test their own ambitions and career choices as are practical tools, frameworks and a peer group that can support each other.



Andrew Leach, Head of Industry Partnerships, EMBL-EBI


“I am very excited to see the Startup School taking its very first cohort of participants. It is clear that there is a huge interest on the Genome Campus in entrepreneurship. The programme will provide tools, access to networks, encouragement and support that will help bridge the gap between having an exciting idea and turning this into a real startup enterprise. The programme will also provide an excellent vehicle to strengthen the links between academia and industry; having worked for many years myself within industry this is something I am particularly passionate about”.




Diversity + Collaboration = Innovation

The Wellcome Genome Campus Startup School promotes equality and celebrates inclusion, we believe that diversity and collaboration are key to innovation. We welcome participation from everyone who shares our mission to improve healthcare and lives.

Would you like to learn to be more entrepreneurial?

Pre-register for the second cohort and be the first to find out when applications open. Get in touch with any questions, at any time: startupschool@wellcomegenomecampus.org

Join early applicants' list