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COULD VENTURE BE A FASTER ROUTE TO CURING CANCER?

JOIN US TO DISCOVER HOLY-GRAIL APPROACHES AND LAUNCH YOUR OWN COMPANY.
Cancer Research UK has partnered with Deep Science Ventures to create an opportunity for early career stage researchers to build ventures that target the complexity of biology. Join a 12 month programme to explore the state of the art, generate novel approaches, build your team, prove the science and secure investment. No prior IP or “idea” required.
Cancer Research UK has partnered with Deep Science Ventures to create an opportunity for early career stage researchers to build ventures that target the complexity of biology. Join a 12 month programme to explore the state of the art, generate novel approaches, build your team, prove the science and secure investment. No prior IP or “idea” required.

1st round of applications close November 30th!

Interviews start from 18th of October with places allocated as soon as the right fit is found.

DSV-CRUK dinner tour. Join us for dinner to discuss how together we can tackle the complexity of cancer by registering below and selecting your preferred date. 7th Nov Cambridge, 11th Nov: Southampton, 12th Nov: Glasgow, 18th Nov: Oxford, 20th Nov: London, 28th Nov: Manchester

1st round of applications close November 30th!

Interviews start from 18th of October with places allocated as soon as the right fit is found.

About the programme

This partnership brings together the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research with the unique venture design process of Deep Science Ventures to create a programme that is exhaustive in the search for the best approach from both technical and commercial perspectives, and positioned for new venture growth from day one. Our aim is to identify and bring together entrepreneurial scientists, academic advisors and investors to design and build new companies in oncology.

The programme runs from October 2019 for 12 months and is split into two consecutive, interlinked parts: (1) opportunity scoping and analysis, and (2) team formation and venture de-risking.

 

Who’s it for?

The programme is open to early career researchers with interest in science entrepreneurship. We are not looking for ideas, but for highly driven people with expertise in oncology and an overwhelming desire to change the way things are done.

The programme is for both, scientists aspiring to be entrepreneurs, thinking about starting their own company and deep domain experts more interested in advising early stage teams than switching careers.

About the programme

This partnership brings together the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research with the unique venture design process of Deep Science Ventures to create a programme that is exhaustive in the search for the best approach from both technical and commercial perspectives, and positioned for new venture growth from day one. Our aim is to identify and bring together entrepreneurial scientists, academic advisors and investors to design and build new companies in oncology.

The programme runs from October 2019 for 12 months and is split into two consecutive, interlinked parts: (1) opportunity scoping and analysis, and (2) team formation and venture de-risking.

 

Who’s it for?

The programme is open to early career researchers with interest in science entrepreneurship. We are not looking for ideas, but for highly driven people with expertise in oncology and an overwhelming desire to change the way things are done.

The programme is for both, scientists aspiring to be entrepreneurs, thinking about starting their own company and deep domain experts more interested in advising early stage teams than switching careers.

Why participate?

Boost your career

It can be challenging for an early career researcher to even consider attempting venture, tending to assume that if things go wrong it will look bad and set back an academic career. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. It’s common for our founders to actually publish more papers and with higher level co-authors in addition to filing more patents as a founder than they did in academia. Learn more in our blog post on Nature Jobs.

Meet like-minded people

The “T-shape” people – those who are creative, systematic, deep and broad across technical domains, and make great founders – are surprisingly rare and don’t look like what many people imagine as an ‘entrepreneur’. At DSV we’ve spent over 10 years learning to find these characters and match with complimentary skill-sets. If you like the sound of taking a moment to join the dots across the landscape, discussing ideas with a diverse range of people and then moving really fast to achieve set outcomes, then you’re a fit!

A proven framework & training

After spending 10 years in university tech transfer, venture studios, and corporate innovation arms, we’ve developed and proved a better framework for venture creation. In the past two years we’ve launched 20 companies, consistently identifying opportunities that others are missing.

Funding

Each company will be created with £50,000 to cover initial proof of principle work. DSV may follow on up to £500,000 and Cancer Research UK is launching several seed, grant and later stage funding initiatives that may be relevant on a case by case basis.

Ownership

Founders will own 90% of the company at formation including formation capital.

Why participate?

Boost your career

It can be challenging for an early career researcher to even consider attempting venture, tending to assume that if things go wrong it will look bad and set back an academic career. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. It’s common for our founders to actually publish more papers and with higher level co-authors in addition to filing more patents as a founder than they did in academia. Learn more in our blog post on Nature Jobs.

Meet like-minded people

The “T-shape” people – those who are creative, systematic, deep and broad across technical domains, and make great founders – are surprisingly rare and don’t look like what many people imagine as an ‘entrepreneur’. At DSV we’ve spent over 10 years learning to find these characters and match with complimentary skill-sets. If you like the sound of taking a moment to join the dots across the landscape, discussing ideas with a diverse range of people and then moving really fast to achieve set outcomes, then you’re a fit!

A proven framework & training

After spending 10 years in university tech transfer, venture studios, and corporate innovation arms, we’ve developed and proved a better framework for venture creation. In the past two years we’ve launched 20 companies, consistently identifying opportunities that others are missing.

Funding

Each company will be created with £50,000 to cover initial proof of principle work. DSV may follow on up to £500,000 and Cancer Research UK is launching several seed, grant and later stage funding initiatives that may be relevant on a case by case basis.

Ownership

Founders will own 90% of the company at formation including formation capital.

Application process

To express interest in joining, simply share your LinkedIn profile link or CV and your email address HERE. There will be an option to select whether you want to join as a Founding Analyst (full time starting within 2 months), a Founder (part time initially, moving to full time in 6 months), an Advisor (part time) or just interested but not sure yet.

 

We review applications within 24hrs as they come in and will get back in touch to learn more about you if necessary. We normally make a decision within 2 weeks of application submission.

Application process

To express interest in joining, simply share your LinkedIn profile link or CV and your email address  HERE. There will be an option to select whether you want to join as a Founding Analyst (full time starting within 2 months), a Founder (part time initially, moving to full time in 6 months), an Advisor (part time) or just interested but not sure yet.

For those interested in exploring opportunities and working across a number of projects in one or more areas listed in “starting points”, full time within the next couple of months, apply as Founding Analyst. Apply by November 30th.

For those interested but unable to join full time in the next couple of months or not sure if they’re ready to make the leap yet, apply as Founder or Advisor. This will give you exposure to the ideas being discussed, the training and the option of joining a team at a later date. Apply by January 30th.

For those interested in exploring opportunities and working across a number of projects in one or more areas listed in “starting points”, full time within the next couple of months, apply as Founding Analyst. Apply by November 30th.

For those interested but unable to join full time in the next couple of months or not sure if they’re ready to make the leap yet, apply as Founder or Advisor. This will give you exposure to the ideas being discussed, the training and the option of joining a team at a later date. Apply by January 30th.

Timeline

November 30th: 1st round of applications close. Opportunity scoping and analysis work begins.

January 30th: 2nd round of applications close. Team formation and venture de-risking begins.

March: Pre-seed investments

June: Launch of new ventures

Timeline

November 30th: 1st round of applications close. Opportunity scoping and analysis work begins.

January 30th: 2nd round of applications close. Team formation and venture de-risking begins.

March: Pre-seed investments

June: Launch of new ventures

How does it work if I don’t have an idea?

We are not looking for IP or any sort of business plan. In fact, we believe that the typical linear-commercialisation models of academia and industry actually constrain the enormous potential of applied science.

We ask the question ‘what should exist’ and determine if the reason it doesn’t is one of fundamental research and knowledge or, more often, the product of structural inefficiencies in the application of knowledge across academia and industry .

We work with entrepreneurial scientists to understand the current constraints and design the optimal venture that can be built given current knowledge. We then bring together collaborative and fast-moving teams from academic labs across the world to work hand-in-hand with downstream investors and industry.

During the launch event you will have a chance to hear from teams who have recently launched ventures off of the back of this process and how they went about it.

How does it work if I don’t have an idea?

We are not looking for IP or any sort of business plan. In fact, we believe that the typical linear-commercialisation models of academia and industry actually constrain the enormous potential of applied science.

We ask the question ‘what should exist’ and determine if the reason it doesn’t is one of fundamental research and knowledge or, more often, the product of structural inefficiencies in the application of knowledge across academia and industry .

We work with entrepreneurial scientists to understand the current constraints and design the optimal venture that can be built given current knowledge. We then bring together collaborative and fast-moving teams from academic labs across the world to work hand-in-hand with downstream investors and industry.

During the launch event you will have a chance to hear from teams who have recently launched ventures off of the back of this process and how they went about it.

Starting points

At DSV we find it’s best to start with high level bottlenecks and explore from there than it is to either start at a lower level or start with a blank sheet. There are several areas that come up time and time again as key bottlenecks in oncology that may be unlocked from a novel approach.

You can read our thesis here on what we think are the key starting points, but by no means are these the only areas that we would consider. We’re looking to create a radical change in approach, as we have done in multiple fields from neurodegeneration to battery R&D, rather than a step forward in a given field. This requires diversity of skills and thoughts so we would equally welcome a physicist in information theory as we would someone explicitly interested in these areas.

Starting points

At DSV we find it’s best to start with high level bottlenecks and explore from there than it is to either start at a lower level or start with a blank sheet. There are several areas that come up time and time again as key bottlenecks in oncology that may be unlocked from a novel approach.

You can read our thesis here on what we think are the key starting points, but by no means are these the only areas that we would consider. We’re looking to create a radical change in approach, as we have done in multiple fields from neurodegeneration to battery R&D, rather than a step forward in a given field. This requires diversity of skills and thoughts so we would equally welcome a physicist in information theory as we would someone explicitly interested in these areas.

Case studies

We know that we can’t resolve the key challenges of our time simply by unlocking structural efficiencies. However, over the last 2 years we have tackled over 15 major challenges and developed viable solutions that have moved some fields forward by as much as 10 years. We aim to do the same in oncology.

Case studies

We know that we can’t resolve the key challenges of our time simply by unlocking structural efficiencies. However, over the last 2 years we have tackled over 15 major challenges and developed viable solutions that have moved some fields forward by as much as 10 years. We aim to do the same in oncology.

Dr Alexandra Sakatos, PhD in Microbiology from Harvard University

Why are microbiome therapeutics failing?

We know that the gut microbiome drives many diseases, yet trials fail because they only consider part of the ecosystem: the bacterial component of microbiome is less than half of the picture. Working with the University of Washington, Ancillia has built the first comprehensive platform that maps the other half of the ecosystem - the virome - and are equipping bacteria with genetic immunity to disease-causing phage.

Eilish Middlehurst, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur

How do we improve existing cancer treatment outcomes?

All cancer treatments create resistance but if sequenced correctly up to 30% of lives could be saved using existing therapeutics. Working with Mayo Clinic, ConcR designed evolutionary algorithms that correctly predict the most effective combination with 90% accuracy.

Dr Alexandra Sakatos, PhD in Microbiology from Harvard University

Why are microbiome therapeutics failing?

We know that the gut microbiome drives many diseases, yet trials fail because they only consider part of the ecosystem: the bacterial component of microbiome is less than half of the picture. Working with the University of Washington, Ancillia has built the first comprehensive platform that maps the other half of the ecosystem - the virome - and are equipping bacteria with genetic immunity to disease-causing phage.

Eilish Middlehurst, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur

How do we improve existing cancer treatment outcomes?

All cancer treatments create resistance but if sequenced correctly up to 30% of lives could be saved using existing therapeutics. Working with Mayo Clinic, ConcR designed evolutionary algorithms that correctly predict the most effective combination with 90% accuracy.

FAQ

Can I speak to someone?

Yes, email us at cruk@dsv.io

What is the difference between joining 1st round and joining 2nd round of applications?

The earlier you join, the more say you have in what approaches are explored and ultimately what projects, and what companies are built.

For the first round of applications we’re looking for scientists with a broad background and expertise across several domains. You will have the chance to work on a number of projects/venture ideas and build a team around them. Note, this is a full-time position.

For the second round of applications we’re looking for scientists with a much more specialised, deep expertise in a particular domain (we will share what expertise will be required closer to the date). We will first work with you on a part-time basis to assess the fit, before offering to join full-time.

In both cases, no matter at which stage you join, your aim will be to launch a company (or advise a team if you’re applying as an Advisor).

Does it matter where I’m based?

You must be able to work with us in London for at least 3 months, after that we find it tends to be fine to be remote as long as you’re in a relevant cluster for your work (this includes outside the UK).

‘I have an idea…’

That’s great, the kind of people we’re looking for have lots of ideas, but you’ll need to be open to systematically breaking down a problem and not stuck on one idea, if that’s the case then we’d love to hear from you.

Are there labs?

We don’t have dedicated labs, as the kind of experiments we wish to do usually require specific kit and expertise. We do have a range of great relationships with existing labs and have supported many teams to work out a way forward with academic advisors or CROs for the initial proof of principle prior to seed investment.

What if it doesn’t work / I can’t find the solution?

We haven’t had a single case yet where we haven’t found a groundbreaking solution, but as a Founding Analyst if this happens you’ll likely join one of the labs you’ve been working with to prototype ideas, join a startup that you meet along the way, or work with one of the industry partners you’ve met. Overall, for a minor gap in blue-sky research you gain a world of connections and a wealth of impact experience that most labs are crying out for.

Who owns the IP?

The IP developed as part of the project will temporarily be held by DSV and assigned to the new company on formation. Any required background IP owned by research councils / charities / universities may be licensed via normal negotiation with those institutions. Where foreground IP is developed with a university, terms will be agreed as part of the research contact with that university.

Are there mentors?

Yes, both DSV and Cancer Research UK have a wide network of exited founders and investors. We think it’s pretty crass to have a big wall of faces, we’ll just connect you to the right people at the right time.

I'm not sure if this is for me, can I dip a toe in?

You can, we’ll be running info sessions across the country and training sessions that anyone can join. The best way to just see if it’s for you is to sign up as a Founder or Advisor as these are part time roles that will give you a feel for what it’s like without any commitment until ~3 months in.

FAQ

Can I speak to someone?

Yes, email us at cruk@dsv.io

What is the difference between joining 1st round and joining 2nd round of applications?

The earlier you join, the more say you have in what approaches are explored and ultimately what projects, and what companies are built.

For the first round of applications we’re looking for scientists with a broad background and expertise across several domains. You will have the chance to work on a number of projects/venture ideas and build a team around them. Note, this is a full-time position.

For the second round of applications we’re looking for scientists with a much more specialised, deep expertise in a particular domain (we will share what expertise will be required closer to the date). We will first work with you on a part-time basis to assess the fit, before offering to join full-time.

In both cases, no matter at which stage you join, your aim will be to launch a company (or advise a team if you’re applying as an Advisor).

Does it matter where I’m based?

You must be able to work with us in London for at least 3 months, after that we find it tends to be fine to be remote as long as you’re in a relevant cluster for your work (this includes outside the UK).

‘I have an idea…’

That’s great, the kind of people we’re looking for have lots of ideas, but you’ll need to be open to systematically breaking down a problem and not stuck on one idea, if that’s the case then we’d love to hear from you.

Are there labs?

We don’t have dedicated labs, as the kind of experiments we wish to do usually require specific kit and expertise. We do have a range of great relationships with existing labs and have supported many teams to work out a way forward with academic advisors or CROs for the initial proof of principle prior to seed investment.

What if it doesn’t work / I can’t find the solution?

We haven’t had a single case yet where we haven’t found a groundbreaking solution, but as a Founding Analyst if this happens you’ll likely join one of the labs you’ve been working with to prototype ideas, join a startup that you meet along the way, or work with one of the industry partners you’ve met. Overall, for a minor gap in blue-sky research you gain a world of connections and a wealth of impact experience that most labs are crying out for.

Who owns the IP?

The IP developed as part of the project will temporarily be held by DSV and assigned to the new company on formation. Any required background IP owned by research councils / charities / universities may be licensed via normal negotiation with those institutions. Where foreground IP is developed with a university, terms will be agreed as part of the research contact with that university.

Are there mentors?

Yes, both DSV and Cancer Research UK have a wide network of exited founders and investors. We think it’s pretty crass to have a big wall of faces, we’ll just connect you to the right people at the right time.

I'm not sure if this is for me, can I dip a toe in?

You can, we’ll be running info sessions across the country and training sessions that anyone can join. The best way to just see if it’s for you is to sign up as a Founder or Advisor as these are part time roles that will give you a feel for what it’s like without any commitment until ~3 months in.

1st round of applications close November 30th!

1st round of applications close November 30th!