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LAUNCH YOUR OWN AGRITECH STARTUP

Deep Science Ventures and the University of Edinburgh have launched the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme to design and launch a contingent of innovative high growth start-ups operating exclusively in the agriculture sector. We are currently recruiting people with specialist domain knowledge who want to co-found agritech companies. No prior IP or “idea” required, but we are definitely looking for potential founders who want to build technology companies around our larger Agriculture thesis on Restorative Cultivation.

Deep Science Ventures and the University of Edinburgh have launched the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme to design and launch a contingent of innovative high growth start-ups operating exclusively in the agriculture sector. We are currently recruiting people with specialist domain knowledge who want to co-found agritech companies. No prior IP or “idea” required, but we are definitely looking for potential founders who want to build technology companies around our larger Agriculture thesis on Restorative Cultivation.

Interviews ongoing

Interviews ongoing

About the partnership

This partnership brings the Roslin Institute’s world-leading facilities and expertise in functional genomics, animal disease, and veterinary clinical biosciences together with Deep Science Ventures’ unique venture design process to identify critical commercial and technical approaches around which high growth ventures and teams can be built. Our aim is to identify and bring together entrepreneurial scientists, academic advisors and investors to design and build new companies in agriculture.

 

Who’s it for?

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

About the partnership

This partnership brings the Roslin Institute’s world-leading facilities and expertise in functional genomics, animal disease, and veterinary clinical biosciences together with Deep Science Ventures’ unique venture design process to identify critical commercial and technical approaches around which high growth ventures and teams can be built. Our aim is to identify and bring together entrepreneurial scientists, academic advisors and investors to design and build new companies in agriculture.

 

Who’s it for?

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

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

We are not looking for IP or any sort of business plan. Simply review which of the three Opportunity Areas (OAs) below you are most excited about and for which you have relevant experience. Click on each area to learn more.

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

We are not looking for IP or any sort of business plan. Simply review which of the three Opportunity Areas (OAs) below you are most excited about and for which you have relevant experience. Click on each area to learn more.

Application process

We review applications within 10 working days from when they come and normally take no more than 2-3 weeks to get started if the candidacy is successful.

Application process

We review applications within 10 working days from when they come and normally take no more than 2-3 weeks to get started if the candidacy is successful.

Why join?

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.

World-leading facilities

The programme is initially virtual or based in London, with access to the Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) at Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, which works in very close partnership with the Roslin Institute. RIC is the business location of choice for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Agri-Tech and One Health industries and is the business gateway to the Easter Bush Campus, a hub of activity bringing together associated industry sectors to nurture innovation, collaboration and growth, with a focus on livestock improvement, food security and one biology.

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’. The DSV team has collectively 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 three years we’ve launched 25 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 companies may also be eligible for investment by grant and later stage funding initiatives available in Scotland.

Ownership

Founders will own 80 – 90% of equity in their companies.

Why join?

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.

World-leading facilities

The programme is initially virtual or based in London, with access to the Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) at Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, which works in very close partnership with the Roslin Institute. RIC is the business location of choice for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Agri-Tech and One Health industries and is the business gateway to the Easter Bush Campus, a hub of activity bringing together associated industry sectors to nurture innovation, collaboration and growth, with a focus on livestock improvement, food security and one biology.

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 companies may also be eligible for investment by grant and later stage funding initiatives available in Scotland.

Ownership

Founders will own 80 – 90% of equity in their companies.

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 agriculture.

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 agriculture.

Dr. Thomas Farrugia, PhD in Chemistry, University of Bristol | CEO, Beta Bugs Ltd

How do we breed better insects?

Insects are an alternative protein source for use in livestock feed, but have never been bred for improved productivity. Working with the Roslin Institute, leader in animal genetics, is developing best-in-class Black Soldier Fly genestock, with a mission of doubling insect farming's productivity, enabling it to compete on price point with commoditized feed ingredients.

Dr Jim Bailey, PhD in Physics from Imperial College London | CTO, PES Technologies Ltd

Why are farmers not able to optimise the health of their soil?

Farmers routinely test the chemical properties of their soil to be able to understand how much artificial fertiliser to add. It is also increasingly becoming routine to test the physical characteristics of soil, such as how compacted it has become by tractor traffic. However, there is currently no easy, affordable way to measure the soil biology. This is a problem, as healthy soil should be teeming with life, especially microbial life, without which soil simply becomes dust. Working with NIAB-EMR, PES designed a novel soil sensor that can accurately assess the ‘health’ of soil by analysing its soil microbiome.

Dr. Thomas Farrugia, PhD in Chemistry, University of Bristol | Beta Bugs Ltd

How do we breed better insects?

Insects are an alternative protein source for use in livestock feed, but have never been bred for improved productivity. Working with the Roslin Institute, leader in animal genetics, Beta Bugs is developing best-in-class Black Soldier Fly genestock, with a mission of doubling insect farming's productivity, enabling it to compete on price point with commoditized feed ingredients.

Dr Jim Bailey, PhD in Physics from Imperial College London | CTO, PES Technologies Ltd

Why are farmers not able to optimise the health of their soil?

Farmers routinely test the chemical properties of their soil to be able to understand how much artificial fertiliser to add. It is also increasingly becoming routine to test the physical characteristics of soil, such as how compacted it has become by tractor traffic. However, there is currently no easy, affordable way to measure the soil biology. This is a problem, as healthy soil should be teeming with life, especially microbial life, without which soil simply becomes dust. Working with NIAB-EMR, PES designed a novel soil sensor that can accurately assess the ‘health’ of soil by analysing its soil microbiome.

FAQ

Can I speak to someone?

Yes, email us at hello@dsv.io

Does it matter where I’m based?

Remote is fine 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?

The programme is initially virtual or based in London, with access to the Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) at Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, which works in very close partnership with the Roslin Institute. RIC is the business location of choice for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Agri-Tech and One Health industries and is the business gateway to the Easter Bush Campus, a hub of activity bringing together associated industry sectors to nurture innovation, collaboration and growth, with a focus on livestock improvement, food security and one biology.

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 Founder 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 contract with that university.

Are there mentors?

Yes! DSV, the University of Edinburgh and Roslin Institute 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.

FAQ

Can I speak to someone?

Yes, email us at hello@dsv.io

Does it matter where I’m based?

Remote is fine 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?

The programme is initially virtual or based in London, with access to the Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) at Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, which works in very close partnership with the Roslin Institute. RIC is the business location of choice for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Agri-Tech and One Health industries and is the business gateway to the Easter Bush Campus, a hub of activity bringing together associated industry sectors to nurture innovation, collaboration and growth, with a focus on livestock improvement, food security and one biology.

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 Founder 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 contract with that university.

Are there mentors?

Yes! DSV, the University of Edinburgh and the Roslin Institute, 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.

Interviews ongoing

Interviews ongoing