We invite you to join us at the live final of the CDT Den where 4 teams of PhD entrepreneurial students from the Institute of Chemical Biology Centre for Doctoral Training (ICB CDT) and their network bid for £10,000 of seed funding by pitching a proposal that exploits the commercial potential of ideas they have pioneered. They will face a panel of high profile Dragons including the Chief Executive of the BBSRC (Melanie Welham), the EPSRC Associate Director (Andrew Bourne), the Vice Provost of Research at Imperial College London (Nick Jennings) and the serial entrepreneur (Paul Atherton).
This is not a paper exercise but a real competition.
The CDT Den is a 6-month tech-accelerator competition that develops the entrepreneurial skills of our students and gives them the opportunity to develop the commercial potential of ideas they have developed and that are independent of their PhD research. The programme, based on the popular BBC television series “Dragons’ Den” is a pre-team pre-idea competition and through a series of ideation and team building events ICB CDT students form the teams that will go on to compete in the Den. Crucially, ICB CDT students are encouraged to invite postgraduate students from across the college to take part, thereby opening-up the competition to the wider community and ensuring participants can draw upon the expertise available across the college.
The CDT Den is structured to ensure that all competitors, not just the winners, gain valuable skills during the programme. It offers training in intellectual property, business opportunity analysis, value chains, market analysis and product development. During the competition, each of the teams benefits from tailored mentoring from leading industry experts, established entrepreneurs, hi-tech investors and technology transfer specialists.
What distinguishes this from a conventional student business game is that we provide seed funding of £10,000 to allow the winning team to begin the development of their project. In addition, all the winning teams receive full follow on support to help with market research, direct commercialisation activities and no-cost dedicated laboratory space.