The Institute of Cancer Research Corporate Entrepreneurship

Instilled Systematic Entrepreneurship Within Researchers

Studio Zao have inspired healthcare innovation researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research to develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of its top researchers through a Entrepreneurship Bootcamp to support them in developing viable commercial applications of their research.

Background

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) is the world’s leading cancer and oncology research institute, driving cutting-edge research into cancer treatment and therapy. Aside from being a pioneer in scientific discoveries, it also creates the conditions to connect ICR scientists with industry.

Objectives

The ICR asked us to equip its new intake of researchers with the tools and mindset required to optimize the impact of their work through entrepreneurship. This means investigating commercial applications of their research and IP, exploring entrepreneurship as a route, and collaborating with the ICR to validate and launch new ventures.*

Approach

We ran an immersive two-month virtual entrepreneurship bootcamp.

The virtual bootcamp focused on a series of weekly Zoom video call sessions, with teams collaborating on exercises using virtual whiteboarding tool Miro.

We took researchers on a journey grounded in the Key Principles of Lean Entrepreneurship:

  1. Identifying their personal unfair advantage
  2. Exploring problem areas in customer segments around their research
  3. Ideating business ideas to serve unmet customer pain points
  4. Validating assumptions using Customer Discovery interviews
  5. Building a roadmap to take their solutions to market
  6. Pitching their business case to influence stakeholders

In between sessions, participants joined one-to-one coaching sessions where they reviewed their ideas, evidence of market need and any practical work conducted.

The Bootcamp included an engaging fireside chat with biotech entrepreneur, investor and board member Jason Foster.

Outcomes

Each team presented their propositions at the last session, experiencing the entrepreneurship journey for the first time, with a number being taken forward for further development.

After the Bootcamp, researchers said they learned in “just 8 sessions what a university degree needs a year for”, and said the Bootcamp “gave [them] the courage to build [their] own company in the future”. At the end of the Bootcamp, 40% of participants said they felt very confident to pitch their idea.


* This is the second year that we’re collaborating with the ICR, with a similar aim.

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What our clients say

“Studio Zao has organised an energising entrepreneurship bootcamp to help cancer researchers create new commercial opportunities based on their work. Overall feedback has been very positive, and it’s been great to hear attendees say that the bootcamp gave them courage to build their own company in the future.”

”I had fun on the course whilst learning very important key points about entrepreneurship. The course gave me the courage to start my own company.”

”The course was interactive, interesting and educational and most important of all fun. I really appreciated the real stories and examples used by the facilitators.”

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