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Barclays Eagle Labs To Support University of Edinburgh’s Entrepreneur Incubator Programme

Venture Builder Incubator programme unveils 24 new cohort companies

Barclays Eagle Labs has formed a new partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator (VBI), a programme tailored to help PhD students develop and commercialise academic research.

The news comes as 24 new cohort companies – all operating in sectors addressing key societal challenges including green technology, animal welfare, and agri-tech – have been announced for this year’s VBI. The intake includes 10 innovative health-related start ups, the majority of which are focused on combating cancer and will be supported through an existing partnership with Cancer Research Horizons.

The new association with Barclays Eagle Labs will offer further mentoring to the University-supported entrepreneurs as well as access to its Eagle Labs premises situated across the UK. Adding further value to the programme’s partnership with Cancer Research Horizons,  Barclays Eagle Labs will support founders behind oncology-related start ups and other health-related cohort companies, providing content and support via its network of more than 600 healthtech start ups, and also offer access to other specialst areas outside health as required.

Among the health-focused ventures involved in this year’s VBI is Less Grey, a triaging technology tool that will help prostate cancer patients; and Naela Technologies, developers of an improved form of vibrational spectroscope which enhances cancer detection. Also participating in the programme is PallorMetrics, creators of new technology which can automatically measure pallor in routine retinal photographs, aiding disease detection, monitoring and progression.

Other start ups involved in this year’s programme include sustainability business Carbon Glance, which helps companies to control their exposure to carbon pricing and comply with climate-related disclosure obligations; DeepQA, developers of software testing hyperautomation which helps companies scale; and Eweper, a platform designed to aid farmers in recording sheep DNA information.

The full list of all this year’s 24 cohort companies can be found here

The VBI is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Data Driven Entreprenurship Programme and is growing significantly as PhD research is recognised as key to building quality start up business pipelines.

The start ups in this year’s cohort were chosen after an application process which includes PhD students, early career researchers and academics from the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, which is a fellow partner to the VBI. All the oncology-based start ups were selected from across UK with input from Cancer Research Horizons. For this cohort, VBI provides access to the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, its innovations-focused peer group, and its data expertise.

The VBI is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, and delivered by the Bayes Centre on behalf of the University’s five Data-Driven Innovation Hubs. The Incubator forms part of the ambitious Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Beacon Programme at the University of Edinburgh to support post-COVID recovery and position Edinburgh as the data capital of Europe.

Charlotte Waugh, Enterprise and Innovation Programme Lead at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “We are delighted to announce the new relationship between our Venture Builder Incubator and Barclays Eagle Labs. This will bring additional value to all of this year’s 24 participant companies and will build on our existing partnership with Cancer Research Horizons in supporting oncology-oriented ventures.

“With the support of our partners, we look forward to supporting a range of innovative start up ventures which aim to address key societal issues around health and wellbeing, food production, financial accessibility, and the environment.”

Helen Tate, HealthTech Lead at Barclays Eagle Labs said: “We are proud to become part of the University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator. We look forward to offering support to all the businesses participating in this year’s programme through our business growth programmes, investor connectivity, mentoring and access to our UK-wide network of Barclays Eagle Labs.

“As an organisation nurturing a community of innovative HealthTech businesses, we also look forward to working with the University and Cancer Research Horizons to provide additional support for the health-focused entrepreneurs involved in the VBI programme.”

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About Data-Driven Entrepreneurship (DDE) University of Edinburgh’s DDE Programme is delivered by Edinburgh Innovations, working with the University’s Data-Driven Innovation Hubs to deliver the Data-Driven Entrepreneurship (DDE) programme. With £1.3 million funding from the Scottish Funding Council, via the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) programme, the DDE Programme is designed to drive entrepreneurship among staff and students at the University by supporting them to develop their business ideas, build their skills and secure funding. About Barclays Eagle Labs A platform to connect the UK’s entrepreneurial community Eagle Labs are a growing national network of incubator spaces that provide business incubation, mentoring and co-working space for ambitious high-growth businesses as well as digital skills development and rapid prototyping through onsite digital fabrication equipment and Industry 4.0 expertise at many of our sites. With a network of Eagle Labs supporting 34 business ecosystems across the country and more in the pipeline, our focus is to help to connect, educate and accelerate ambitious UK businesses and entrepreneurs. About Cancer Research Horizons Cancer Research Horizons is the innovation engine of Cancer Research UK – the world’s largest charitable funder of cancer research. We bring together world-leading minds, bold ideas and the right partners to bridge the gap between research and taking drugs to market. We focus on the tougher, more profound ideas that can lead to true innovation, translating them into effective treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients. To date, we’ve played an instrumental role in forming over 60 spin-out companies. We’ve helped bring 11 cancer drugs to market, borne out of Cancer Research UK’s pioneering research. Through these drugs, we have enabled in excess of 6 million courses of treatment for cancer patients across the world. With access to Cancer Research UK’s network of 4000 exceptional researchers, and £400+ million of annual research spend, we’re a powerful partner in the fight to conquer cancer. By uniting our commercial partnerships and therapeutic innovation capabilities, Cancer Research Horizons is uniquely placed to support translational funding, licensing and collaboration, spin out creation, and offer a full spectrum of drug discovery and clinical capabilities. Every penny we make goes back into funding the next bold steps, to help bring forward the day when all cancers are conquered. For more information and to get in touch with the team, visit

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