On Tuesday the 16th of May, founders, professionals and business minded students from around Cambridge gathered in Panton Arms for the Innovation Forum’s first “Pitch in the Pub” event in Cambridge.
This event marks an exciting return to normality as the Innovation Forum once again starts running regular events in Cambridge. As more and more passionate attendees entered the pub and sat down to chat over drinks, it became apparent that this would be a night filled with exciting pitches, insightful discussion and new connections.
Our first pitch was from Hendrik Runge, co-founder of Cambridge Nucleomics, a start-up which focuses on RNA measurements, especially in the area of diagnosing sepsis. Hendrik’s fantastic sense of humour had the whole room cracking up several times as he described his hand drawn business cards and real life elevator pitches to unsuspecting passengers at JP Morgan. Hendrik envisions a world where the detection of sepsis, which causes 20% of global deaths, can be faster and more accessible. He and his cofounder are heavily involved in RNA research and are confident for Cambridge Nucleomics to deliver faster and easier measurement of RNA with accuracy down to single molecules.
We then heard from Tim Chisholm, founder of Neurothread. Tim is a final year PhD student working on ground-breaking detection of Parkinson’s and related diseases using protein markers, and his company aims to deliver cheap and effective detection of Parkinson’s disease using a simple blood test. Neurothread aims to provide a rapid blood test that can distinguish closely related diseases and can identify these diseases before physical and cognitive symptoms appear. Early and accurate diagnosis provides certainty for patients, reduces hospitalisations, and delays care home admissions. Tim has already obtained very high accuracy using brain matter for detection and is in the process of transitioning to using serum instead for a less invasive and cheaper alternative.
Our last speaker, Paul Roberts, co-founder and CCSO of CMR Surgical, talked about his journey transforming his startup into a billion-dollar success. CMR Surgical supplies modular robots used for surgery. Paul, along with a team of co-founders from engineering and clinical backgrounds, was inspired to create a more general-purpose surgical robot after seeing overly expensive surgical robotics originally designed for cardiothoracic surgery used for prostate pin-hole surgery. Their goal was to provide higher quality surgical aid in places with lower access to the best surgeons while standardising the quality of surgery. Paul’s passion and success were an inspiration to all the young entrepreneurs attending the talks.
Overall, the night was a great success, and we look forward to many Pitch in a Pub events to come. It was exciting to see such a vibrant and tight knit entrepreneurial community in Cambridge, with so many people and familiar faces showing up. The Cambridge branch of the Innovation Forum is excited for a new start after Covid, and we can’t wait to hear from even more founders in our next event.