Frequently Asked Questions
Background Information
OneStart is a life sciences and healthcare accelerator programme designed to inspire, encourage and assist the next generation of bio-entrepreneurs. Teams or individuals with health-related business ideas at all stages of development are encouraged to apply. Any ideas that relate to the life sciences and healthcare are welcome: drug development, devices, software, diagnostics, therapeutics, etc.

The competition facilitates the introduction and networking of talented individuals (aged 35 and younger) with complementary skillsets and the passion to move ideas forward. Whether you are an individual with an idea or a small team looking to grow, we welcome you to apply, to attend our events and get connected to our pool of talented individuals.
Any idea that relates to the life sciences or healthcare is eligible, at any stage of development. We welcome ideas around diagnostics, therapeutics, software, devices, research tools, delivery systems, etc.
We accept submissions at all stages of development - from extremely early stage (with no data, and perhaps just an idea for a new product) to more advanced projects with IP filed and pre-clinical development started.

We have had both extremely early and more mature ideas reach our finalist stages.
The mission of the OneStart Competition is to mobilise a generation of life sciences and healthcare innovators to improve human healthcare globally.
OBR is a global platform that bridges the gaps between academia and industry to move ideas forward in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. See more at
SR One is the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The firm invests globally in emerging life science companies that are pursuing innovative science with significant impact on medical care. They have a team of investment professionals, located in the US and UK. As a team, their experience spans basic science, industry and the market. They take an active role in their portfolio companies and work with management teams and fellow venture investors to create significant value. Their current portfolio includes approximately 30 private and public companies and since its founding in 1985, they have invested over $850m in the biotech space. Their expanded remit also focuses on maximising the value of GSK technological innovation to establish new businesses and revenue opportunities across a range of industries.
The OneStart Competition is open to individuals or teams of aspiring life sciences entrepreneurs. Each member of the team must meet the following conditions:

  • Be less than 36 years of age on 31 December 2015

  • Have not raised more than $250k/£160k dilutive funding for the idea submitted

No, there are no geographical restrictions on eligibility. We do ask that teams based solely in Europe apply to the Europe programme, and teams based solely in the Americas apply to the Americas programme.

And do remember, that the European strand of the programme is open to applicants from the rest of the world outside of the Americas, e.g. Asia, Africa, Middle East.
No, if teams comprise of members who are residents of both European and North/South American residents then the team must decide which competition they would prefer to apply to, knowing that they will be expected to attend either the Bootcamp and Finals in San Francisco for the Americas competition or the Bootcamp and Finals in London for the Europe competition.
All individuals named on the application form must be under 36 years old on 31st December 2015. These named team members will be responsible for attending the bootcamp and pitching to mentors and Finals judges for assessment. There is no restriction on the age of advisory board members and supporting team members who are not part of the core management team.
Remember that there is no restriction on the age of advisory board members for OneStart teams, so your PI is welcome to contribute to your team as an adviser, but will not be pitching directly to judges/mentors for your team's assessment.
If you have an idea for a business but do not have a team, you are welcome to apply, and certainly encouraged to come to our networking receptions. One of the goals of the competition is to help pair up people with ideas with others who can help them realize their ideas. To that end, OneStart is also accepting applications from individuals without a business idea of their own who are interested in applying their skills to help launch a startup. These applications are available on our dedicated Co-founder Hub to any interested team founders who do have an idea and wish to assemble a team.
Yes. If you are interested in entrepreneurship and meet our entry requirements, but do not have an idea of your own, please register to our Co-founder Hub and connect with others there. One of the goals of OneStart is to link people with ideas with others who can help them realise them, so if you have business experience or technical skills that you feel would be of use to a budding entrepreneur, we strongly encourage you to apply to our Co-founder Hub.
All ideas submitted to OneStart cannot have received more than £160,000/$250,000 in funding on 31st December 2015. Note that this only applies to dilutive funding.

There is no restriction on the amount of non-dilutive funding received, such as fellowships or grants from research councils or charities.

  • 1st October 2015: First round online applications open at

  • 1st December 2015, 11:59pm GMT: Deadline for first round applications

  • February 2016: Biotech Business Bootcamp in London (5th & 6th February) and San Francisco (19th & 20th February) for 35 semi-finalist teams

  • May 2016: Final pitch night for 10 invited finalists in London (19th May) and in Boston (26th May)

Applicants are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience as the applications will be reviewed as they are received, and you may have an opportunity to receive feedback to improve your application (though this is not guaranteed).
Yes. OneStart is now in its 4th year.
The semi-finalists will be selected in December 2015, the finalists in April 2016 and the winner will be announced during the Finals Gala on 19th May 2016 in London (OneStart Europe) and 26th May 2016 in Boston (OneStart Americas).
The Grand Prize is designed to help the winning team develop their idea to the next stage, ideally an investable position. The winner receives $150k (OneStart Americas) or £100k (OneStart Europe) in non-dilutive funding, which must be used for developing the idea. In addition they receive 6 months of free lab space and ongoing business and legal support.

While there is only one winner, the competition aims to assist the development and future success of all aspiring bio-entrepreneurs. All semi-finalists will therefore receive extensive mentoring and ample opportunities to interact with leading pharma executives, investors and experienced entrepreneurs, as well as specialist professionals.
The prize money must be used to fund further development of the winning plan towards an investable position. It is meant to advance the business and must be used for legitimate business expenses.
No, the prize money does not constitute an equity investment. While it must be used for the purposes of advancing the business, neither SR One nor OBR take a stake in the winner in exchange for the prize money. The prize money and other support afforded for the winners are tools to help the team move their idea forward.
No. Your idea remains your own, barring any voluntary agreements you enter into. SR One has no right to preference in further rounds of fundraising or any right of first refusal. For more details see our terms and conditions at
Structure and rules of the competition
The competition consists of three rounds. Anyone meeting the eligibility requirements may submit a first round application form. Applications from individuals or teams at all stages of development are welcome. The first round application does not require a full proposal or business plan but should demonstrate the potential of your idea.

Up to 35 semi-finalists teams will be selected to progress into the second round, where they will participate in a two-day Business Bootcamp. Each semi-finalist team must send at least one representative to attend the Bootcamp. The first day (Friday) will entail a series of seminars and workshops, structured as a mini-MBA. The second day (Saturday) will be split between interactive panel discussions, speed-networking sessions with industry leaders and short pitches by each semi-finalist team to a panel of experts who will provide specific feedback and advice.

After the bootcamp semi-finalists are given several weeks to prepare a 5 page (plus 2 pages of images/other appendices) business plan and an investor slide deck. From these 35 submitted business plans, ten finalists will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges (in front of a live audience) in May, 2016. One will take home the prize.
No, we only require a minimum of one representative from your team to attend the Bootcamp, but it is very strongly recommended that all team members attend as it will be an invaluable learning experience for the team.
Yes, you are absolutely welcome to re-apply.
No, travel costs are not covered and teams need to pay for their travel and accommodation expenses themselves. Teams are strongly encouraged to apply for financial support from their home institutions/organisations if necessary.
Yes, OneStart applicants may apply to other competitions and seek external sources of funding.
The panel of expert judges will consider a variety of factors when assessing the applications. The primary considerations will be the feasibility of the idea and the capacity of the team to move that idea forward. Weighing these considerations will require analysis of all of the following factors, and many more:

  • Degree of innovation

  • Ability to impact patient health

  • Team’s ability to execute and their range of talents and backgrounds

  • Quality of business plan and strategy

  • Potential economic prospects

  • Other relevant information provided by applicants

First round online applications should be completed at
No, the character limit indicates the upper limit. Please keep your application as clear and concise as possible.
Yes. We encourage individuals who have multiple business ideas to apply to the first round with each of them (i.e. filling out separate application forms). Similarly, if you are working with multiple teams working on separate projects, you may apply with each of them.
The OneStart team will directly email selected semi-finalist and finalist teams. Announcements will be also be made via the OBR mailing list (sign up here) and on this website.
Intellectual Property
No you do not.

Many teams apply whose idea has not been patented, or whose product is not patentable.

If your product is patented but the IP is owned by your university or institution, then you can still apply. Indeed, we receive many applications from academics who have not yet secured a license from their university, and if you advance we're happy to help you negotiate the IP.

None of our prior winners have won prior to securing their IP, so fear not! We know that license agreements take a while, and can be moved forward faster if there is funding available for the company.
OneStart applicants retain all intellectual property rights concerning their proposed idea, pending other agreements voluntarily entered into. All applicants are reminded to ensure that they can communicate their idea clearly and non-confidentially in written and spoken word.

Note that all applicants agree to allow OBR and/or SR One to use the following fields in their first round application for marketing purposes: Team Name, One-Line Pitch, Description of your idea to be made public on the OneStart website, The Team.

Please see further details in our Terms & Conditions at
More information
Please read carefully through the FAQs on this page and the other pages of this website. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, drop us a message at and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.