OneStart | Blog
From Academia to Venture-Backed Startup

Iwan Roberts, EngD - COO and Co-Founder at Puridify

Learn why Iwan Roberts from Puridify, the first winners of the programme back in 2013 originally applied to OneStart and how their company has continued to grow since.




In 2012, with my co-founders Ollie and Tom, we decided to enter OneStart, a new accelerator programme for individuals with novel healthcare ideas. With a manufacturing technology and an inexperienced team, this initially seemed like a long shot – and it was! But thanks to the fantastic support we received, we ended up being the inaugural European 2013 winners. It was a fantastic ride from start to finish.


You might ask, why did we decide to enter in the first place? Initially we thought it would be a great learning experience but soon realized that we had a product with great marketability. So Puridify was born.


I may have made it sound like we entered with a perfect application and sailed straight through to the finals but, as any other OneStart alumni will attest, this was not the case. Ollie developed the technology during his Engineering Doctorate – but with expert mentorship we honed both our business plan and pitch deck, working as a team to move our business forward. We turned what was an initially intriguing but slightly flawed application into a prize-winning company.


We’ve stayed in touch with the support group we met via OneStart, expanding to a 17 person strong team. We recently secured follow on investment from Imperial Innovations, SR One, and UCL Business bringing our series A round to a close, with £8million (>$12M) raised to date.


OneStart is a truly valuable programme, and I know that even had we not won – we still would have been a success for having gone through the programme. Many teams raise investment each cycle. I urge you all to apply.