Learn why Lynne Murray from MedImmune is involved with OneStart 2016 and how she thinks that the extensive mentorship provided is the true prize of the OneStart programme.
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics division of AstraZeneca, and collectively MedImmune/AZ seek to pioneer innovative research from early stage discovery of large and small molecule based therapies, right through to clinical development and commercialization of novel drugs. I specifically work in the Partnering & Strategy group at MedImmune, and am involved in all the business development activities for large molecules from pre-clinical ideas up to Phase 1 clinical development.
We’ve proudly supported OneStart for several years now – and I’m honored to once again be involved. Not only is it a great fit for the company but also personally, allowing me to impart my knowledge gained over the years. This spans from leading basic research groups, carrying therapeutics through to Phase II clinical trials, and more recently in business development.
Our commitment to OneStart has been reinforced by the unique educational slant of the programme. The OneStart Bootcamp provides a start-up crash course for 70 teams each year - covering everything from raising investments, to intellectual property and building a team. Importantly, emphasis is placed on the art of the pitch. Being able to convince others that your idea is worthy of investment is a core entrepreneurial skill.
Although the $150k/£100k/€135k grand prize is meaningful, and the OneStart Bootcamp a fantastic learning experience, it’s the continual support and mentorship that is the true prize. Our top-70 teams are each matched with 2-4 industry experts who provide in-depth mentorship and support over 3-months. These mentors are well versed in assessing numerous external opportunities, providing real life advice on how to tailor or sell a specific business idea. This type of mentorship is rarely available, yet the OneStart competition provides a network that any team can tap in to. Officially the mentorship occurs over the 3-month programme, yet many teams continue their relationships with their mentors well beyond the OneStart programme.
Last year I mentored Inspiwave™ a 2015 European finalist. It was a privilege to watch them grow and develop their idea, but it is also important to note that this was not the first year that they had applied. Re-applications are actively encouraged; having the ability to adapt, grow, and learn is the true marker of any entrepreneur.
Together the Bootcamp and mentorship experience equip OneStart participants with the tools needed to progress, succeed and go forth with their companies. The mentor and peer networks formed through OneStart give our alumni a unique advantage. The mentors are at the top of their professions; their decades of experience and talent are what makes them excellent advisors.
I look forward to reading all of your applications in December and being assigned my future mentees. Check out last year’s OneStart semi-finalists. We’d love to have you on this list this year.