In DC News this week, we posted a piece about Conception X: Cohort VI Discovery Session for prospective PhD students, held on 15 November 2022.
Conception X is a programme and platform that helps PhD students become venture scientists and commercialise their research in impactful ways. Via a nine-month programme that includes training, coaching and mentoring, it is designed to help PhDs launch deeptech startups based on their research, connect with leading members of the deeptech community, and become eligible for innovation grants, awards and venture capital funding.
We asked two of our students – Moe Ahmed and David Harvey – to tell us more about their involvement with Conception X.
- Why did you get involved with Conception-X?
- MOE: I realised at a very early stage into my PhD that the technology I started investigating from my Masters had the real potential to improve the industry. As a technical person, I didn’t understand how to conduct a commercial feasibility study and I realised I would need learn how to create, identify the market, get funding and run a start-up – that’s where Conception-X helped.
- DAVID: I got involved with Conception-X because I realised at a very early stage into my PhD that the technology I was engineering had the real potential to improve monitoring and diagnostic capabilities for respiratory patients, but no existing company had our knowhow, solution or approach. In that moment, I realised it was a call to action but I would need the knowhow of how to create, identify the market, get funding and run a start-up – that’s where Conception-X helped.
- What do you think you’ve gained through your involvement with Conception-X?
- MOE: Gained a huge amount of knowledge that is required to create a start-up, as well as the confidence to go ahead and do it. The coaching through their mentors really helps give a better perspective on where the technology stands and what is needed to get it there.
- DAVID: Through my involvement with Conception-X, I have gained a huge amount of knowledge that is required to create a start-up, as well as the confidence to go ahead and do it. Conception-X will also give you world class coaching through their mentors, as well as give you first-hand insight for investment in start-ups with investors as lecturers.
- What would you say to any PGRs thinking of getting involved in programme?
- MOE: 100%. If you are an entrepreneurial researcher I would recommend Conception X even if you don’t have a idea/technology that can form a company. You learn a set of skills that very important for professional development i.e Commercial Research and Development.
- DAVID: If you believe that your PhD research can solve some of the world biggest problems, and no existing company is working on your novel solution, then apply to Conception-X. They will give you the knowledge and help support you to begin your start-up journey. What have you got to lose?
- Any other comments?
- MOE: Since applying to Conception-X, I have gained a lot of exposure on my research and its potential. Worked closely with the university Technology Transfer office to plan future steps.
- DAVID: Since applying to Conception-X, I have created Tidal Analytics, a company aiming to revolutionise how asthma patients manage their condition, which has also received the support of Asthma + Lung UK as an innovator in the sector. Our novel technology approach has gained interest from several investors and hope to be disrupting this well-established sector with technology made in Surrey. None of this would have happened without Conception X.