The helix Way

Cancer Research Horizons Lean Launch Programme

Cancer-focused Pre-accelerator helping teams validate their business ideas

In collaboration with Cancer Research Horizons (Cancer Research UK’s new innovation engine) Entrepreneurial Programmes, Lean Launch is a game-changing 10-week online customer discovery programme that allows you to rapidly test whether there is a market for your oncology-focused idea, product or service from the comfort of your workplace/home.

Upcoming Cohort

What:                   Cancer Research Horizons Lean Launch Programme

When:                  Applications open: 1st June 2023 closing 22nd September 2023                                 

Where:                 Online: Welcome Call 9th October – Bootcamp 11th & 12th October

                             Weekly Progress Calls (1 hour) TBC

                             Online:  Options Roundabout 8th December

Who:                    Open to applicants across the UK and Europe

Why:                     This programme offers:

        10 Week part time Market Discovery Programme using Lean Start-up Methodology

        £2,500 for market discovery activities

        £1,200 for business adviser support

        Pathway to further opportunities

        2 day bootcamp to develop hypothetical business model, learn how to talk about idea to potential customers and identify customer pain points.

        Bi-weekly access to team of expert coaches

        Connection to a wide network of entrepreneurs, investors and funders

        10 week tailored customer discovery process

        Training provided on how to pitch to potential customers and investors

        Opportunity to pitch to experienced panel of funders, stakeholders and investors

Information Webinar

This webinar will assist potential applicants with any queries on making their application to the CRH Lean Launch Programme.

We have gathered experts Gillian Shuttleworth, from Cancer Research Horizons, and Paul Reavey, from The Helix Way, to share their invaluable insights and expertise in the field of entrepreneurship and lean startup methodologies.

How Does It Work?

Our 10-week online market discovery programme is designed using lean start-up methodology. Lean start-up takes the scientific method (hypothesise, test, evaluate) and applies it to business ideas. You will learn how to use this approach to test what your potential customers think about your  oncology-related idea, product or service. 

Past participants say that having 10-weeks of support and dedicated time to spend on customer discovery has dramatically changed their perspective on their innovation

“The guidance the programme and its mentors have given has been invaluable the insight we (the project team) have gained, including, from the clinical interviews has been incredible, and something we wouldn’t have normally done outside our contacts.”

Professor Cheryl Miller, Faculty Lead for Early Career Researchers, Research Lead for Bioengineering and Health Technologies Group (BHT), University of Sheffield

What Does It Include?

£2,500 market discovery

£1,200 Business Advisor

Offers a pathway towards a further £25,000 of funding plus follow-on funding support

Game changing online delivery

Our online delivery means that you can contribute to the programme flexibly at times that suit you.

Access to experts in bringing research to market

You will have weekly access to our team of experts and we will proactively connect you to our network of entrepreneurs, investors and funders within the oncology sector.

Market Explorer

We will create a personalised report which includes data about your potential customers, competitors and suppliers plus a comprehensive overview of the intellectual property landscape for your sector.

Bootcamp Training

2-day bootcamp where you will learn how to talk about your technology to customers, develop a hypothetical business model and identify your customers’ pain points. 

10-week Market Validation

You will plan and execute 10 weeks of tailored customer discovery for your idea, product or service using online software, videoconferencing and marketing tools. You will receive weekly 1-hour coaching clinics from experts in taking research ideas to market.

Pitch training

1-day online pitch training to teach you how to pitch your ideas to potential customers and investors. 

Options Roundabout Pitches

You will have the opportunity to pitch to an experienced panel of funders, stakeholders and investors to help accelerate the impact from your research.

Who is eligible?

Cancer Research Horizons Lean Launch is open to research teams in all UK universities, UKRI eligible research institutes, public sector research establishments (PSRE’s) and independent research organisations 

We are committed to improving diversity across our programmes and are actively seeking applications from under-represented groups and non-Russell Group Universities.

Upcoming Cohort

Deadline to apply: 22nd September 2022

A pathway towards future ICURe funding

Our past Lean Launch Programme participants have included those that have gone on to secure a minimum of £30,000 of Innovate UK  funding grants and launch their businesses. 

Read about their journeys here!

“The lean launch programme provided us with the insight we needed to get a better understanding of our value proposition. It has made a huge difference to us at the early stages of icesupp and validating the foundation of our business.”

Amy Smith, Icesupp. Founder and CEO, (2023)

“”The CRH Lean Launch provided us with the confidence to move forwards and put us in contact with some incredible mentors. It has allowed us to expand our ideas and continues to help connect us with brilliant people.”

Alice Evans, PhD Student, Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, England (2023)

“Lean Launch provided us with the insight we needed to get a better understanding of our value proposition.”

Dr Hala Dhowre, University of Liverpool
Pharmacologist and Post-doctoral researcher 
Winner of Best Pitch and Most Engaged Research at Lean Launch Pitch Day (2020)

The Team

CRH teams are composed of four individuals:

Entrepreneurial Lead

Associated Science advisor 

Technology Transfer representative/professional 

Business Adviser 

Entrepreneurial Lead

Any research staff or technical research staff member that receives their salary or stipend from an eligible university, PSRE or institute (including, but not limited to, PhD, technician, PDRA, fellowship and group leader positions). This individual MUST be able to commit a minimum of one day per week for the duration of the programme starting the week of the bootcamp.

Associated Science advisor

A researcher who can provide intellectual support to the entrepreneurial lead throughout the course of the programme, for example and interdisciplinary project may require input from outside the research group. 

Technology Transfer representative/professional

An individual from the team, either from, or contracted to, the RO leading on the commercialisation of the intellectual asset with appropriate technology transfer expertise. This individual Officer (TTO) MUST be able to attend essential online bootcamp sessions as well as the options roundabout. In addition, provide support for the Entrepreneurial Lead and team during the LLP programme and continued support for further commercialisation activity following the programmes conclusion.

Business Adviser

A motivated individual from a relevant industrial sector to offer expert guidance and support. Teams are strongly encouraged to name an adviser in their application. Please contact the administration team if identifying a suitable advisor is a barrier. 

How Do I Apply?

The application form may be accessed from the links on this website. All applications will go through a competitive selection process. Your application must have been agreed with your organisation prior to applying, including that you can commit to the programme.

Have you got questions about the programme?

We’d love to hear from you with any questions you have about the programme or how it works.  
Click the button below to email our Programme Administrator.