PUBLISHED: 22:20 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:37 31 May 2017
Appleyard Lees has joined the sponsors of the Cambridge Independent Entrepreneurial Science and Technology Awards – and is generously offering a prize worth £1,500.
The awards, aimed at start-ups and scale-ups, can be entered online now by filling in our simple form online. Entries close on June 6 – so please get your skates on!
We’re looking for entries across the following five categories:
■ Artificial intelligence
There is more reason than ever to apply now as patent attorneys and intellectual property firm Appleyard Lees, which has opened a Cambridge office, will offer one of the winners £1,500 worth of free advice.
Partner Barbara Fleck said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of the event and support local companies. We are particularly looking forward to being part of the judging panel.
“It is always really exciting to learn about Cambridge companies, particularly when those are emerging companies with new and exciting technologies.
“It’s interesting for us as patent attorneys because we feel we can add value to their business by making sure they set out an intellectual property strategy very early on.
“It’s so important to have that strategy in place and integrate it into the business. For me, it’s always one of the most exciting stages to be involved in when you work with companies.”
IP strategy can make or break the success of an emerging or growing company – and can be crucial in securing investors too.
“It’s extremely important – a crucial piece of the puzzle of developing a business,” said Barbara. “For smaller companies, of which we have many in Cambridge, it’s really important as part of the funding process. It’s very important to be able to present an IP strategy to investors. Protecting innovation gives companies a competitive edge.”
Julia Gwilt, head partner at Appleyard Lees’ office in New Park Street, Cambridge, will join the judging panel for the awards, which also includes leading Cambridge entrepreneurs Hermann Hauser and Charles Cotton.
Julia said: “Barbara and I have worked in the Cambridge scene for some time, with start-ups and scale-ups as well as larger companies.
“Appleyard Lees has a long-standing growth fund whereby there’s a pot of £50,000 a year to help people with funding their IP strategy – whether that’s their own filing process or looking at competitors.”
The £1,500 prize, which could be awarded in any category, will be designed around the winner.
Barbara explained: “We will sit down with the winner and discuss what is appropriate to them in developing and integrating an IP strategy in the business. It could be protecting your own IP or looking at competitors.”
This could involve help drawing up an IP strategy, assistance with filing a patent, trademarking advice or research into the competitive IP landscape – advice that could prove hugely valuable to a company’s development.
Barbara and Julia, along with the wider firm, bring specialist skills across all the categories.
Julia, who graduated from Cambridge with a maths degree and studied a Masters in computer science in Paris, has filed a number of machine learning patents for artificial intelligence firms and has worked for biotech firms in the bioinformatics space too. She has experience in fintech, particularly on the security side, and has worked with cleantech and medtech clients too.
Barbara’s specialist skills are in the biotech area.
She said: “I’ve been working a lot over the last 15 years or so with start-ups and scale-ups. I’ve worked on many different technologies, such as antibody therapeutics – one of the big areas currently – and I have experience in medtech too.
“There are also other attorneys in the firm with their own expertise. We have a lot of in-house experience, which is quite unusual and extremely helpful in applying commercial thinking.”
Winners of the awards will be announced at the huge Venturefest East business showcase event at Newmarket Racecourse on September 21, for which the Cambridge Independent is media partner.
The awards are also sponsored by Grant Thornton, Woodfines solicitors and Regus, the office space experts, and are supported by World Science Aid, the World Nano Foundation and Emerging Tech Capital.
Enter online today
Fill in our simple entry form by June 6. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact the editor at email@example.com.
We are looking for winners in the following five categories:
■ Artificial intelligence
Winners will be given awards across two classes – start-ups and scale-ups – giving 10 winners in total. We have refined our description of these classes.
■ A start-up is typically defined as a company within its first three years of operation.
■ A scale-up is typically defined as a company that has grown turnover by at least 20 per cent consecutively for a minimum of three years.
■ All shortlisted entrants will be invited to benefit from free pitching advice from Grant Thornton’s G team.
■ The biotech start-up winner will secure four hours of free mentoring from AstraZeneca.
■ One winner from across the categories will enjoy £1,500 of IP advice from Appleyard Lees.
■ Winners will be showcased in the Cambridge Independent.