Business essentials for STEM start-ups

Tuesday, November 28th 2023

23:18 – 23:18 (GMT)

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Series of IMAGINE IF 2018 pre-launch events: Business start-up in pharma industry


5.30pm - 6.00pm


6.00pm - 6.10pm

Introduction to Innovation Forum

6.10pm - 6.25pm

How to actually start business

What are the major steps of business set up, where to seek for funding and eventually, to overcome the fear of not knowing entrepreneurship after completing STEM. Session delivered by Peter Brown

6.25pm - 6.35pm


6.35pm - 6.50pm

Challenges and opportunities for translational science in academia and industry

Case-study from the University of Manchester. Session delivered by John Bridgeman

6.50pm - 7.05pm

Engaging with the NHS. The reality, not rhetoric

Session delivered by Dom Raban

7.05pm - 7.30pm

Questions & Answers and fireside chat with the speakers

7.30pm - 7.40pm

Closing words

7.40pm - 9.00pm

Networking and drinks


Originally coming from Estonia, I moved to the UK to pursue a degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Manchester. Throughout the studies, I have completed several summer internships in Estonia, UK and Germany, where I was involved in the cancer research. My strong interest in science and particularly oncology allowed me to win a scholarship and to complete Masters in Translational Medicine at the same university.

I have always wanted to work within the pharmaceutical sector and thus, after completing the degrees, I moved into the industry by being a Pharma Analyst at Global Business Intelligence and Safety Screening Scientist at AstraZeneca.

Currently, I work for a company specialising in the personalised medicine and particularly, the production of cancer immunotherapy for melanoma patients. This is the most challenging and exciting role I have ever had as nothing is more rewarding than the ability to help people to extend their lives and to beat cancer sooner.

I immensely enjoy writing and therefore, voluntarily produce scientific articles for FastBleep and the news for BioNews. I also like meeting and communicating with people and thus, feel that the role of a Business developer at Innovation Forum could not only help the company to grow and become more global, but also allow me to do something I am passionate about.

I enjoy having an active lifestyle and in my free time, I usually hike in the highlands, cycle and travel.

Peter is a mentor and coach, supporting start-ups and SME’s in the Northwest. He was recently awarded ‘Best Manchester Mentor’ by Business Growth Hub & RBS entrepreneurial- spark. Peter has over 30 years experience with blue chip technology companies, building new categories and new channels in international markets, most recently as Managing Director of Cambridge Audio. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD France.

John undertook his PhD in 2004 under the supervision of Dr. David Gilham and Prof. Robert Hawkins at the University of Manchester. During this time his main interest was uncovering the signalling and molecular interactions of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) and development of novel costimulatory CARs. John continued his research with Dr. Gilham and Prof Hawkins following his PhD, before a short period of research with Prof. Vaskar Saha at the University of Manchester studying CNS invasion in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

In 2010 John moved to the labs of Prof. David Price and Prof. Andrew Sewell at Cardiff University where he focussed on T-cell receptor (TCR) gene transfer, using it as a tool to understand biological phenomena such as alloreactivity and TCR cross-reactivity, as well as further developing adoptive cell therapy strategies. In 2013 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust/NISCHR ISSF research fellowship within the Institute of Infection and Immunity studying cross-reactivity profiles of virus specific T-cells.

John took up his current position at Cellular Therapeutics in 2014 and is currently building on technologies he has established to further develop adoptive T-cell therapies.

Dom Raban has been creating ‘stuff’ for nearly 40 years, from punk fanzines in the 1970s to content for emerging technology platforms now. He’s been in the digital space since the start, building his first website in 1995 and his first 3D virtual environment in 1996. His current agency, Corporation Pop, was launched in 2007 and was one of only 35 companies worldwide to be accredited as Gold Solution Providers for Second Life. In those heady days of virtual worlds, they delivered several ground-breaking corporate and educational projects for clients including EMI, BP, the NHS, and Manchester Business School.

Since 2010 they have focused on Unity 3D development and have built immersive virtual environments for all sorts of use cases, from connected TV applications to avatar-based software that helps young people with mental health issues. For the last three years, they have focused on bringing their experience with immersive 3D spaces to virtual and augmented reality.

Currently, they are working on several AR and VR projects including an app for child patients that helps reduce the stress associated with hospitalisation by increasing familiarisation with staff, environments and procedures.

Dom is an awarded member of D&AD and a member of the VRARA Digital Health Committee.


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