Cambridge CARES spin-off company Accelerated Materials has won the £20,000 first prize in the 2021 Chris Abell Postdoc Business Plan Competition, run by Cambridge Enterprise.

Accelerated Materials was founded by Dr Nicholas Jose, Dr Mikhail Kovalev and Professor Alexei Lapkin in 2020. Dr Jose and Dr Kovalev are both Research Fellows at CARES, while Professor Lapkin is a CARES Principal Investigator and Professor of Sustainable Reaction Engineering at University of Cambridge. Accelerated Materials uses a novel R&D methodology, incorporating intensified microreactor technology and machine learning, to accelerate scale-up of high-quality functional nanomaterials.

The Grand Finale was held online on Thursday 11 November and the six finalists pitched their business plans to an audience of experts in spin-out investment. The finalists’ pitches were judged on a number of criteria, including each business’s competitive position, the potential for new business creation and each team’s collective skill set. The judging panel comprised Christine Martin, Interim Head of Seed Funds at Cambridge Enterprise; Heather Richards, Cambridge Enterprise Investment Committee; Chris Tapper, Associate at CIC; and Maximilian Ge, President of Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC).

Project Lead Dr Jose said, “The Chris Abell Postdoc Business Plan Competition was an amazing opportunity to develop and showcase our business. It was more than just a pitching competition; after each round of mentoring, I was able to refine my ideas and presentation into a form that I can now confidently present to investors and clients. My mentors Nick Housby and Shai Vyakarnam were outstanding, providing valuable criticism from their own experiences in technology entrepreneurship.”

The competition has run for seven years and was recently renamed to honour the late Professor Chris Abell, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at University of Cambridge and member of the CARES Governing Board.


Read more about the competition and the other winners here:

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