Barclays Eagle Labs and Edin Uni join forces to catalyse emerging firms

Barclays Eagle Labs, which fosters UK founders, start-ups and scale-ups, have teamed up with the University of Edinburgh’s Venture Builder Incubator programme, helping encourage emerging firms including many working in healthcare.

It comes as 24 new cohort companies – all operating in sectors addressing key societal challenges including green technology, animal welfare, and agritech – have been announced for this year’s VBI, an initiative tailored to help PhD students develop and commercialise academic research. The intake includes ten innovative health-related start-ups, most of which are focused on combating cancer and will be supported through an existing partnership with Cancer Research Horizons.

The new tie-up will offer further mentoring to University-supported entrepreneurs as well as access to Eagle Labs premises across the UK, a network in Scotland comprising Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Kilmarnock via businesswoman Marie Macklin’s Halo urban regeneration project. Barclays Eagle Labs will support founders behind oncology-related start ups and other health-related cohort companies, providing content and support via its network of more than 600 healthtech start-ups, and also offering access to other specialist areas outside health as required.

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Among the health-focused ventures involved in this year’s VBI is Less Grey, a triaging technology tool to help prostate cancer patients; and Naela Technologies, described as having developed an improved form of vibrational spectroscope to enhance cancer-detection. Other start-ups involved in this year’s programme include sustainability business Carbon Glance, which helps companies to control their exposure to carbon pricing and comply with climate-related disclosure obligations.

Laura Bernal, VBI programme manager (far right) with representatives of the cohort companies taking part in the initiative this year. Picture: contributed.
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The VBI is supported by Edinburgh Innovations (EI), the University’s commercialisation service. Charlotte Waugh, enterprise and innovation programme lead at EI, hailed the new partnership, adding: “This will bring additional value to all of this year’s 24 participant companies and will build on our existing partnership with Cancer Research Horizons in supporting oncology-oriented ventures.

“With the support of our partners, we look forward to supporting a range of innovative start-up ventures which aim to address key societal issues around health and wellbeing, food production, financial accessibility, and the environment.”

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Helen Tate, healthtech lead at Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “We are proud to become part of the University of Edinburgh’s [VBI]. We look forward to offering support to all the businesses participating in this year’s programme through our business growth programmes, investor connectivity, mentoring, and access to our UK-wide network."

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