Although healthcare is more open for innovation than at any other time, medical technology innovators face significant hurdles in bringing even the best idea to reach patient care. To attract funding for the next stage of your development assessments are made not only on its science and the problem that it solves, but on your team's perceived ability to take your project through to commercial reality.

Currently too much interesting science fails to attract the sponsorship. Promoters often do not understand, choose to ignore, or currently lack the experience to deal with those elements outside of the science that need to be in place to attract funding and/or investment. This is what the Xler8tr course changes.

At the end of the Xler8tr course your science will have maximised the chance of receiving the next stage of funding whether from the public sector ('non-dilutive') and/or investment from pharmaceutical or other life sciences companies or venture capital either in the form of capital or entry into an incubator.

We look for interesting very early stage life or and healthcare science either at the point of needs selection or later.

Xler8tr is a 26 week £90,000 (per Team) intensive course which

  • advances the commercials to the point where your commercialisation plan can be articulated
  • defines what is the best funding to take you to the next stage of development and its source(s)
  • provides a data room so your proposal can be efficiently diligenced
  • enlarges your network with access to a selection of
    • some of the world's leading advisory companies
    • the public sector
    • some of the world's leading pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies
    • some of the most successful entrepreneurs in your field.
  • gives you the opportunity to pitch for your next stage of funding
  • sets up your basic business/corporate infrastructure
  • gives you a thorough grounding in how to meet the commercial and organisational challenges your venture will face during its development to commercialisation and monetisation

Although the objective is to advance the commercials, our intention is that the science also prospers as you will be mentored by your sponsor.

The course fees are paid by your sponsor. Sponsors include some of the world's largest pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies.


Sponsors' interest cover Devices, Therapeutics, Biologics and Diagnostics. On this site you will find Needs Statements from our Sponsors, these cover their current areas of interest most likely to attract sponsorship for the Xler8tr course, and applicants will be judged on the merits of the identification of the unmet healthcare needs that their work helps address.

If you have science that is not covered by the Needs Statements, but have identified a real need which may be solved, you should still apply, as the Needs Statements are not exhaustive but indicative.

Xler8tr Course

The 26 week course is based around 4 cores: commercial, funding, financial and legal. A tailored course plan is drawn up for each set of entrants, with the plan is designed to ensure that each entrant:

  • completes a commercialisation road map
  • populates a data room with supporting commercial, legal, accounting and science based data
  • gets the opportunity to pitch to the appropriate next stage potential funder(s).
As part of the course, once a fortnight all entrants spend 2 nights in Cambridge (travel and accommodation is provided) to attend a series of 'Formals' and 'Informals' representing the 'physical' part of the course.

The rest of the time is used to achieve the objectives set as part of the course plan and, while hot desk facilities are provided from our Cambridge location, this can be done virtually.

Strategic Partners

Xler8tr offers the opportunity for Prospects and sponsors to work in cooperation with some of the foremost names in the commercial business world. The range of expertise that prospects will have access to is perhaps unparalleled in an accelerator context:

  • Simmons & Simmons - a pre-eminent international law firm widely recognised as a leading life sciences practice
  • KPMG - an international accountancy and Business consultancy practice and one of the so-called ' big four' whose office in Cambridge specialises in supporting Post academia start-ups
  • Silicon Valley Bank - a leading hi tech commercial bank which has already helped fund more than 30,000 start ups
  • Alacrita - the pre-eminent life sciences consultancy business within the UK based in London and Cambridge MA
  • Knowledge Transfer Network – the UK Governments interdisciplinary knowledge sharing department funded by Innovate UK
  • Marks & Clerk and Mewburn Ellis – both intellectual property practices with significant expertise in the life sciences space
  • Marsh – a global leader in insurance broking and risk management, with a team focused on the life science sector

Whilst the support of external Partners can in of itself provide no guarantee of success of any one Prospect we at Xler8tr believe that such available expertise is key in maximising the chances of success.



  • Teams of between 2 and 4 people ('the Promoters') will be accepted.
  • Each team member will sign the Entry Form
  • The Team will need a sponsor to pay the course fees. If you do not have a sponsor, we will try to match your entry with a sponsor.
  • Declarations of all interests in the Intellectual Property to be used in the project.
  • Declaration describing the expected IP management and distribution.

Conditions Precedent

  • Where UK incorporation has not already taken place, UK incorporation will take place at the start of the course.
  • Ownership of all interests in the shares in the incorporated or proposed entity must be agreed and declared on the Application Form.
  • All interests in the project owned by the Promoters must be vested in the incorporated entity. Where interests in the intellectual property not owned by the Promoters exist, permissions from those owners must be granted to the entity by way of a licence.

Entry Forms

This link will take you to Registration, we advise you to read our FAQs from the link below. You are able to complete your entry in more than one session, and there are downloadable guidance notes. If you want to know a little more about Entry follow this link to our Entry FAQ.

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Entry FAQ

The Xler8tr Course
For 3 days every fortnight over a 26 week period, you will travel to our Cambridge campus (at our expense) where you will gain the benefit of the vast experience of the leading global business advisory firms, leading sector entrepreneurs, public sector organizations and possible funders on how to maximize the commercial potential of your science through a series of 'Formals' (formalized meetings with set agendas) and 1-on-1s. While on campus you will have the opportunity to widen your own network of potential commercial contacts by joining us for our 'Informals' (informal meetings with no fixed agenda) where you will be able to and mix and socialize with possible mentors in a relaxed setting.

Your science will during the course be mentored by your Pharma or other Life Sciences sponsor.

By the end of the 26 weeks program you and your science will have been incorporated within a self -contained legal, management accounting and IT infrastructure, with a realistic audit providing clarity of IP ownership and insight into its potential, and with some initial branding and a digital presence. You will have created a realistic commercialization plan together with a supporting data room, and a real understanding of your funding road map (and its pitfalls). Additionally you should have been able to ascertain the most likely funding sources open to your project, whether they be in the private or public sector. You will have identified potential commercial partnerships through organizations like the KTN and have received sympathetic introductions, and have the advisors around you to help you make the best deal possible.

Through the Informals you will have had opportunity to widen your personal access to mentors, leading global advisors, sectoral entrepreneurs, potential commercial partners, public sector funding, advisory bodies and VCs.
Graduation is a series of 'Pitch Days' .

This link will take you to Registration

It is not Surprising that 9 out of 10 Start-Ups Fail
Successfully commercializing good science takes a lot more than good scientists. It takes know how and networks. Start ups rarely have access to either. The Xler8tr course gives you both and sets you on the path to commercialization by creating the infrastructure and ecosystems that businesses need to survive and prosper.

Who Should Do the Course
If you are a post graduate thinking about how to commercially exploit your peer reviewed science and you are beginning to build a team then the Xler8tr course should be firmly in your sights.

If you have already started the process of commercialization, possibly even incorporated and are seeking support from a life sciences organization and looking to build an ecosystem that will support your fledgling business then the Xler8tr course is your next step.

Who Qualifies
We take on teams of between 2 and 4 people with a mix of scientists and commercial/entrepreneurial experience and skills, whether incorporated or not, who are committed to developing interesting science that meets a Sponsors' Need's Statement or interest.

What Does It Entail

First we need to find a Sponsor prepared to pay your Xler8tr course fees of £90,000. We do this by matching the Sponsors' Need's Statements to the science.

Once you have your Sponsor's agreement they will be responsible for mentoring your science while you join our 26 week course. At the beginning of the course your team will receive a course plan tailored to your most likely outcomes.

Your objective is to create a commercialization plan and a supporting data room. This is for two reasons: the process creates a realistic roadmap which is essential if you are to have commercial success: and secondly if a part of that roadmap requires funding whether venture or public sector, being capable of providing the correct material for due diligence will have an impact upon its success.

Every fortnight for 3 days your team will attend the Xler8tr campus in Cambridge (at our expense) for the Formals and Informals during which you will learn from leading global advisory firms and leading sector entrepreneurs as to how to advance your commercial roadmap.

How Much Time Does It Take
The physical part of the 26 week Xler8tr course is 3 days every fortnight in Cambridge, attendance is mandatory for all team members. The virtual part of the course is determined by the course plan in conjunction with your mentors.

What do you as Prospects get out the Xler8tr course?
An independent legal entity with a legal and management accounting framework. Your own transportable IT infrastructure, some initial branding and your corporate digital presence.

You will have been mentored by leading global business advisors who will have guided you in the creation of your commercialization roadmap, and you will have widened your personal network to include leading sector entrepreneurs.

You will have identified the nearest commercial opportunities to advance your business and have access to the potential of sympathetic introductions to help smooth your way. You will be cognescent of the path to raising your next round of funding and have the data room to facilitate the due diligence, and through the Informals a growing network of potential funders whether private of public sector.

You will also have had the sponsorship of a major global life sciences corporate mentoring your science.

What does the Sponsor get out of it?
The Sponsor gets access to early stage and interesting science that does not at present appear on their radar and before positions are too entrenched or the need to reverse engineer the science. The cost of accessing and mentoring this science through Xler8tr is far less than their current alternatives.

Global life sciences companies are looking to add breadth of science to their existing portfolios, however there is the recognition that even the most interesting science may not be right for them, which is why their focus at this early stage is on access rather than a more formal engagement say in the form of a direct investment. For those Sponsors that wish to carry their interest in your venture past the course, they retain the right to match any offers of future funding.

How do I apply?
First you have to register on our site. After which you will see the link to our Portal. This is a relatively straightforward and simple process.

How do I improve my application?
Guidance Notes available from the Xler8tr portal cover the on-line application form in detail.

Some Sponsors have created Need's Statements, you will be able to access these on the Xler8tr portal.

If your science is not relevant to Sponsors' Need's Statements you should still make your application as the Need's Statements are indicative but not exhaustive.

It is useful to bear in mind that the opportunity you are presenting to potential sponsors is access to early stage and interesting science that currently is below their radar, but that sponsors primary interest is in the development of product/service platforms.

This link will take you to Registration

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