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Oxford AHSN Accelerator programme

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The Oxford AHSN Accelerator programme, delivered by We Are Pioneer Group (formerly BioCity), offers a unique launchpad for innovators with an idea they want to bring to market. If you have a great innovation that will have an impact on health quality outcomes, we can help you develop it. We will guide you on developing your business path and help you discover fast-track routes to funding for commercialisation, scale-up and impact.

The Oxford AHSN Accelerator is now in its third year. It was delivered in person in 2019 and online in 2020. The 2021 participants have now been confirmed.

Some feedback from a 2020 participant: “The virtual set up is more convenient for people who want to avoid expensive commuting costs, it is also more helpful for people who wish to balance their attendance with full time work.”

The 2021 Oxford AHSN Accelerator Programme will focus particularly, but not exclusively, on the following six key Oxford AHSN themes and challenges:

  1. Mental health, specifically digital therapeutics and other innovations for the treatment of persistent depression, suicide and self-harm
  2. Respiratory
  3. Maternity and neonatal
  4. Cardiac
  5. Stroke
  6. Cancer

See details of the 2021 programme below.

What’s in it for me?

You’ll discover a bigger health opportunity arc and fast-track routes to funding for commercialisation, scale-up and impact.

  • You’ll work with like-minded teams developing innovative and sustainable business models with health and cross-industry mentors.
  • We’ll guide you on your commercial path to validate approaches, to de-risk product innovation, to plan go-to-market and sales readiness for your proposition.
  • You’ll be part of an Accelerator empowering future leaders for maximum positive impact on healthcare outcomes.

What will I do?

The programme is split into five stages:

Stage one – Commercialisation workshop

This workshop lasts two days and runs three times in 2021. It provides an introduction to key business concepts such as reviewing your potential customer landscape, starting to develop a sound business model and learning how to communicate your offering effectively. This can help you develop a better narrative and plan for future funding applications, or for pitching to investors.

Commercialisation workshop participants 2019

Stage two – Market discovery pre-accelerator

Exploring the commercial viability of your idea with business mentors. Applying the tools and techniques learnt during the three-day workshop, participants then spend four weeks in customer and market discovery shaping and refining their business model before returning to pitch for one of the limited number of places on the programme. More information about the pre-accelerator here.

Stage three – Pitch for your place on the Accelerator programme

The pitch day (by invitation only) is an opportunity to showcase your hard work in refining your proposition. A mix of industry mentors drawn from the Oxford AHSN and We Are Pioneer Group networks, and from the wider Berkshire/Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire area will judge the propositions and make recommendations for those who will go on to the full Accelerator programme (see stage four, below).  

Stage four – Accelerator programme

18 October – 29 November 2021
The Accelerator programme business mentors continue to work with the most promising teams. This eight-week programme comprises one day a week going through a series of increasingly demanding and informative developments to produce a fully viable business venture.

Stage five – Final pitch day and review panel

6 December 2021
All participants in the Accelerator programme are invited to hear the final teams present to a panel of industry experts for the opportunity to obtain business support worth £100,000 from We Are Pioneer Group.

Pre-accelerator participants 2019

Additional information

The Oxford AHSN Accelerator programme, delivered by We Are Pioneer Group (formerly BioCity), has mentors and coaches from the NHS, industry and research in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

There is no charge to participants in the Oxford AHSN Accelerator programme.

Find out more in our Frequently Asked Questions          Further information: