Scientist and entrepreneur, Dr Harry Destecroix, has unveiled Science Creates, the deep tech ecosystem that offers specialised incubator space, a £15 million investment fund and a comprehensive network of strategic partners to nurture science and engineering start-ups and spin-outs.
Harry is best known for co-founding Ziylo, whilst studying for his PhD at the University of Bristol. He sold the business to Danish firm Novo Nordisk in a deal estimated to be worth over $800m.
The world-class hub, in partnership with the University of Bristol and located in the heart of the city, is set to become the ‘new West Coast’, transforming disruptive discoveries through impactful commercialisation.
Dr Harry Destecroix, founder of Science Creates, comments: “Where a discovery is made has a huge bearing on whether it’s successfully commercialised. While founding my own start-up, Ziylo, I became aware of just how many discoveries failed to emerge from the lab in Bristol alone.
“No matter the quality of the research and discovery, the right ecosystem is fundamental if we are going to challenge the global 90% failure rate of science start-ups, and create many more successful ventures.”
Science Creates grew out of the original incubator, Unit DX, that Harry set up in collaboration with the University of Bristol in 2017 to commercialise companies like his own, Ziylo, which aimed to develop one of the first smart insulins to help people suffering with diabetes.
The Science Creates ecosystem comprises on an incubator space, with Unit DX already housing 37 science and engineering businesses. A second incubator called Unit DY will open in 2021 and support 100 companies which could provide 450 jobs and brings Science Creates’ physical footprint across the two units to 45,000 sq ft.
There ia also Science Creates Ventures launches with its first fund, a £15 million venture capital fund offering start-up investment. The fund is supported and backed by successful Bristol-based entrepreneurs behind some of the South-West’s biggest deep tech exits..
Finally, the new intiative also has the Science Creates Network, which is a portfolio of strategic partners, mentors and advisors specifically tailored to the needs of science and engineering start-ups.
Harry continues: “The start-ups we bring into Science Creates need more than Wi-Fi and strong coffee. They need well-equipped lab space as well as sector-specific business support, qualified talent and investment from sources that understand what it takes to build a successful deep tech business that will disrupt markets and change the world.
“We have lived in this space, understand the innovations we support, and know what our ecosystem needs to deliver to build from the discovery upwards. It makes us better equipped to spot and nurture the winners. What’s more, we believe Bristol has the economic potential to become a global deep tech hub with its location, talent and its unique blend of diverse, pioneering and rebellious ingredients to change the world.”
Frederic Garzoni, Director and co-founder of Imophoron, an innovative vaccine technology start-up based in Unit DX, comments on the news: “Science Creates is a perfect match for Imophoron. It has an excellent ecosystem of people who’ve been there, done that, and outstanding facilities built for – and by – scientists. The balance between great science and proactive business is the essence of Science Creates and I immediately knew it was the perfect home for Imophoron.”