Decoding Biotech: A Postgrad’s EnterpriseTECH Journey

Fascinated by the intersection of science and business, my adventure into the world of biotechnology began at Cambridge. I embarked on a Master’s degree in bioinformatics (antibody-antigen binding affinity prediction) at the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and very soon found myself on a side journey exploring entrepreneurship through EnterpriseTECH.

I wanted to learn more about the business side of biotechnology and understand the financial intricacies of companies in this sector. This programme seemed like a great way to do that.

From the start of the programme, I was immersed in an environment fostering creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. It was a unique platform for scientists, like me, to bridge the gap between research and entrepreneurship training.

The project I worked on was NanoMissiles, a novel drug delivery system for cancer treatment. Collaborating with brilliant individuals from many research backgrounds, we ultimately learned how to transform scientific discoveries into tangible commercial solutions with real-world impact.

Embracing the Unknown: The EnterpriseTECH Experience

Memorable highlights for me were the invaluable connections and meaningful relationships I formed with like-minded individuals, all of us embarking on similar journeys of discovery and learning.

Whilst our team had strong scientific backgrounds, it was our first venture into a business project. The intensity and newness of the business lectures, coupled with the need to digest a multitude of new concepts in a short timeframe, created a rather energised atmosphere.

Throughout the programme, at times, I found myself stretched beyond my comfort zone, which, in fact, proved to be quite beneficial. It boosted my confidence in sharing my opinions and ideas, something that wasn’t initially easy. I also discovered that I had a natural ability to connect with people, great for my future career!

When Inspiration Leads to Lightbulb Moments and Sets in Train Unexpected Opportunities

During the lecture intensive, we heard an inspiring talk by Dr Jason Mellad, one of the Entrepreneurship Centre’s Associate Fellows. He introduced us to his venture builder company, Start Codon. He talked passionately about entrepreneurial mindsets and great teams, emphasising the importance of strong team dynamics for successful startups. I found his talk engaging and relatable, appreciating his friendly and humble approach. He highlighted how a strong team could overcome technological challenges and lead to a company’s success.

Later, I discovered the Start Codon VC Promoters through the Venture Capital Society at the University of Cambridge. Motivated by the close relationship Jason established with our cohort, I didn’t hesitate to apply. The internship led to valuable insights into the world of venture capital, where innovative ideas are nurtured for success. It expanded my horizons, emphasising the importance of innovation and strategic thinking in entrepreneurship.

Through this relationship with Start Codon, they offered me a fellowship for a summer school with the Carlson Business School at the University of Minnesota, happening for the first time in Cambridge. On this, we have been working on a valuation laboratory project focused on healthcare, with a group of students, some of them MBAs.

What Lies Ahead for Me

Looking ahead, I’m eager to leverage my background in biotechnology, medical genetics, and bioinformatics to make a lasting impact in the field. 

Being part of Cambridge’s technology and science hotspot has been incredible and its influence has shaped my career aspirations. I wish I had been part of this ecosystem earlier in my academic journey. 

Whether or not I start a business, what I’ve learned in this environment is invaluable. My experiences have really strengthened my passion for advancing biotechnology and entrepreneurship, and I’m excited – and confident – about the contributions I can make.

Words of Advice

If you’re considering undertaking EnterpriseTECH, just do it. It offers you an incredible chance to shape your future. With fascinating classes, a hands-on project, and the opportunity to connect with industry experts, you can expect an experience that will help you discover your path and set you up for success. You’ll find it fulfilling and brimming with opportunities to reach your goals.

Cindy Orbegoso-Barrantes

Cindy Orbegoso-Barrantes

Cindy graduated as a Biotechnologist from the Universidad of Murcia. During her studies, she developed an interest in biomedical science research. She worked as a laboratory technician in the field of neurosciences at Oxford, she holds an MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics from Oxford Brookes University. She is now completing an MSc in Bioinformatics from University of Barcelona and has been a visiting student at the University of Cambridge.
Cindy Orbegoso-Barrantes

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