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Defining BioCity (finally)

Defining BioCity (finally)

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Read time: 3 minutes

Jul 23, 2019


“What IS BioCity?” comes up a lot. While we can happily answer that question, pinning down a single definition has always been, frankly, problematic.

With a change in leadership, we set ourselves the challenge to try and define the previously undefinable. Deciding once and for all, what BioCity “is”.




If anyone knew the definition, the people congregated around the table at the beginning of this project, would.

Chairman, CEO, director of marketing and content writer. Four people with more accumulated years at BioCity than anyone cares to mention. But two hours and two pots of coffee later, we reached a conclusion. We couldn’t agree.

What we could agree on, were the essentials.

That BioCity helps science entrepreneurs make successful businesses. Helping ideas out of the lab and into the world to tackle health and environmental challenges. That we do this through investment, entrepreneur coaching, incubation space and PAYG services, to create an environment in which businesses are more likely to succeed.

But finishing the sentence “BioCity is…” remained elusive. And instead of answering the question, we inadvertently posed more.




Draft 1 tried to reconcile some of these questions.

What do we do?

  • Investment
  • Entrepreneur coaching
  • Incubation
  • PAYG services
  • Expert Network


The challenge, bringing together all elements in one sentence that can be said, (in one breath) and understood; was tricky. The term ‘invest-acceler-bator’, even cropped up.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t make it into the first draft.




On a big screen, with bated breaths and a weight of expectation, V1 was pitched and… wasn’t quite right. Why?

Because it didn’t represent a feature universal to every service, every element, every… thing that we ‘do’.  The people.

Around our physical locations, clusters are formed. Companies that call them home, entrepreneurs taking part in accelerators, investors, agencies, government bodies, mentors etc. We create communities of coaches, collaborators, partners and backers. At every point a company engages with BioCity, they are engaging with the people who can make a huge difference to the trajectory of their business.

On some of the basics, we were clear. ‘Incubator’ and ‘life sciences’ would remain, and we would allow ourselves one non-essential word, ‘pioneering’ (because it is true).

So, at the conclusion of meeting #2, “BioCity is… a pioneering life science incubator and…”

The second half of that sentence, representing the people, was trickier still.




How to talk about the network. If in doubt, synonyms.


  1. Community
  2. Bunch
  3. Gathering
  4. Association
  5. Group
  6. Family
  7. Assembly
  8. Cluster



Technically accurate, but still not quite right. We needed a word that evokes action, agency and purpose. A noun, with a hint of adjective and verb.

Something like.



  1. A group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue of interest or work together to achieve a common objective
  2. A cooperative unit or organisation
  3. A collective body 



  1. Done by people acting as a group | “a collective effort.”
  2. Relating to or shared by all members of the group
  3. Denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole
  4. Marked by similarity among or with the members of a group



  1. as a group; as a whole.



Something that had positive associations.


  1. Often are organisations pushing for positive change
  2. An organization composed of large numbers of businesses and professionals in the same or related fields which pool resources, shares info or provides benefits for their members


Now that sounds more like BioCity.



Back on the big screen, we came to a definition of what BioCity is. A definition which reflects what we do, how we do it, and why. Which might also tell you a little something about the people behind the business.

We spoke recently about the difference between incubators and accelerators, sparked by this very project (read here). Because we realised, BioCity doesn’t fit into any accepted definitions, or possibly, that we fit into too many. We bring together acceleration, incubation and investment and surround our entrepreneurs with a community of like-minded, ambitious people working towards the same goal.

And that’s ok with us. Because, regardless of semantics and SEO, our aim remains the same. To provide a home to the curious, to the radicals and the pioneers going toe-to-toe with the healthcare challenges that affect us all globally. In whatever way we can.

But that’s not to say we weren’t very pleased to have come up with a definition of what BioCity is…




BioCity is a pioneering life science incubator and business collective. Where ideas become reality, investment flows and businesses succeed.


(One sentence just wasn’t possible.)