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Angels join the ranks of the BioCity Collective – 12 months on

BioCity invests in tech start-up INCUS Performance.

Angels join the ranks of the BioCity Collective – 12 months on

Home > Blogs > Angels join the ranks of the BioCity Collective – 12 months on

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Oct 23, 2019

BioCity invests in tech start-up INCUS Performance.

Dr. Claire Brown, Investment Director discusses BioCity’s New Investment Platform & co-investment strategy, twelve months on.

“It’s been quite a year.

In October 2018, we launched a co-investment strategy and a dedicated platform through which angels could make equity investments alongside BioCity, in early-stage life science ventures.


In the twelve months that followed, our angel network has grown dramatically, we have looked at >150 opportunities, completed five new deals, made several venture development loans, secured NEDs, CEOs and Chairs for investee companies and, (unsurprisingly) grown our in-house investment team.


True, BioCity has been a keen investor in young businesses for many years, specialising in pre-seed and seed funding; however, the landscape in which life science businesses are starting up and growing; is changing. As many funds become more risk-averse and move from early to later stages of funding, angel investors are increasingly meeting the challenge of early-stage funding.



And it is challenging, but not impossible.

There are angels and funds like ours who want to invest in promising young ventures. The real challenge is connecting the two.


Finding investment opportunities is easier, surrounded, as we are, by promising young ventures, whether they are graduating from our Accelerator or setting up in our incubators. We are also blessed with an incredibly experienced team of investment experts who are adept at spotting the ‘ones to watch’ amongst this ever-growing community.


That we identify the opportunities, are a guiding force and reassuring presence who angels invest alongside, is crucial; as early-stage investment sits very firmly on the riskier end of the spectrum.


This type of investment is not for everyone, and although there is no ‘standard angel’, typically those who invest alongside us are looking to make an impact.


Many have extensive investment portfolios and are looking to move into healthcare and life sciences. Others have spent careers in commercial science and want to continue their direct involvement via investment. Others wish to pay forward the opportunities given to them as they began their own businesses. Others are looking for an investment they can watch grow, evolve and succeed; first-hand.



All, however, want to positively impact the future of the life sciences.

Co-investing alongside us allows them to directly support the next generation of science entrepreneurs who are tackling global health and environmental challenges.



Twelve months on, the signs are good.

But, the nature of early-stage investment, particularly in the life sciences, requires patience.


The next twelve months are set to be even busier. For those who secured pre-seed funding, they become established businesses. For those who secured seed, they continue to grow and evolve, and we will be right there with them — entering follow-on funding rounds and larger investments, putting the full force of BioCity and our collective, behind them.”



Find out more about the BioCity Investment platform



Meet the portfolio.


Deep Branch Biotechnology.

Graduates of the BioCity Accelerator and now based at MediCity, Nottingham; Deep Branch Biotechnology are developing technology to transform polluters into producers.

Unlike traditional carbon storage technology that simply collects and stores carbon dioxide, Deep Branch’s carbon recycling solution converts carbon dioxide into sustainable single-cell protein (SCP). The novel process provides a cost-effective solution to emitters looking to reduce their carbon footprint, while simultaneously producing a clean, nutritious and sustainable single-cell protein alternative to soy and fishmeal for the feed industry.

The seed investment from BioCity will cover construction costs of a mobile production unit, enabling Deep Branch to demonstrate their technology using live industrial gas streams and demonstrate the high impact-potential to those in carbon-intensive industries. Continue reading…


Incus Performance:

INCUS Performance is a sports technology start-up that is helping athletes to train better using data. The three-tier INCUS platform provides high-quality analytics to improve technique and training, initially specialised for swimming and Triathlon sports. By combining artificial intelligence and data analytics with wearable technology, INCUS is bringing new levels of technical clarity to athletes in an easy-to-understand way.

The wearable device, called INCUS | NOVA, is worn during training and captures high-quality motion and technique data, which is then automatically analysed and presented via a companion app to athletes and their coaches. This analysis provides meaningful insights into the training team and moves towards predictive analytics to inform future training strategies and marginal gains.

Co-investors joined BioCity to complete the deal via the BioCity Investment Platform. Continue reading…



Spun out from Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, Kinomica Ltd is an early stage precision medicine biotech developing novel technologies for companion diagnostics (CDx) and therapeutic development in precision medicines. Graduates of the BioCity Accelerator and now based at Alderley Park, Kinomica Ltd have developed a powerful suite of advanced proprietary bioinformatics and phosphoproteomic analytical methods, that allows the direct measurement of multiple endogenous kinases.

The investment round was completed via the Innovate UK Precision Medicine Investment Accelerator. A dedicated match-funded grant open to companies offering a disruptive change to the way disease is accurately diagnosed, monitored and treated. Successful businesses received a share of £6 million of match-funded grant and private equity investment. Continue reading…



The world’s first prescription (Rx) to Over the Counter (OTC) switch incubator, Maxwellia’s novel approach converts prescription drugs into versions that can be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies and supermarkets; a process known as ‘switching’.

The funding round was partially completed via the BioCity angel investment platform and will support the development of three innovative products in the areas of women’s health and healthy lifestyle currently in the pipeline at different stages, two of which are undergoing the approval process with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Continue reading…



NuVision’s therapy, Omnigen, is based on research carried out at the University of Nottingham by Dr Andrew Hopkinson. It harnesses the regenerative properties of the amniotic membrane which surrounds babies in the womb and is normally discarded at birth. The company, which is based at MediCity, Nottingham has also developed a bespoke contact lens product, OmniLenz®, that allows Omnigen to be applied in a five-minute procedure in outpatient clinics, eliminating the need for surgery and sutures. Trials are taking place at Aston University.

BioCity joined the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund; Mercia’s own funds and the University of Nottingham to complete the £1.4m funding round. Continue reading…


Rinri Therapeutics.

Rinri, a spin-out of Sheffield University, is based on the pioneering work of Professor Marcelo Rivolta (Chen et al. (2012) Nature, 490: 278-84), a world leader in the field of sensory stem cell biology. Rinri’s underlying technology, based on innovative stem cell research, seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) through the repair of the damaged cytoarchitecture in the inner ear.

BioCity co-invested alongside Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and UCB Ventures in the round for £1.4 million in seed funding. Continue reading…


(Pictured: L-R) INCUS Performance successfully close funding round. Stuart Spencer, Charnwood Accountants.  Imelda Juniarsih, investment analyst, BioCity. Buchan Scott, co-founder Dunhelm Partners. Dimitrios Pantazis, technical lead, INCUS. Keith Williams, chairman, INCUS. Claire Brown, Director, Investment, BioCity. Chris Ruddock, lead engineer and managing director, INCUS.