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PRESS RELEASE 14th December 2020


Global businesses to benefit from unique innovation programme created for Cambridge academia


A Cambridge University programme, originally created to nurture the brilliant minds of academia, is now giving businesses and research organisations a unique opportunity to develop high-potential, entrepreneurial-minded company individuals - and turn their ideas and innovations into commercial success stories.

The Impulse Programme, which is aimed at the different fields of Physical Sciences, Technology and Life Sciences, is a tried-and-tested catalyst for entrepreneurship, providing participants with the highest calibre mentoring from some of the most influential names in the celebrated Cambridge ecosystem.

Open to businesses round the world, participants benefit from input and guidance from eminent and genuinely inspirational role models such as Dr Hermann Hauser, Prof Sir Mark Welland, Dr David Cleevely, Jamie Urquhart, Richard Green, Prof Sir Richard Friend, Prof Chris Lowe, Steve Barlow, Phil O’Donovan, Julie Barnes, Anne Dobrée, Deborah Harland, , and Abel Ureta-Vidal - all highly regarded entrepreneurs, innovators and influencers central to the Cambridge innovation cluster.

As well as sharing access to mentor networks, the participants are also given access to an extensive network of successful alumni, including Riverlane, Sorex Sensors, Celsius Health, Waterscope and PolyProx Therapeutics – and additionally to VCs and business angels, experts in IP and law, industry partners and other like-minded people.

The Henry Royce Institute, the UK's National Institute for advanced materials research and Innovation, and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s national Metrology Institute, are two organisations already choosing to benefit from what the programme has to offer to their brightest prospects.

David Stanley, Training & Skills Manager at the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials says: “Impulse is an excellent, well-structured programme, which takes participants through all the different aspects of setting up a business - testing the idea and, perhaps more importantly, testing the individual.

“What makes this programme so unique is, undeniably, the ethos around Cambridge, which is a very special place. Not only is the quality of the mentoring outstanding but the dedication of the people doing the coaching is superlative. The mentors are people who have been there and done it; many have set up their own business and many are very well-known names.

“The programme fits very well with our own remit to support and encourage entrepreneurial skills within the advanced materials sector and upskill our new entries into the skills pipeline. We don’t want good ideas in material science to go to waste because young people haven’t had the chance to express themselves or even explore the idea of setting up their own business. Many of them have great ideas - but it’s a different matter actually turning those ideas into a business.”

Lucy Caffery, Head of Product Management, NPL is also sponsoring her organisation’s participation in the programme once again this year.

She says: “The Impulse Programme has provided huge benefits to our entrepreneurial team - with engaging people, great content and access to expert guidance and networks. This world-class support has provided a real boost to our commitment to accelerate impact from our science and to support our scientists. Even the challenges of operating during lockdown did not diminish Impulse’s warm welcome and invaluable benefits!”

Magna International Research and Development Director, Jim Quesenberry is one of the programme’s committed mentors and a programme sponsor, supporting participants virtually from the leading automotive technology company’s Michigan office.

He says: “Primarily we look at our contribution as being a good industry partner to the University. If we can give our insights from industry to each year’s participants that’s a great reason for us to be involved in the programme and it is a continuous learning environment for us too.

“The Impulse Programme is absolutely unique. It’s something outside of research that focuses on fostering innovation by educating, accommodating and tailoring each individual participant’s needs. It’s not simply about achieving a specific metric, milestone or investor traction.

“Being virtual currently, we have been able to extend the reach of participants to even more people in Magna. We want to do this because these are exceptional entrepreneurs, and they have great ideas. When we look beyond an original idea, we can build a relationship with the entrepreneur that may bring returns five to 10 years from now. That’s all part of being a participant within the ecosystem of Cambridge.”

Yupar Myint, Impulse’s Head of Programme says: “Impulse is an established action-learning programme of global significance, enabling the development of high-potential technology innovation into a commercial proposition for individuals and organisations. Our inclusive entrepreneurship programme is open to business as well as academia and is focused on making amazing ideas possible.

“Impulse is where chance encounters happen from Cambridge’s unique cluster of entrepreneurial minds, and we foster collaborations for innovators and entrepreneurs from a variety of countries, industries, disciplines and ethnics. We are passionate about helping a new generation of science and tech entrepreneurs succeed and are proud to have a 40% intake of women to the programme.”

The 12-week Impulse Programme kicks off with the first of three intensive modules on the 20th April 2021. If you are interested in your organisation partnering with the Impulse Programme, please email Yupar Myint at: Individual applications can be submitted by visiting the Impulse Programme website



About the Impulse Programme

The Impulse Programme serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in individuals and organisations. It is specifically designed for individuals (PhDs, postdocs, researchers, and early-stage entrepreneurs) and organisations (researchers, engineers, and managers of large corporations) across the different fields of Physical Sciences, Technology and Life Sciences.

The programme is about strong action learning and results driven where participants bring their innovative ideas to the table. It acts as a learning vehicle, with a sharp focus on prioritising and developing “high-potential” business cases.




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