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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Studying at Cambridge is not only about attending lectures and completing assignments. Business-related activities out with the course, undertaken with fellow class members or those from other programmes, can be equally valuable, and there are many to choose from. Within the University several societies are dedicated to promoting business skills and entrepreneurship, including Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), organisers of the internationally recognised business creation competitions and ‘not only for profit’  social enterprise business plan competitions, and Cambridge University Technology Entrepreneurs Club (CUTEC), members of which organise amongst other events an annual venture capital conference.

Whilst some MBE students arrive in Cambridge with experience of business or have entrepreneurial ambitions and a startup idea ready for commercialisation, for others the University business plan competitions offer the first opportunity to found a company and learn how to manage the entity through its early development. These and other regional and national competitions offer a valuable platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to put their business skills into practise and to network with other science and management students. Since the inception of the programme, MBE students have enjoyed tremendous success in the University competitions and have had the opportunity to present their business ideas in a variety of geographical settings, the more unusual being at a Gala Dinner at the Legal Courts of Justice and aboard the London Eye. Several of the inventors involved in the companies have filed patents and had patents granted and a number have received further funding to take the companies forward. 

Recent activities

Students in the current MBE class have already engaged with many extracurricular activities and organisations, including but not limited to the following:

Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), the organisation behind one of the most successful business creation competitions in the world.

Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club (CUTEC), a leading entrepreneurship club at the University of Cambridge.

Playground, an event specifically for those with an interest in biotechnology startups designed and hosted by Index Ventures, together with Nature Biotechnology.

One Start, the world’s largest life science idea competition:

Breast Cancer Startup Challenge, a business plan competition featuring inventions conceived and developed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute

The Gap Summit, an inter-generational biotechnology conference provided by the Global Biotech Revolution, a student-led foundation whose mission is to inspire young people and support the next generation of leaders to ensure the sustainability and growth of the global bio-economy.

Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), a highly active student-run society, dedicated to promoting the formation of new businesses through a business plan competition that is supported by training sessions and mentoring.  MBE students prepare a business plan as part of their coursework and their concept companies have a strong record of success in CUE's Business Creation' and 'Not Only for Profit' social enterprise competition categories.  Many of the companies have also been entered onto business plan competitions organised by Universities in the UK and internationally with equal success.

Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club (CUTEC), enhances the entrepreneurial spirit amongst academics and students and facilitates interaction between industry experts and the University. Students benefit from exposure to the professional business and fundraising communities whilst investors and service providers in turn gain access to the vibrant research and entrepreneurial communities at the University of Cambridge