KQ Labs opens applications for early-stage data-driven health start-ups for its third annual accelerator programme and announces LifeArc as a strategic partner

KQ Labs is now accepting applications for its third cohort of companies. Early stage data-driven health companies are invited to apply via www.kqlabs.com

Following a highly successful second cohort, KQ Labs, an accelerator programme for start-up companies with high growth potential in the area of data-driven health, is now accepting applications for its third cohort.  This will kick off in late October.  The accelerator is run by the Francis Crick Institute and will be funded by LifeArc. The KQ Labs accelerator represents a unique opportunity to use the Crick’s convening power to contribute to building a world-class cluster of deep technology data-driven health start-ups in the United Kingdom, reinforcing its position as a major force in artificial intelligence in health and life sciences.

Providing critical support to early stage data-driven health science start-ups, KQ Labs offers a unique customised framework with a 16-week accelerator programme.  Up to ten selected companies will each be offered funding (£40k) in the form of a convertible loan, a training programme with weekly workshops from experts tailored to digital health, introductions to investors and corporates, and mentoring by a hand-picked network of experts. In addition, the KQ Labs network facilitates access to data (eg from Health Data Research UK or Genomics England) for start-ups that need to validate their technology further. The programme will be delivered virtually for this year’s cohort. If circumstances allow, it may be supplemented in its later stages with some in-person or hybrid events.

Application criteria

To apply for the KQ Labs programme, companies must fulfil the following criteria. They must: focus on an area which has the potential to have significant impact on health, and where use of data is a core part of their Business Model; have two or more founders or team members; have a Minimum Viable Product or proof of concept; be early stage (pre-Series A); and be based in the United Kingdom. 

Barbara Domayne-Hayman, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Crick who leads the KQ Labs programme, said: 

“We are proud of the success of our first two cohorts of start-ups, who are already raising significant funding and getting traction, despite difficult (COVID) market conditions. We are looking forward to meeting exciting data-driven health start-ups for our third cohort!”

Veronique Birault, Director of Translation at the Crick, said:

“We are delighted to announce that LifeArc will now be funding KQ Labs. With the success of our first two cohorts, we have demonstrated KQ Labs’ contribution to building the ecosystem for data driven health companies in the UK, and we look forward to working with LifeArc on further developments.”


Andrew Farquharson, Executive Director of Technology Transfer at LifeArc said:

“At LifeArc, we recognise that data-driven innovations will transform human health and the impact of medical research. This support of the KQ Labs with the Crick – one of our valued translation partners – is a really exciting way for LifeArc to help the most promising data-driven health companies realise their full potential.” 

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2020. For further information and to apply, please visit www.kqlabs.com


For further information, please contact:

Emma Fox

Project Coordinator for KQ Labs

The Francis Crick Institute

Email: emma.fox@crick.ac.uk

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About KQ Labs www.kqlabs.com

KQ Labs is the only accelerator dedicated entirely to data driven health, with a global focus and providing longer term support, as we aim to catalyse the building of an ecosystem. Run by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by LifeArc, KQ Labs offers a customised framework, providing critical expertise and support to ten carefully selected companies, all solving significant healthcare challenges. The programme includes a convertible loan (£40k), workshops with experts tailored to digital health, training in transferable skills, mentoring by a hand-picked network of experts, and introductions to investors and corporates.

The intersection between the biomedical and data sciences promises to play a transformational role in solving some of the most difficult challenges facing global health systems. The KQ Labs accelerator represents a unique opportunity to use the Crick’s convening power to catalyse the creation of a world class sustainable digital health ecosystem based in London’s Knowledge Quarter. By harnessing the world-class data science and biomedical resources available in the area, we can reinforce the UK’s position as a major force in artificial intelligence in health and life sciences and build a world class cluster of successful data-driven health start-ups.

Follow KQ Labs on Twitter @KqLabs and Linkedin @KQLabs

About LifeArc www.lifearc.org

LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines. 


Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. We are motivated by patient need and scientific opportunity. 


Two funds help us to invest in external projects for the benefit of patients: our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research and our Seed Fund is aimed at start-up companies focussed on developing new therapeutics and biological modalities.


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