NEWS25 April 2024

UK’s First Business Startup Incubator Dedicated to Animal Health Opens at the University of Surrey

Dog at vet having its heartbeat listened to by vet

UK’s First Business Startup Incubator Dedicated to Animal Health Opens Its Doors at the University of Surrey

In a major stride towards innovative animal healthcare, the UK’s first business incubator solely focused on animal health was launched earlier this month at the University of Surrey.

This groundbreaking initiative, the result of a strategic partnership with global animal health leader Zoetis, offers an exciting and supportive route for startups dedicated to advancing pet and livestock care technologies.

vHive’s first cohort comprises of five dynamic businesses, each at the forefront of developing innovative products and technologies aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of pets and farm animals. Each startup is in the early stages of developing their new animal health products and technologies to support the wellbeing of pets or farm animals. 

At the same time, it gives Zoetis the opportunity to pursue collaborative research in areas that are beyond or complementary to its in-house activities.

Over the coming months, the five will benefit from the guidance of industry experts and the business acumen of mentors from SETsquared Surrey, based at Surrey Research Park. SETsquared was recently named the best incubator in the UK and third in Europe in a recent poll by the Financial Times.

Why vHive?

VHive enables entrepreneurs to benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to animal health care innovation that includes biopharma, digital technology, and more, while retaining their full IP ownership. Together with the comprehensive business support package, which includes investor readiness training and opportunities to meet potential investors, vHive gives its participants a fantastic opportunity to grow and scaleup without having to give up equity in their companies.

Meet the Innovators

The first cohort to join vHive includes:

“Surrey has a unique set of assets for the development of actionable insights to improve animal health,” explains Prof. Tony Whetton, Director of vHive and Professor of Translational Biosystems.

 “We fully understand that there is a gap in the translation of high-class research into improved animal health. “This gap is bridged by SMEs who develop new approaches and ensure they change clinical practice. So helping to incubate such companies and bringing them into Surrey and its supporting environment, is very important to us”.

A Hive of Opportunity

The global animal health market is booming and today it is estimated to be valued at over $246bn (USD). This is projected to reach $427bn (USD) by 2032. In the UK a recent review by the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) into veterinary care valued that market at £2bn. The expected continued growth across all areas of animal care is widely attributed to the growing medicalisation of pets and the deepening understanding of the human-animal bond.

Get Involved in future vHive cohorts

vHive is looking to grow, so if you are entrepreneur focused on animal health care and eager to receive training to help you grow your business along with networking and collaboration opportunities?

For more information and to apply, visit Incubator – vHive