The University of Southampton

Student entrepreneurs secure $2m valuation for AI-powered biotech search engine

Published: 27 June 2018
Researchably co-founders (l-r) Mauro Cozzi, Maciej Szpakowski and Przemek Zientala arrive in San Francisco.

Computer Science student Maciej Szpakowski will expand his startup business in California after securing a two million dollar valuation for a biotech search tool he co-founded during his studies at the University of Southampton.

Maciej and student entrepreneurs Mauro Cozzi and Przemek Zientala have created Researchably, an AI-powered search engine that helps biomedical researchers find the most relevant information.

The team has completed a year in Future Worlds, the on-campus startup accelerator at the University of Southampton, and will now join the Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator at the University of California (UC), part of the Bay Area’s tech cluster.

Their technology offers an exhaustive, specialist database of biomedical documents, including 30 million research papers, 340,000 clinical trial records, 750,000 patents and tens of millions of company and researcher profiles. AI-powered smart filtering learns from user preferences to find the most relevant articles, and automatically looks for the right synonyms, expanded acronyms and inferred relations between keywords to make searches as precise as possible.

“Getting accepted into SkyDeck is an instant gamechanger,” co-founder Mauro says. “SkyDeck’s focus on deep tech startups and its large network in academic, biotech and pharma communities makes it an excellent match so we’re thrilled to have been offered a place. The San Francisco Bay Area is exactly where we need to be and we’re going to make the most of this opportunity.”

The Researchably team first pitched for their fledgling startup* at an on-campus Dragons’ Den-style event in May 2017, mid-way through Maciej’s BSc Computer Science degree. Mauro has also continued his studies, in Acoustical Engineering, while Przemek has since completed his Geography degree. Their startup has been based in the Future Worlds accelerator space, located in Electronics and Computer Science, and benefited from the network’s expert mentoring and investment opportunities.

Reuben Wilcock, Future Worlds Director, comments: “Future Worlds is helping university entrepreneurs change the world with their ideas. It’s exciting to see exceptional student talent make a difference on the world stage and through our partnership with SkyDeck Researchably has the perfect platform to make an impact in Silicon Valley.”

Researchably joins the SkyDeck accelerator with a $100,000 investment from a two million dollar valuation.

Chon Tang, Fund Manager of Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, says: "Berkeley SkyDeck has the mission of helping high potential founders from around the world succeed in Silicon Valley. We look forward to plugging the Researchably team into the UC Berkeley community, and helping them gain the traction necessary to raise funding from Silicon Valley VCs."

*Researchably was previously known as FuseMind

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