IMAGINE IF! accelerator for science ventures



PLEASE NOTE: Applications for the Global Pool for Hong Kong, Okinawa, Kuala Lumpur and Serbia will remain open until Tuesday the 15th of January 2019.  

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive these funds from IMAGINE IF! Accelerator. Along with the mentorship and advice offered by the Innovation Forum, these funds will enable us to develop a working prototype of the NG:Safe cassette. Ultimately IMAGINE IF! helped NG:Safe get into the clinic faster and help us to realise our goal of avoiding accidental death by nasogastric tube misplacement sooner. 

John Cassidy, Co-founder and CEO of NG:Safe”


Join the global IMAGINE IF! programme of innovators across our branches worldwide, where you will receive tailored mentoring and access to the Innovation Forum professional network while competing for non-dilutive funding that will allow you to take your venture to the next level.

Participation is free, don’t miss this opportunity and apply now !

The global pool application deadline is midnight (BST) 16th of November 2018*

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for the Global Pool for Hong Kong, Okinawa, Kuala Lumpur and Serbia will remain open until Tuesday the 15th of January 2019.  

IMAGINE IF! is the first truly global competition and pre-acceleration program for healthcare science ventures**. The Innovation Forum also offers the opportunity to clean-tech companies (and other science-based ventures not focused on healthcare) to participate in IMAGINE IF! at the local level.***

This edition will comprise two streams: 1) healthcare stream & 2) clean-tech and other non-healthcare categories. IMAGINE IF! provides early-stage science startups with extensive opportunities: mentorship, the potential to secure non-dilutive capital, free advice from leading professional service companies and rapid networking across the Innovation Forum platform.

* If you are applying to the Euskadi competition, please note that deadlines may differ. Visit the Euskadi site for more information

** Start-ups based on a genuine, novel scientific idea which has a significant impact on improving human or animal well-being (e.g. new medicines, medical, digital health, etc)

*** Clean-tech and other non-healthcare ventures will not proceed to the global final

Why apply?

Thanks to the historical success of the IMAGINE IF! pre-accelerator program, we offered the following the prizes and awards for the winner of the last edition:

  • Nondilutive cash prize ($10k in cash)
  • FREE 6 month laboratory space
  • FREE crowdfunding campaign
  • Mentoring by industry professionals from leading corporations including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and others 
  • Access to an international network
  • FREE ticket to participate in the Innovation Forum Leaders Conference (for the Top 20 startups)

On this occasion, the local winner will have the guaranteed opportunity to pitch in the global final (26th – 27th of June 2019), where it can win $10,000 non-dilutive cash****

**** We are working hard to secure more prizes and awards for this year’s edition, which will probably be similar to those offered in the last edition.  Innovation Forum has the right to withdraw any of the prizes offered if any of the sponsors of the Innovation Forum or IMAGINE IF! withdraw their support.


View all mentors


As healthcare science start-ups stem from a broad spectrum of scientific fields, they are not always easily categorized. Therefore, we encourage applications from all R&D fields for ideas which can be applied to healthcare.

Participation in the IMAGINE IF! pre-accelerator is free, and we do not take any equity stake in your company. Furthermore we will introduce selected teams to venture capital firms, multinational companies and other key stakeholders to enable the rapid acceleration of their business.


Phase I
Applications are open
LOCAL & GLOBAL POOL DEADLINE: Midnight (BST), 16th November 2018

All applications are made via our online submission portal. You can apply either via one of our branches (you will need to be physically present to pitch should you be selected for the local finals) or via an independent stream using the global pool option.

IMAGINE IF! local competitions provide mentorship and support, and are recommended to all teams that are based proximal to an Innovation Forum branch ( Local judges will award first stage prizes and provide feedback on the quality of your application. If your team is not based nearby an Innovation Forum branch, you can apply via our online independent stream.

Phase II
Local Top 10 announced and “Local Mentorship" programme starts
14th December 2018

All local TOP 10 teams are announced and start working with mentors locally and globally. 

By the end of this phase all teams need to submit a finalised business plan and a 3 minutes video pitch. 

Phase III
Local finals (“Local Mentorship" ends)
15th February to 1st March 2019

To take part in the Local Finals (Demo Days) the local TOP 10 teams will have to submit a 3 minute recorded video pitch. At this stage the teams will also have the opportunity of re-submitting their initial business plans. Based on a live pitch, the submitted video and the final business plan, our experienced judges will select the local winners and runners up.

At this point, only the companies in the healthcare stream will proceed to the next phase.

Phase IV
Global Mentorship programme starts
by 29th March 2019

Local winners secure their spot among Global Top companies to pitch at the Global Final in June 2019

All other teams from the local Top 10 pool and applicants from the independent stream enter the “Best of The Rest” pool from which remaining spaces in the Global Top 20 are filled. 


Phase V
Business Plan submission
by 31st May 2019

After undergoing several months of training and mentoring, the selected companies will resubmit their final business plan to the IMAGINE IF! judges for consideration prior to the Global Finals.

Phase VI
The Final Pitch
26th to 27th of June 2019

A judging panel of industry champions will award a non-dilutive cash prize of $10,000 USD to the winning pitch. This is non-dilutive and the package also provides multiple benefits to aid rapid development of your company.


Apply now!



Request sponsorship opportunities package

Become a sponsor
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best tailored experience on our website based on your preferences. By continuing to use our services, you are giving us your consent to use cookies. Learn more here.