Start-ups: The Ronald Furlong Fund 2020

Promising start-ups are led by passionate and driven individuals with ideas that can potentially change their field and help many in the process.

At Orthopaedic Research UK, we recognise the value of such qualities. Our founder, Mr Ronald Furlong had these qualities. He saw a dire need in his field and set to overcome the barriers of the day in order to make lives better for patients.

To follow in his steps and in the spirit of innovation, The Ronald Furlong Fund has been set up to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to solve the unmet needs for patients with painful and debilitating bone and joint conditions.

If you are a start-up and believe that you have it in you to change patients’ lives for the better, please read on.

Your start-up must have patients at its heart and should be aimed at enhancing the quality of life for those affected by debilitating musculoskeletal conditions.

Start-ups are invited to submit their application all-year-round.

For more information or submission of your application please contact: research@oruk.org



Reviewing Process


Expression of Interest applications are reviewed by the Research Committee


Successful start-ups are invited to submit a full application


Successful start-ups are invited to pitch to the Research Committee


Qualified start-ups go through our due diligence process


Investment Committee to negotiate the amount of investment and equity level in the start-ups


Board of Trustees to ratify the decision of the Investment Committee

Frequently asked questions

1. Do I need an idea, team or start-up experience to apply?

It would be great to have all the above, but we are unique in that we are focussed on exceptional individuals and early-stage teams with a passion for health start-ups. We look for talented individuals with programming, engineering, technical, business and health backgrounds.

2. Do I need to be a PhD, programmer or have industry experience in order to apply?

We select outstanding founders from different backgrounds. Real-world industry experience is helpful but we live in a time when younger and less experienced individuals can create billion dollar tech start-ups. We are truly focused on bringing together the best group of individuals possible to work on something special.

3. Can I apply as a solo-founder, early team or team with revenue?

The Ronald Furlong Fund caters to everyone, whether you are finishing your degree, already working at a big company or already working in your company full-time we’re here to help you. All that we ask is that you can attend the mandatory elements and work well with your co-founder.

4. Do we need to be working full-time on our company?

We know that not everyone is able to quit their job, move location or drop out of college/university when they are starting out as a founder. In fact, most of the best founders we know began by working incredibly hard, building their company around their day job before moving to focus on their start-up full-time.

5. What equity do you take? Are there any programme fees?

Our preferred accelerator partner is HS. which takes 4% equity and charges a 10% programme fee in exchange for up to 100k investment from ORUK.

ORUK will also ask for equity in your company but will negotiate this at the final stage depending on the level of investment and nature of the project.

ORUK would also consider working with other accelerators if deemed appropriate by its Board of Trustees.

6. What do we get?

We look to add exponential value to both you as an entrepreneur/individual and to your company. We put together teams that could not otherwise be made and through mentoring sessions set your team up from the earliest stage possible to succeed in health and healthcare.

We’ll save you time and help you to navigate key hurdles for health and healthcare start-ups.

On top of this, our team (HS.) works with you from day 1 and is essentially part of your early-stage start-up during the programme. This includes helping you develop a brand, website, marketing strategy and much more.

You’ll also be part of the HS./ORUK Ecosystem for life which includes invitations to private events, alumni networking together with ongoing support from our mentors and partners.

7. Is my IP safe? Do you help with IP protection and navigating university IP committees?

Yes on all 3 counts. Your IP is completely safe at all stages. We’ll help you secure your idea and make sure it is as defensible as possible during the programme

8. Can I apply to other accelerators after the programme?

Yes, you can –  As long as you communicate with us beforehand. HS. will also help you choose the ones best suited to your growth goals. We favour classic accelerator models with a health vertical as we feel these provide health-specific startups with the best access to customers and growth prior to scaling.

9. Do I need to relocate to apply?

The HS. programme is held in London, however, we also encourage productive teams to work in environments best suited to them. There is no necessity to fully relocate for the duration of the programme all that we ask is that you can work productively with your co-founder. This can be done remotely, at your own co-working space or in a Starbucks; the choice is yours.

10. Do I need to incorporate my company in the UK?

Yes you do. ORUK currently considers only investing in the UK-based start-ups.

11. Do you have any tips for applying?

Be confident and clear and sell yourself at the application and interview stages.

When completing the application or answering interview questions, try and give specific metrics; we are entrepreneurs and scientists so we prefer action, facts, and substance over double-speak.

The process is highly competitive so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a spot first-time round. Reflect and keep at it.

12. I have a specific question not covered above!

We would love to hear from you please contact us at research@oruk.org, if you have any further questions.

Start-ups: The Ronald Furlong Fund 2020