A London Welsh Careers Hub Case Study: Tom Baldwin and Guilford Street Laboratories

In May 2021, Haydn Parry, Vice Chairman London Welsh RFC and co-Founder of the Hub, suggested to Tom Baldwin that he talk with Paul Browne, one of the mentors at the Hub.

Tom was well known to Paul as he had played in the London Welsh 1st XV with Paul’s son, and Tom also was coaching the Under 16s. Tom, originally from South Wales, was coming to the final stage of his PhD at UCL but unsure where to take his career as academic teaching was not the right path for him.

Many career options were explored, and his CV analysed and updated. The most important aspect was to find out what was right for Tom. The Careers Hub helps people to excel off the field: opening doors where needed; the individual does the work to make it happen.

Tom eventually decided that he – with fellow researchers – would form a new company- Guilford Street Laboratories, a biotech spin-off from UCL. As part of a fantastic inter-disciplinary founding team, they created this company to advance the state of diagnostics in healthcare, particularly for those suffering with rare cardiac, and neurodegenerative disease.

Formed from the Translational Mass Spectrometry group at the world-renowned UCL & GOSH Institute of Child Health, their team of experts have 30+ years’ experience in designing, translating and implementing cutting edge biomarker tests into industry and the NHS. In parallel, Tom holds an academic position as a research fellow at UCL, with his current research focussing on improving understanding of the immune response to enzyme replacement therapy/AAV gene therapy in patients with rare diseases.

The London Welsh Careers Hub called on its many talents to help Tom build his business plan with Marcus Wuest (ex Deutsch Bank, with deep experience of tech investments), Paul Browne (strategic planning experience and mentor), and Haydn Parry with his deep people experience. The plan was analysed and challenged, and rehearsal investor interviews practiced.

As of now in January 2024, Guilford Street Laboratories is now a full-fledged company, with Tom as CEO and Co-Founder. The pre-seed funding round has just finished and was oversubscribed. Business is ramping up and forecasts are looking good. Further meetings have occurred with US and British pharma /biotech firms, and the London Welsh Hub have used its deep networks to introduce future potential investors.

The hard work has all been done by Tom and his fellow founder at Guilford Street Laboratories: the London Welsh Hub are proud to have been a part of this journey and will be continuing to support Tom on his journey to personal and commercial success- as always, for free, and as part of our thriving London Welsh family.

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