Start Codon

Branding evolution from the building blocks of DNA

Start Codon is a healthcare accelerator. We worked with them at the start of their brand journey and also to evolve their brand to achieve wider reach.

Start Codon are so much more than a standard accelerator program, their offerings are so rich (investment, coaching and access to state-of-the-art labs and office space), and their program extremely rigorous they are thereby able to translate groundbreaking healthcare innovations into truly successful companies revolutionising the way innovation happens in Cambridge.

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The start codon is the first of the fundamental building blocks that make up DNA: a powerful metaphor for the objectives of the company. We took this concept and built a logo that works on multiple levels: for a scientific audience who will recognise it as an abstraction of Uracil one of the sections of the start codon. To the wider audience it represents interconnectivity and mutual support within the scientific community, which benefits all the members of the community.

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We wanted the branding to encapsulate the brand’s modern, energised and laser focused personality. Typography is simple, modern, and symbolises a mix of human and machine. Lowercase is modern, friendly and approachable and the colour system is on-trend in the target markets, both in the investment and the life-science / healthcare industries

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Startcodon website iPad

We developed a lean webpage for Start Codon, which gave them the storefront they needed to quickly build interest in the project, and begin onboarding their first cohort.

When Start Codon were ready to grow their brand, our process was ready to help. With strong foundations already built, Start Codon had been able to succeed quickly without sacrificing the quality of their brand materials or the longevity of their identity. To grow the brand we were tasked with Increasing engagement on the website to drive applications, magnifying the uniqueness of the Start Codon offering, and heightening the sense of urgency and emotional impact.

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Strengthening the foundations to achieve wider reach

Start Codon can rightfully tell a story of not only starting but also growing companies. Therefore we widened our storytelling ability by taking ownership of other genetic structure imagery, which pair with the original set aesthetically and in meaning.

“Supercharging startups through open skill exchange”

The organic shapes blending together symbolise the participant journey from raw ideas through to a forming company. These pair with geometric shapes that symbolise the structure Start Codon provides. The different colours represent the different skills in the Start Codon programme - financing, fundraising, marketing etc.

As a whole, the fusion of the two classes of shape (organic and geometric) represents the way in which Start Codon supercharges startups through a process we named 'open skill exchange'.

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The dynamic nature of the brand comes to life in the website under user control, as the organic (startup) fuses with the geometric (programme) to start something amazing.

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