Shahnawaz Asif Raja

Founder of Biospiel Limited


As the founder of Biospiel, my journey in the UK health tech scene has been both exhilarating and challenging. Coming from a South Asian background, I’ve encountered numerous hurdles along the way, each presenting its own unique set of obstacles to overcome.

One of the most significant challenges I faced was in establishing a strong peer network within the NHS. Despite the importance of forging connections with key stakeholders in the healthcare sector, I found it difficult to gain traction and build meaningful relationships within the NHS ecosystem. The lack of diversity and representation in the industry made it challenging to find peers who could relate to my experiences and perspectives.

Access to funding was another major hurdle. Securing investment for a health tech startup is notoriously competitive, and as a minority founder, I often felt like I was fighting an uphill battle. Unconscious bias and cultural stereotypes played a role in shaping investors’ perceptions of me and my company, making it harder to secure the financial support needed to grow and scale Biospiel.

Furthermore, forming partnerships with the NHS proved to be a daunting task. While collaboration with the NHS could provide invaluable opportunities for growth and validation, navigating the complex bureaucracy and procurement processes posed significant challenges. Without established connections or a track record within the industry, gaining the trust and buy-in of NHS decision-makers was an uphill battle.

Despite these challenges, I refused to let adversity stand in the way of my vision for Biospiel. I sought out every opportunity to network, connect, and learn from others in the industry, leveraging my unique perspective as a minority founder to drive innovation and change. Through perseverance, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, I was able to overcome barriers and make meaningful strides in establishing Biospiel as a leader in the UK health tech landscape.

Today, Biospiel stands as a testament to the power of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. As I continue to navigate the challenges of being a minority founder in the UK, I am committed to breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future in health tech.