Dutch Life Sciences SME event: focus on entrepreneurship

More than 150 entrepreneurs and experts gathered at the Dutch Life Science SME Event on 4 June. The event, dedicated to startups and SMEs is organised by HollandBIO. The varied programme gave starting and established entrepreneurs plenty of opportunity to participate in workshops and expert meetings. The closing drinks and barbeque gave them the perfect chance to mingle and to exchange experiences. 

Throughout the workshops established entrepreneurs shared their knowledge and experiences on the different development stages of biotech companies. Erik van den Berg (AM-Pharma) gave strategic and practical tips on how to secure funding. From experience Van den Berg said:

“Finding financing  requires perseverance. The only thing you should know in advance is that it will take longer and it will be more difficult than you think it will.”

Rein Strijker (Vitalnext) showed how to address venture capitalists. In a parallel session Markwin Velders (Kite Pharma) enlightened ‘the perfect deal’, where he elaborated on the acquisition of T-Cell Factory by Kite Pharma. Finally, Edward Kliphuis (MS Ventures) explained the procedure of MS Corporate Ventures.

In the afternoon plenary programme the winner of the Biobusiness Masterclass was awarded.

Giel Hendriks, managing director of Toxys accepted the award consisting a ticket for BIO Europe Spring 2016 and a HollandBIO membership.

The award ceremony was followed by two parallel workshops. Wouter Stam (Flowid) explained how to innovate in a conservative market. Stam indicated the potential of tapping into knowledge available at large companies. Next, Wouter de Heij (Top B.V.) showed that the strength of Dutch innovation is in the hands of the SMEs. Parallel Pieter Gaillard (Eyesiu Medicines) explained Eyesiu’s strategy to remain independent of dilutive funding. Gaillard just received an Innovation Credit from the Dutch Government. Roel Schaapsveld (InteRNA) elaborated on how to most effectively spend the investments InteRNA received. 

During the drinks all participants of the Health~Holland Venture Challenge pitched their venture. The winner, Conquest, received a cheque worth € 25,000. The day ended with a lovely sunny barbeque at the terrace of de Broodfabriek.