Where investors and start-ups meet

Bringing together founders and investors from the life sciences – that is the goal of the “Life Science Investors’ Day” (LSID), which took place for the first time on October 10. The event, which was jointly organized by BioLabs Heidelberg, Heidelberg Startup Partners, the Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg and BioRN, was a complete success with over 100 participants.

To turn good ideas into successful products and services, start-ups in the life sciences need an active network – the initiators and organizers of the Life Science Investors’ Day are convinced of this. “We are delighted about the great interest in the event,” says Johannes Frühauf, founder and CEO of BioLabs. “This event brings together exactly the people who are looking for solutions to the health challenges facing our society.”

“With the event, we are creating an ecosystem where founders and investors from the life sciences can exchange ideas and connect,” said Thomas Prexl, managing director of Heidelberg Startup Partners. “We are pleased that the event, which will take place every year in the future, was so well received.”

Julia Schaft, Managing Director of BioRN added, “The LifeScience Investors’ Day is an effective and meaningful addition to the existing support tools in the regional ecosystem due to the involvement of all network partners:in.”

Ann-Kristin Mueller, Site Director of BioLabs Heidelberg, confirms this: “A good idea without an environment in which it can grow remains just that: a good idea. Only with an ecosystem for founders:inside do they become companies.”

The aim of the series of events is to close gaps in the value chain from technology transfer to the financing of clinical trials. Numerous regional, national and international representatives, primarily from the life sciences and healthcare industries, were present as investors. One of them is investor Martin Raditsch, General Partner of CARMA Fund and Managing Director of Innovectis GmbH. “The Life Science Investors’ Day provides the ideal breeding ground for innovation in this industry,” he said. “The Initiator:s succeeded in organizing a successful event that also provided a stage for numerous cross-sectional technologies, for example from the fields of IT, AI or medical technology.  It’s great to see how creative and versatile the life science startup scene is.”

Among the participating startups is Medical Brick with its AI-based screening platform for drug discovery, supported by PMC Services GmbH and ValueData GmbH. “As AI enthusiasts, we are in an early start-up phase with Medical Brick and are therefore looking for exchanges with other start-ups as well as directly with investor:s and potential partner:s from the life science / drug discovery sector,” says Business Lead Caroline Heinzelmann. “The Life Science Investors’ Day was the perfect platform for this. Really top organized – exciting pitches and panels and a great and broad selection of different start-ups and Investor:ins.”

The LSID 2022 marks the start of a series of events of this kind, which enable continuous exchange between investors and founders.

About Heidelberg Startup Partner e. V.

The Heidelberg Startup Partner e. V. is an initiative of Heidelberg’s leading research and educational institutions as well as the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Heidelberg Technology Park. The aim of the initiative is to support startups with a technological and knowledge-based background. Based at the Heidelberg Technology Park, the interdisciplinary team of Heidelberg Startup Partners helps founders implement their business models and find financing opportunities. With regular events or specialized workshops, the Heidelberg Startup Partners aim to promote the startup scene and strengthen Heidelberg’s attractiveness for startups in the fields of life sciences, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and IT.

Members of Heidelberg Startup Partner e.V. are the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ),- EMBLEM, Heidelberg University of Education, SRH University of Applied Sciences, Heidelberg Technology Park, Science Value Heidelberg GmbH and Heidelberg University.

About the Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg

The Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg (http://lifescience-bw.de/) is a joint program of Technologiepark Heidelberg GmbH, Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V., the Department of Economic and Structural Development of the City of Mannheim, MAFINEX Gruenderverbund e.V. and the non-profit Foundation for Medical Innovations in Tübingen.

The program supports scientific and technological start-up teams in Baden-Württemberg focusing on biotechnology, medical technology and digital healthcare. The Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg is funded by the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the state of Baden-Württemberg. Additional format: http://lifescience-bw.de/ .

Start-up teams in the Accelerator participate in up to 24 workshops and gain access to experienced mentors and experts from the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Teams can also compete in front of investor:ins and industry partners.

About BioRN

BioRN is the science and business cluster of the Rhine-Main-Neckar region around Heidelberg, one of the strongest biotech and life science hubs in Germany. As a non-profit network, BioRN unites more than 140 members in a unique ecosystem, including top universities, research institutions and technology parks. Ten global pharmaceutical companies have R&D sites or are active in the BioRN network. A large number of small and medium-sized companies, as well as local government organizations and advocacy groups, reinforce the cluster’s excellence.  With the vision “making life science matter…and innovation happen!”, BioRN has developed a clear strategy to become the leading European life science cluster and attract global investment and talent. BioRN is also a founding partner of Biolabs Heidelberg, a leading shared lab space for life science and biotech startups that is part of the global BioLabs network. Follow BioRN on Twitter (@BioRNCluster) and LinkedIn. (www.biorn.org)

About BioLabs

BioLabs defines itself as a catalyst for growth of new biotech companies, enabling the development of tomorrow’s life science technologies. Young companies are provided with fully equipped and maintained laboratories at BioLabs, the size of which is scalable and grows with the needs of the young company. Likewise, exclusive access to key business services, they benefit from a powerful network of innovators and advisors, as well as site teams with unparalleled experience helping founders navigate the complex operational processes of building a biotech company. Startups often face very similar challenges and therefore benefit enormously from mutual exchange with each other. BioLabs locations are in major innovation hubs in North America, Japan as well as Europe (Paris and Heidelberg). Follow BioLabs on Twitter (@BioLabsHQ) and LinkedIn. (www.biolabs.io)

Heidelberg “Startup Friendly Municipality” for the third time

Every other year, Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism awards municipalities for successful startup support with their “Start-up BW Local” competition. Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut recently announced that Heidelberg has been awarded for the third time in a row, reaching the finals for the second time.

“We are very happy about this appreciation of our work,” says Thomas Prexl, Managing Director of Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V.. Together with colleagues from Heidelberg’s department of economic promotion and creative industries unit as well as the regional chamber of industry and commerce, he has been responsible for the entry to the competition. “With our placement among the top three, we may now present our concept again at the Startup Summit on September 30 in Stuttgart.” Then it’s about the first three places and up to 10,000 euros in prize money.

Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, congratulated the award-winning municipalities and was impressed by their great commitment to creating startup-friendly structures. “With our state competition, we want to promote municipalities as startup-friendly business locations and show that they are not alone in supporting startups, but can make a major contribution in their Start-up BW startup ecosystems.The inter-communal project approaches in particular show how valuable regional networking and the creation of target group-oriented additional offers are,” said the Minister.

On the photo fltr: Katharina Pelka (Creative Industries Unit), Dr. Thomas Prexl (Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V.) and Anna Romey (Office for Economic Development and Science) at the pitch for the “Start-up BW Local – Startup Friendly Municipality” award.

For more information, please read Heidelberg’s official press release.

City of Heidelberg once again honored as “Startup-friendly municipality”

The city of Heidelberg wins the “Start-up BW Local” competition organized by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment and Housing and is once again awarded the title of “Startup-friendly municipality”.

“Founding is always a big step and the Corona Pandemic does not make it any easier for young entrepreneurs,” says Heidelberg’s Oberbürgermeister Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner. “We are therefore even more delighted that Heidelberg has once again been awarded this year’s prize as a startup-friendly community in Baden-Württemberg.”

The award is the result of the successful cooperation between the Department of Cultural and Creative Industries of the City of Heidelberg, the Office for Economic Development and Science of the City of Heidelberg, Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. and the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Katharina Pelka from the Cultural and Creative Industries Heidelberg as well as Raoul Haschke and Thomas Prexl from Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. presented their contribution to the “Digitalization of startup support during the corona crisis”. Heidelberg’s startup supporters reacted to the new circumstances early on at the start of the pandemic and created all the organizational and technical prerequisites to provide the best possible support for startups during the corona crisis. Many measures have had a very positive effect and lessons learned are being used to optimize and expand the services offered. For example, the digitalization of the services simplified inclusion and international collaboration with partners.

The presentation of the Heidelberg team convinced the jury of entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial experience as well as experts in the pitch on October 14 and 15 in Stuttgart and received the award “Gründungsfreundliche Kommune – Ausgezeichneter Ort 2020/2021”. A total of 26 municipalities in Baden-Württemberg can now hold this title.

Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut congratulated the winners: “We need communities that actively support those wanting to set up a business and that play an active role in regional startup ecosystems. The winning municipalities offer services that the founders really need. Congratulations to all award-winning participants. Their commitment is important to make Baden-Württemberg one of the most dynamic regions in Europe for startups”.

The state competition “Start-up BW Local” aims to support the entrepreneurial dynamics in Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the visibility of the measures and the commitment of the representatives of the actors at the municipal level is increased. The competition format “Start-up BW Local” was awarded as national winner of the European Enterprise Promotion Award (EEPA) and was nominated by an international jury for the European final (shortlisted). It is thus already considered an international “best practice”.

From Artificial Intelligence to Virtual Reality – One Year BDC Heidelberg

Exactly one year ago, on October 23rd, 2019, the Business Development Center (BDC) in Heidelberg was officially opened as the sixth site of the Heidelberg Technology Park. It now offers space not only for several startups from the IT, AI, biotechnology, electronics, food and media sectors, but also for Co-workers. It has also proven its worth as a venue for top-level international events.

The aim of the BDC Heidelberg, which covers an area of around 7,000 square meters, is to provide space for researchers, founders and established companies – space with campus flair, short distances and a great deal of flexibility. From offices, workplaces and laboratories with the S2 security standard to shared kitchens, a cafeteria and a conference center, everything the tenants need to develop new solutions from good ideas and experiences.

“We are delighted that with the BDC we have a location that not only attracts young companies from a wide range of industries, but also provides a platform for promoting future-oriented topics such as virtual reality or artificial intelligence,” says Thomas Prexl, Head of Innovation and Co-Creation at the Heidelberg Technology Park and Head of Heidelberg Startup Partners GmbH.

Technical center for international VR congress

The BDC has also proven its suitability as an event venue several times over the past year. For Shift Medical 2020, an event that brought together players from the IT and medical sectors from September 24-26, the center served as a “control center”. Shift Medical is Europe’s first major online congress for virtual reality and augmented reality in healthcare. Due to Corona, the Shift Medical organization team used an extraordinary format for the online congress, which was developed by Burnthebunny GmbH, Evermynd UG and Dr. Lars Riedemann on the technical basis of the TriCAT Spaces platform: Like in a computer game, the approximately 325 participants of the event could move freely as avatars through a virtual congress center.

The Shift Medical team controlled the virtual congress from their technical center at the BDC. “There were thousands of unforeseeable technical challenges, which we were all able to master thanks to excellent cooperation and short decision-making paths between moderators, speakers, our design team and specially assembled tech teams,” summarizes Dr. med. Lars Riedemann, initiator and scientific director of Shift Medical. “We are very satisfied and participants described the congress as unique, visionary and successful.”

Venue for hybrid event formats

A further event took place on October 1st at the BDC Heidelberg, as one of seven locations in Baden-Württemberg: The High Tech Summit 2020 was organized as a hybrid event by the business initiative bwcon (Baden-Württemberg connected). In numerous live streams, participants were able to watch and listen to lectures and discussions on current technology-oriented issues such as data use in the healthcare industry, digital craftsmanship and competence building in the field of AI under the slogan “Turning Data into Business”.

Home of the KI Lab Kurpfalz

As an initiative of the Heidelberg Technology Park in cooperation with bwcon, the KI Lab Kurpfalz had already been opened at the BDC Heidelberg in April. Regular events on the subject of artificial intelligence are now held there – with the aim of giving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) easy access to the future technology of AI.

“At the BDC Heidelberg, plans are forged and business ideas realized,” says Prexl. “One year after its opening, we can say that our new site in Heidelberg and beyond has established itself as a workshop for the future.”

Corona-Support: Overview

Heidelberg Technology Park’s team has put together a list of existing support programs:https://www.technologiepark-heidelberg.de/en/corona-support-for-companies/