Beginner's Mind
Beginner's Mind
Mar 24, 2020
#8: European Tech Hubs - a Panel Discussion at the Resi Conference
Play • 50 min

This week I had the honor to moderate a panel discussion at the RESI conference ( It is one of the most important meetings for early-stage investment in the United States. Life Science Nation is the organizer of the event series. Last year in March the RESI conference visited Europe for the first time. The city of choice was Vienna. I invited Dennis Ford and Greg Mannix to visit the Life Science Get2gether #8. 

At the RESI conference in Vienna, I had the opportunity to speak at the Panel - how business angels and family offices view seed and Series A rounds? At the time of the Bio US, I again supported the RESI conference as a speaker. This time we were talking about European Tech Hubs. 

This year the conference is back in Europe. Well, due to the actual situation with the Corona Virus the conference turned digital. Last Monday we recorded the European tech Hub panel. At the panel, I had the opportunity to speak with 3 speakers about their model and the situation for Investors in Europe.

Institutional life science investors such as VCs or family offices are looking for assets that are de-risked and have data packages that indicate potential efficacy and safety – however, reaching that point takes substantial funding that’s not easy to find. Life science entrepreneurs need novel funding and development solutions that help them overcome this steep funding challenge at the very earliest stage of company formation, typically in years 0-3 of a company’s life. In this RESI panel, the audience can learn about new initiatives that are creating opportunities for life science startups to thrive in Europe.

The speaker:

Jeroen Blokhuis, PhD is the Chief Business Officer of the Pivot Park in the Netherlands. Pivot Park is an 8-year young Dutch Science Park, formally the R&D campus of Organon, that in the past was acquired by Shering-Plough, then acquired by MSD, and then given back to municipality in 2012. The Pivot Park now houses 60+ biotech startups and scale-ups, including Acerta-Pharma.

Dr. Irene Fialka is CEO of INiTS, Vienna’s University Business Incubator (UBI) serving all academic institutions in Vienna. She has a background in genetics and has worked with R&D-based deep-tech startups since 2004. INiTS has been ranked amongst the TOP20 UBIs worldwide since 2013 by UBI Global ( INiTS’ startups outperform creating jobs, raising funds and finding strategic partners. Some examples are Apeptico, Lexogen, Marinomed (INiTS’ 1st IPO), MedicusAI, mySugr, S-TARget etc. She is co-founder of (female investing) and Women in Health IT and since 2018 managing partner of, an international acceleration program to drive innovation in healthcare. 

Olivier Nosjean is the Research Scientific Director at Servier. A biochemist by training, he has been a drug discovery researcher and manager for 20 years. He established and has been a contributor to a range of public/private partnerships throughout the world, focused on therapeutic innovation and on scientific and technology expertise. Olivier is currently leading the technology innovation strategy and the Program for PhD students and Post-docs at Servier. He is an active contributor to Servier initiatives related to open innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships. One of his most exciting actions today are dedicated to preparing the opening of a drug discovery incubator along with the new research site of Servier currently under construction.

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