Science2Startup Symposium Convened Close to 300 Academic Researchers, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, and Pharmaceutical Executives, Creating Connections to Advance Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Science2Startup (S2S TM), an invitation-only symposium, convened close to 300 members of the biotech ecosystem at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on April 23, 2019. The Symposium featured 12 university researchers and first-time entrepreneurs who presented their work to an audience comprised of biopharma investors, industry executives, and fellow academic researchers.
“Science2Startup aims to equip exciting young startups in the life sciences industry with the tools they need to build their companies and, ultimately, bring new therapies to patients,” said Ben Auspitz, Partner at F-Prime Capital. “The events at S2S were designed to equip participants for success by serving as both an educational opportunity and a forum to connect with investors, pharmaceutical executives, and all members of the biotech community.”
S2S was created and presented by Boston-area venture capital firms Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital, RA Capital Management, and Osage University Partners. The presenting teams were selected from over 175 submissions from 64 institutions across three continents.
The agenda underscored the relevance and interdependence of all biotech ecosystem participants: scientists, entrepreneurs, embedded service providers, the pharmaceutical industry, and funding sources.
“A healthy biotech innovation ecosystem needs more than brilliant scientists, entrepreneurs, and capital. It requires all these constituencies to connect with one another to build momentum around the discovery and development of new therapeutics. Science2Startup is planting the seeds of connectivity to bring novel science, entrepreneurial spirit, and resources together,” said Bruce Booth, Partner at Atlas Venture.
In the keynote speech, Glenn Dranoff, Global head of Immuno-oncology at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, discussed his experience as a medical student working with Nobel Laureate Gertrude Elion and the evolution of the immunoncology field from its inception to the enormous success it is today. He also discussed his personal role in the field both as an academic researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and as a current executive at Novartis.
A panel discussion titled “Maintaining the Innovation Funnel – Future Trends in Funding Translatable Science,” provided biotech, pharma, and venture investor perspectives on sustaining a healthy innovation ecosystem. S2S also featured a series of workshops presented by event sponsors Evotec, Deloitte, Goodwin, JLL, and SVB, which provided the researchers and university representatives in attendance with practical perspectives and tools for building successful biotech companies. In addition, Adam Rosenberg, CEO of Rodin Therapeutics and a serial biotech entrepreneur, shared his experience in building and leading various early-stage startups during an industry insights presentation titled “Startup Models.”
“The transformational science and high-quality presentations showcased during the day validated the importance of S2S in opening up the Boston biotech ecosystem to global innovation,” said Josh Resnick, Managing Director at RA Capital.
S2S attendees heard from presenters keen to further develop and build companies around therapeutic research for treating asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis, vitiligo, sleep apnea, various cancers, fibrosis, and other diseases.
“What separates S2S from other biotech events is the mentoring program, which allows academic researchers the opportunity to work one-on-one with experienced biotech executives to refine their startup ideas. This year’s presentations were a testament to the impact of the mentoring program, and we are excited to see what the future holds for 2019’s finalists,” said Bill Harrington, Managing Partner at Osage University Partners.