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Advice from biotech: Attract the investors, secure the patents, stay focused

Advice on commercialising research from biotech start-ups and entrepreneurs at the Biocenter, University of Copenhagen

How to attract investors, secure patents and stay focused. These were the subjects discussed when Master’s students, PhD students and professors gathered at the Copenhagen Biocenter, University of Copenhagen on Friday.

The aim of the event was to inspire biotech students to start their own companies. Among the speakers was University of Copenhagen (UCPH) professor Ali Salanti, whose malaria research led him to a potential cancer drug discovery.

He and other speakers emphasized the need for investors to successfully establish a company. But not just any investor. The right investor may want to be active in the company, others may not, he explained. For Ali Salanti one of the solutions was a public-private partnership where UCPH and private funds invest in the research.

Biotech companies for inspiration

Arne Kousholt is one of the postdoctoral students who organized the event.

“Many people approached me afterwards and were happy with the content and the inspiration they had obtained. They now have a better view of what it takes to start a biotech company, and what kind of help can be obtained at the University of Copenhagen,” he said.

Their goal is “to inspire people to discover the potential commercial interest in relation to their research,” he said. The event included inspirational talks from biotech entrepreneurs “who have a similar PhD background as people at our institute,” said Arne Kousholt.

Not about striking it rich

According to Arne Kousholt there is a need for new companies to take advantage of all the PhDs that are trained.

“It was great to be reminded by the speakers that being an entrepreneur is not an ambition to become rich. It comes down to your passion for seeing a product coming true and not just ending up as a good idea that was never made,” he said to the University Post.

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