At 12:00 yesterday, BioInnovation Institute (BII) opened its doors for the very first time. An initiative by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, it is created to benefit human welfare and society.
BII is located in the Copenhagen Science City at COBIS. It offers help to scientists and researchers of life science, bringing ideas to life and research to market. Leading up to yesterday's opening, they have run their first batch of startups through their program.
The first batch consisted of six startups who were part of the Business Acceleration Academy (BAA); Bainan Biotech, InProTher, Circle Biomedical, Heartview Medical, Fermbiotics, Mycropt and the two taking part in BII Incubator Creation House - Retipharma and Stipe Therapeutics.
BII is a place that seems so much more than the ordinary startup hubs we know from the field of tech. Something seems to be different in this newly created space, but whether it is the buzz from the opening or in fact the passionate scientists that bring this extra spark to the place, we are yet to see.
The institute consists of everything from open office spaces, laboratories, meeting rooms, walls you can write on, to an open-plan lounge area.
"The centre will help innovative entrepreneurs and talented researchers develop research projects to the point at which they attract crucial capital investment," said Sten Scheibye, the former Chairman of the Board of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Scheibye continued - "The hope is that this will see new products and solutions that could in the future combat disease, improve health or conserve natural resources to benefit people and society around the world, which otherwise would never come to fruition.”
The first batch of startups had started 11 weeks prior to opening. They were now ready to pitch their process and what they had achieved during their time on the program. The startups were at different stages before they started. Some of them were so young that they were not even officially registered as a company yet.
“We founded the company in October during the 11-week program,” said Bolette Hartmann, Associated Professor within endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Copenhagen and CSO at Bainan Biotech.
Demo Day, combined with the opening of BII’s location, had gathered serious minds from the bio-industry. Despite this gravitas, there was also a great atmosphere of camaraderie apparent in the place. A healthy mix of business and a high level of field knowledge meets a relaxed approach.
Maja Rennig, CTO of Mycropt and one of the companies making up of the first batch, said -
“I think it was extremely motivating to have these enthusiastic people here who really want to help companies to accelerate. And you get so much input from so many different people - lawyers, IP people, Business developers, Finance people, what-so-ever. And you can really put everything in one pot and accelerate from that.”
Rennig continued - “It was just a really good experience. Also, to have so many other like-minded people around you, all the other startup companies. Learn together. Suffer together. Go through the hard times. ”
Mingling and laughter filled the lounge area as the evening slowly came to an end. "It's been fantastic to watch all these successful young people that worked so hard on their projects. We are very excited - all of us", said Birgitte Nauntofte, CEO at Novo Nordisk Foundation.
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