European biotech start-ups  

ready to woo investors in Aarhus

2011.09.13

International life science entrepreneurs can now get a step closer to cross the difficult barrier of turning ideas into profitable businesses, as a European venture contest takes off on 21 September in the city of Aarhus, Denmark.  

Close to 30 European biotech entrepreneurs will compete for the attention and funds of possible investors, when the European Venture Contest (EVC) Semifinal takes place on 21 September in the city of Aarhus, Denmark – a central hub for the European life science industry.

The participating entrepreneurs, coming from Denmark as well as a range of other European countries, will get the chance to present their business ideas to a panel of expert reviewers consisting of international venture capitalists, corporates, investors, international business executives and prestigious experts in their field.

One of the participating investors is Kurma Life Science Partners, a French venture company investing in life science companies all over Europe.

“For the participating companies, coming from all over Europe, the European Venture contest is a good opportunity to present their business plan, to profile themselves internationally, and to make contact with future partners in a way that they are not accustomed to”, says Remi Droller from Kurma Life Science Partners.

Difficult for biotech products to reach the market

One of this year’s participants, CSO Jonas Heilskov Graversen from the Danish company Cytoguide, which exploits a novel technology for treating inflammation and cancer, explains why he signed up for the contest:  

“It is a very complex and resource-demanding process to develop a new biotech product, and many good ideas never make it to the market. Therefore, the EVC in Aarhus is an ideal opportunity for us to broaden our network among VC funds, which can help us attract more venture capital and develop our business”, says Jonas Heilskov Graversen.

The 10 most promising concepts in Aarhus will be one step nearer the final in Madrid in December, where 25 companies operating within life sciences, ICT and cleantech will compete. But more than just winning the contest, it is an opportunity for the companies to network, explains last year’s winner in both Aarhus and the final in the life science category:

 “As a company you get very valuable connections. Initially, I was actually very sceptical and only joined the event because my colleague pushed me, but I am very pleased that we did. I was surprised how many major investors and interesting companies were actually present”, explains founder and CEO Prof. Dr. Edith Huland of the German company Immunservice, a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for cancer and infectious diseases.

Denmark has a strong life science cluster

Denmark is an excellent setting for the competition. Its life science industry has developed into one of the strongest clusters in Europe, and it is an international example of how to successfully turn academic knowledge into commercial business. The industry consists of a dense network of universities, hospitals and companies working closely together within medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals where focus is largely on research and development.

“Denmark has a relatively large pool of biotech and medtech companies, when considering the size of the country. There is also a high amount of very skilled and competent people within the field of life science in Denmark, which make the country interesting for us to look at, in order to find new investment opportunities”, says Remi Droller from Kurma Life Science Partners.

The competition will take place on 21 September between 8.30am – 3.30pm at KPMG Aarhus, Værkmestervej 25, 8100 Aarhus C.

The media is welcome.

For further information please contact Regional Project Manager, Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen from Invest in Denmark at rasbee@um.dk or +45 28568540.

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Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen

+45 2856 8540

rasbee@um.dk

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