25 selected European start-ups from the fields of medical technology, biotechnology, and digital health were invited to present their innovations to an expert audience of around 50 international investors
Strong focus on linking start-ups and investors with the aim of creating new opportunities for economic value creation
Rhine-Neckar life science ecosystem is a top innovation location with high start-up dynamics
Numerous investors and founders met at the Life Science Investors' Day 2023 in Heidelberg. Credit: Tobias Dittmar
Heidelberg, 28. September 2023: Pitch presentations, cultivating long-term business relationships, and exploring investment opportunities: This is the goal of start-ups and investors from around the globe who gathered for the second time last Thursday at the Business Development Center of the Heidelberg Technology Park on the occasion of the Life Science Investors' Day Heidelberg (LSID).
Organized by BioRN Life Science Cluster Rhine-Neckar, BioLabs Heidelberg, Heidelberg Startup Partners (HSP), High Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg, the event has established itself as a lighthouse event for start-ups and investors. 25 European founders from the medtech, biotech, and digital health sectors, including 5 early-stage start-up projects from the region, were selected and prepared for the presentation of their innovation by experienced coaches. With around 50 international investors from the life sciences, almost all decision-makers were gathered in Heidelberg, attracted by the excellence status of the university and the research institutes and their high level of innovation.
Johannes Fruehauf (Founder & President LabCentral/BioLabs) explains: “Days like these are crucial for our nascent investor and innovation ecosystem in Germany. Bringing together the different stakeholders – innovators, investors, and big industry partners allows us to build community and accelerate the establishment of new connections that will make our whole industry stronger.”
Frank Hensel, Principal at HTGF relies on the LSID and points out the factors that make a successful cooperation between investors and founders: "For an investor like HTGF, early and open exchange with founding teams is important. It is a great possibility to learn from each other, to get closer, and to see the performance of a team before an investment. After an investment, investors, and founders should see themselves as partners who, even if it can sometimes be a bit rough, want to achieve the same thing." Investor interaction is also an important element of LSID: the opportunity to discuss best practices and strategies with peers, as well as how to leverage capital to take excellent life science innovation to the next level, is a key contributor to LSID's success.
Current figures confirm that the Rhine-Neckar life science ecosystem is one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems in Germany: According to a recent study by the Institute of the German Economy (IW Köln), Baden-Württemberg ranks third among the world's most innovative regions, behind the US states of Massachusetts and California. In the Rhine-Neckar life science ecosystem, Heidelberg demonstrates outstanding performance: "We are very proud that Heidelberg is currently in fifth place in the current city ranking for start-up dynamics in terms of per capita population," says Thomas Prexl, Managing Director of HSP.
"The Life Science Investors' Day Heidelberg attracts founders and investors to the region. Together with our partners and in our committee, we are working intensively on further projects to ensure that founders and those willing to start up in the life sciences find the ideal breeding ground for innovation and growth", says Julia Schaft, Managing Director of BioRN.
Ann-Kristin Mueller (Site Director BioLabs Heidelberg) adds: “I was delighted by the large number and high quality of applications for this Life Science Investors’ Day. It shows us that establishing the first German BioLabs here in Heidelberg, one of Germany’s premier life-science hotspots, was a good decision and that there is exceptional potential for the next generation of entrepreneurs here and in Europe.” Laura Koivusalo, CEO and founder of StemSight, has traveled to Heidelberg from Tampere, Finland: "This is my first visit to the Rhine-Neckar Life Science Ecosystem - the list of registered investors convinced me to come. It is an absolute added value that we start-ups can fully concentrate on networking and intensive discussions with investors - a very well-thought-out event. Thanks to the excellent support of the coaches in preparing for my pitch, I was able to hone my presentation - this helped me a lot, also for future events."
"For the start-ups, the Life Science Investors' Day Heidelberg is a great opportunity to present their idea to many investors at once. Not only do you get immediate feedback during the break, but hopefully also an invitation to the next meeting with the right investor," adds Markus Bühler from the Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg.