At Labiotech Refresh we also held a friendly (or not so friendly?) ‘competition’ for Biotech startups to participate…who delivered? And who won the votes after being grilled by some of Europe’s top biotech investors?

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Presenting to a panel of judges, each startup had to introduce their company concept, products and mission, whilst defending their business models and decisions against questions.

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The Judge of panels was composed of Davidson Ateh – CEO of BioMoti , Isabelle de Cremoux – CEO of Seventure PartnersAndreas Eckert – Director of Eckhert Life Sciences Accelerator (ELSA) and Frank Hensel – Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.


The contestants?

Unfortunately, due to a last minute issue with public transport (Paris in May…), there was a couple of changes in who competed. But after a quick shuffle around, we had 4 startups entering the arena.

These included:

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Sabina Dziemien of Eva Diagnostics (UK)

Eva Diagnostics is developing diagnostic tech for Anemia and Chemotherapy patients, which has in-built connectivity to simultaneously transmit anonymised data to health care management organisations.

Katharina Paulick of BioNukleo (Germany)

BioNukleo is using chemi-enzymatic technology to produce modified nucleosides as an alternative to chemical synthesis. These are used in assays, laboratory building blocks and components of certain drugs.

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Andreas Lausten from VenomAb and Edward Perello from Desktop Genetics.

Andreas Lausten of VenomAb (Denmark and UK)

VenoMAb (run by Andreas) is looking to recruit PhD students into researching anti-venom alternatives using antibodies.

Edward Perello of Desktop Genetics (UK)

Desktop Genetics is an online service that researchers can use to design CRISPR gene editing experiments.


The idea was this exercise served as an opportunity for these startups to test their skills with some of the top European investors in the field, whilst at the same time helping the audience present to understand their company concept and technology.

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The Judges grilling the startups…

At times the questioning became a little brutal, but nonetheless just what was needed to keep the competitors on their toes. I thought it reminded me of the reality show ‘Dragons Den‘ (or Shark Tank in the US), but for Biotech startups. Each contender had to deliver a 5 minute pitch, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the audience and judges.

Votes were taken after the session with a ballot box which was circulated round the venue by our team.

And the winner was…Edward Perello from Desktop Genetics.

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Edward receiving his award of beer (very Berlin) and lego (just awesome).

The prize was 3 bottles of beer brewed by Philip in a Brewery here, and some Berlin-themed Lego (which went down very well).

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Edward and Philip on stage for the announcement, and on the right Jerome (our Business Development Manager) taking votes during the break

We’ll explore each startup’s talk in more depth in the following weeks, including publishing the footage taken from the conference. Keep an eye on this space!


Feature Image Credit: In the Startup Battle at Labiotech Refresh Berlin, May 24th, 2016 (CC 3.0 –Labiotech.eu)

More images of the conference speakers are available on our Flickr account under a Creative Commons 3.0 License. Feel free to share!


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  • Thanks so much Labiotech! Refresh was awesome, and the Berlin Lego sits proudly next to our giant 3D-printed Cas9!

    Edward + Team DESKGEN

    • Thanks Edward! Giant Cas9?! Sounds…giant. Those in the office today are demanding pictures!

      Hope all is well back in the UK.