Straight questions and answers for venture capitalists and young entrepreneurs
29.04.2008 Straight questions and answers for venture capitalists and young entrepreneurs
The 14th Biotech & Finance Forum offered selected biotechnology and medical technology companies from all over Europe the opportunity of an exclusive meeting with internationally operative investors from the venture capital (VC) scene.
In his welcoming speech, Dr. Joachim Wekerle from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for Baden-Württemberg emphasised the importance of this event especially for the local biotech industry and praised the hosts, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH and BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH for their dedication, thanks to which the Biotech & Finance Forum has taken place in Stuttgart since last year.
The aim of the top-class event, with around 150 participants from all over the world, was to enable young companies that are not yet listed on the stock exchange to make exclusive contacts with investors.
In their lectures, renowned experts from economy, finance and licensing answered such questions as where the coveted venture capital will be invested in future: namely exclusively in goal-orientated companies with clear exit strategies.
This also became clear in the subsequent rounds of discussion, where successful biotech entrepreneurs such as Dr. Niels Emmerich from immatics biotechnologies GmbH and Dr. Ingmar Hoerr from CureVac GmbH explained their business models.
The two managing directors from the BioRegion STERN both admitted that they had initially gone rather naively into business and had had to keep afloat at the beginning by means of the provision of services.
Only over the course of time did they develop the strategies with which they convince investors today.
In the meantime, immatics biotechnologies GmbH has raised over Euro 54 million in venture capital in two rounds of financing for its immunological-medical approach that enables a causal combating of cancer. CureVac GmbH develops vaccines against cancer on a technological platform that is based on the stabilisation of RNA molecules and has received a total of Euro 37 million in financing.
Dr. Ingmar Hoerr reported that for a long time he could not understand why initially no-one was interested in his technology.
The straight answer from the venture capitalists: even if the technology is convincing, sponsors want to know precisely when and how much money can be earned with a technology.
Their advice to the entrepreneurs: invest a lot of work in the business plan, and then it will come off with the investors too.