On Wednesday, Entrepreneur First (EF) held their first tri-city demo day, with 29 startups from their London, Paris and Berlin cohorts pitching their ideas to investors, press and partners.
EF, founded in 2011 by Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford, is famous for their non-traditional approach to startup creation and acceleration – instead of selecting companies with existing ideas for their cohorts, they select individuals based on their technical and business talent and work with them to create high-growth technology startups from scratch. So far, according to the press materials, they have ‘helped over 1,200 individuals build more than 200 companies, with a total valuation of almost $1.5billion’.
What was refreshing to see at this week’s demo day, however, was the much heavier focus on biotech. Digital health has featured throughout EF’s existence, but deeptech for life sciences didn’t feature until their 6th cohort, with the genomics data company PetaGene. Since then, EF has created a spattering of life science companies – there were two in their 8th cohort (drug discovery startup GTN, and Resurgo, focusing on machine learning for drug design); one in their 9th cohort (bespoke biomarker test startup Innoviv); two in their 2nd Singapore cohort (Entropica Labs, focusing on quantum computing for bioinformatics and genomics, and Oncolyze with their AI-based decision support software for radiologists); and three in their previous European-wide cohort (Janus Genomics, working on AI for biomedical data sharing, microbiome startup Juno Bio, and Juniper, with software that recommends cancer drug treatments based on a patient’s genetic and clinical data).
With nine life science startups in total across all previous demo days, but ten out of the 29 in just this cohort, it’s not hard to detect a change of pace with regards to biotech at EF.
“A lot of founders’ ideas are based on new and emerging tech innovations, so every six-to-twelve months as the tech develops, the needle shifts in terms of the kind of companies that are created at EF. We’ve seen a lot of individuals coming through this year with strong biotech backgrounds, creating companies that wouldn’t have been possible a year ago because the technology simply didn’t exist,” Bentinck comments.
It’s true that new technologies allow for greater application in the life sciences in 2019, but pre-seed biotech companies are nothing new. Biotech as an industry is really quite old – new medicines and materials have been spinning out of university labs for years, and were more commonly thought of as ‘industrial SMEs’ rather than ‘deeptech startups’. The application of technology to biology, granted, is a growing area – but again, 2019 is not the start of that growth. With accelerators like RebelBio expanding from Dublin to London in 2017 (who also announced their latest cohort this month), and the creation of Deep Science Ventures – another talent-focused (as opposed to idea-focused) incubator operating since 2016 – it seems the zeitgeist is less on the fact that biotech is now more doable, but that modern business creation outfits have spotted the opportunity in life science spinouts and ex-researchers. (And that’s just referencing two organizations, in London – not counting the rest of Europe, the U.S. and beyond.)
For EF though, it seems the opportunity in biotech has been realized not just by the organization but by the types of people applying for these kinds of programs. Bentinck explains: “The shift towards biotech in this year’s cohort also reflects the mission-led drive that many of our founders have – whether that’s wanting to improve early detection of cancers or speed up the process of clinical blood testing, companies are often created out of wanting to engineer real change.”
European biotech investment has climbed year after year, with 2018 being a record year with EUR3.48billion invested across the continents’ startups. Organizations like EF moving more into the space not only adds to the sheer number of new biotech startups in Europe, but also adds a sense of inspiration throughout the tech field. Not only do many young would-be entrepreneurs look to organizations like EF to see what areas are trending right now, EF boasts an $115million global fund backed by some of the world’s leading investors, including the founders of LinkedIn, DeepMind and PayPal. As biotech is increasingly put in the more ‘mainstream’ tech spotlight, surely it can only result in more interest – financially and otherwise – from across the European tech ecosystem.
The ten biotech startups that pitched at the EF demo day this week were as follows:
- Fabricnano (London) – designs artificial cells that produce chemicals 100x faster
- Fast Biotechnologies (Berlin) – enables accurate diagnosis of life-threatening infections in minutes instead of days
- Blazar (Paris) – uses machine learning to predict cancer response to immunotherapy
- Nostos Genomics (Berlin) – uses CRISPR to unlock genomics-based medicine
- Panakeia Technologies (London) – makes cancer diagnosis simpler, faster and cheaper by eliminating the need for multiple tests
- Vine Health Digital (London) – a platform which uses behavioral science and AI to increase the survival of cancer patients
- Nanovery (London) – developing nanorobots to diagnose the world’s deadliest diseases
- Squaremind (Paris) – allows robots to make skin cancer detection more accurate and accessible
- Omini (Paris) – device which brings lab testing closer to the patient
- Cogniscent (Berlin) – provides AI-guided early detection of neurodegenerative diseases
- Neoplants (Berlin) – using synthetic biology to design plants for the future
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On Wednesday, Business Owner First( EF) held their very first tri-city demonstration day, with29 start-ups from their London, Paris and Berlin accomplices pitching their concepts to financiers, press and partners.(********* )
EF, established in2011 by Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford, is well-known for their non-traditional method to start-up development and velocity– rather of choosing business with existing concepts for their accomplices, they pick people based upon their technical and organisation skill and deal with them to develop high-growth innovation start-ups from scratch. Up until now, according to journalism products, they have actually’ assisted over 1,(********************************************************** )people develop more than200 business, with an overall assessment of practically$ 1.5 billion’.
What was revitalizing to see at today’s demonstration day, nevertheless, was the much heavier concentrate on biotech. Digital health has actually included throughout EF’s presence, however deeptech for life sciences didn’t function till their 6 th accomplice, with the genomics information business(*************** )PetaGene Ever since, EF has actually developed a spattering of life science business– there were 2 in their 8 th (************** )accomplice( drug discovery start-up GTN, and Resurgo, concentrating on artificial intelligence for drug style); one in their 9(************* )th accomplice( bespoke biomarker test start-up Innoviv ); 2 in their 2 nd Singapore accomplice( Entropica Labs , concentrating on quantum computing for bioinformatics and genomics, and(********************* )Oncolyze with their AI-based choice assistance software application for radiologists ); and 3 in their previous European-wide accomplice( Janus Genomics, dealing with AI for biomedical information sharing, microbiome start-up Juno Bio , and(*********************** )Juniper, with software application that advises cancer drug treatments based upon a client’s hereditary and medical information).
With 9 life science start-ups in overall throughout all previous demonstration days, however 10 out of the29 in simply this accomplice, it’s not tough to discover a modification of speed with concerns to biotech at EF.
(************ )” A great deal of creators’ concepts are based
on brand-new and emerging tech developments, so every six-to-twelve months as the tech establishes, the needle shifts in regards to the type of business that are developed at EF. We have actually seen a great deal of people coming through this year with strong biotech backgrounds, producing business that would not have actually been possible a year earlier due to the fact that the innovation just didn’t exist, “Bentinck remarks.
holds true that brand-new innovations permit higher application in the life sciences in 2019, however pre-seed biotech business are absolutely nothing brand-new. Biotech as a market is actually rather old– brand-new medications and products have actually been drawing out of university laboratories for several years, and were more frequently considered’ commercial SMEs’ instead of ‘deeptech start-ups ‘. The application of innovation to biology, approved, is a growing location– however once again,(*************************************************** )is not the start of that development. With accelerators like RebelBio(**************** )broadening from Dublin to London in2017(who likewise revealed their newest accomplice this month ), and the development of Deep Science Ventures — another talent-focused( rather than idea-focused) incubator operating considering that2016– it appears the zeitgeist is less on the truth that biotech is now more workable, however that contemporary organisation development clothing have actually identified the chance in life science spinouts and ex-researchers.( Which’s simply referencing 2 companies, in London– not counting the rest of Europe, the U.S. and beyond.)
For EF however, it appears the chance in biotech has actually been understood not simply by the company however by the kinds of individuals obtaining these type of programs. Bentinck describes:” The shift towards biotech in this year’s accomplice likewise shows the mission-led drive that much of our creators have– whether that’s wishing to enhance early detection of cancers or accelerate the procedure of medical blood screening, business are typically developed out of wishing to craft genuine modification.”