Biotech Umeå’s annual event at Grand Hôtel has become a meeting point for investors and new, exciting companies.
On no previous occasion has there been such great interest from investors wishing to attend and meet with startups in the life science sector.
With such a packed schedule for the day, it has proved no easy matter to arrange the event so that all investors will be able to meet with all startups they are interested in, among the 13 startups in attendance. At tables arranged around the grand venue, companies are able to sell their ideas and research results. However, it is not solely about obtaining financing, this method of meeting provides a number of benefits.
Expertise and network
“In the phase we are in, a business angel may be best for us. Someone who can contribute with their expertise and network. At the moment that has a value greater than money,” says Simon Renström of For Life Academy, a company working to develop a digital programme to prevent and treat childhood obesity.
For Life Academy has recently started a pilot study, and many people are curious to see what conclusions they reach. “This event is a great opportunity for us to develop contacts that may hopefully lead to future collaboration,” says Annelie Thorén, also from For Life Academy.
Someone who is extremely interested in companies with ideas for the healthcare sector is Anette Nordvall, partner in Stockholms Affärsänglar.
“Interesting innovations are constantly coming out of Umeå. Being here is a good way for us to scan the market and see what’s going on.”
Anette believes that companies must invest in becoming highly skilled digital strategists. “They need to formulate their message and pump it out in the right way. Today, we communicate digitally. Everyone searches for information online, so that’s where they need to be”, she explains.
Jonas Berggren and Pontus Jämthag run Nordic Health Innovation, a company that has developed a method for standardising and facilitating virtual geriatric healthcare. During lunch, they gained new insights into the pros and cons of listing their company.
“This isn’t the first business I’ve started and managed, but I’ve never invited in external capital and never taken the company public, so the discussions over lunch have been enormously rewarding. Actually, it was worth the entire trip,” says Pontus Jämthag, and Jonas Berggren agrees. “Yes. This event gives us the opportunity to learn the language. We are not in finance, but here we can start to understand the market and how it works,” he adds.
Michael Doron and Arne Nabseth from Cidron Ventures are attending to check out the new business ideas on display. “This is too early a stage for us to be investing, but we find it useful to get to know the startups,” explains Michael Doron. “We may already have a company that is in need of knowledge available here, and if that is the case we can put them in contact with each other,” says Arne Nabseth.