Dutch Life Sciences Conference 2016 back in Leiden
On 24 November 2016, the 12th edition of the Dutch Life Sciences conference (DLSC) was back in Leiden, the city the conference started in. At this annual event approximately 200 professionals working in the life sciences industry gathered together to hear more about topics such as precision medicine & technologies, cross-sector innovations & business, and next generation therapeutics. Furthermore, participants could visit the Biotech Training Facilities of the Leiden Bio Science Park. And for the first time, Top Sector LSH and Inventus organised the Dutch Life Sciences Business Game, where five different teams, consisting of TTOs, entrepreneurs, scientists and students, were challenged to develop a successful collaborative business strategy through means of numerous assignments. Ideally, all of the teams (net)worked together to align their strategies to strengthen the (inter)national position.
Opening speaker was Robert Strijk, alderman of accessibility, economy, city centre and culture of Leiden, who sketched the long history of science and biotech in the city. Subsequently, keynote speaker Onno van der Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, had a great presentation on the ups and downs in the development of his biotech company. He advised the young entrepreneurs present to always keep your goal in mind. Host of the day, Dr Anne Bruinvels, founder of Px HealthCare, imitated a College Tour session with Daniel de Boer, CEO of ProQR. During this unofficial Q&A setting, De Boer talked about the initiation of ProQR after discovering his second child was born with cystic fibrosis. Originally educated in IT, De Boer searched for life sciences specialists and mentors to be able to develop a treatment for this severe disease. He argued having a reliable and dedicated team is crucial in the turbulent process of setting up a successful biotech company. In addition, he addressed the fact that we are lucky to work in a sector that really influences the lives of patients.
"Biotech is a sector where being successful for patients goes hand in hand with building a successful company,” according to De Boer.
At the end of the day, several prizes were awarded. First of all, start-up entrepreneurs were given a chance to pitch their ventures to a public of biotech investors. One of the Venture Challenge Fall 2016 teams, STENTiT was awarded with 2,500 euros for their best investors pitch as ‘pioneers in regenerative stent technology’. Next Ernst Nagel, operations director of Health-Holland, awarded the winner of the Business Game. The team of the ‘Young science meets business Leiden’ won the challenge cup and a cheque for a networking dinner with ten members of another bioscience park, as they had the best suggestions for a successful collaborative business strategy.