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Dutch Biotech Event 2021 celebrates the power of biotech


“How I missed seeing you all in real life!” cheered HollandBIO’s Annemiek, welcoming over 200 biotech entrepreneurs at the Dutch Biotech Event 2021, live in Maarssen. As a clear demonstration of the power of biotech, the biotech community was reunited thanks to the rapid development of multiple effective corona vaccines. ‘We are in the midst of a biorevolution, and HollandBIO is here to promote it, making sure biotech innovations help people, animals and the planet thrive.” The speech set the tone for the perfect day to follow, including the entrepreneurial insights of Paul Sekhri of eGenesis and Linda Dijkshoorn of EV Biotech, interactive break-out sessions, and of course, catching up with fellow biotech pros while enjoying drinks, food and sunshine.

‘Only connect’ is the mantra that works for Paul Sekhri, CEO of U.S. based biotech company eGenesis. Paul gained over 30+ years of experience in farma, biotech, venture capital and several boards that come together in his biotech startup eGenesis. The company aims to tackle the worldwide organ donor shortage by using CRISPR-Cas technology combined with xenograft transplantation. Paul raised a total of $263 million in venture capital to support eGenesis’ biorevolution. You can watch his keynote right here.

In the north of the Netherlands, Linda Dijkshoorn, CEO of Dutch biotech company EV Biotech, is bursting with ambition to realize the great sustainable potential of the biorevolution. In her opinion, instead of green, the true color of sustainability is yellow: the color of brewing microorganisms, biotech’s great living factories. The idea of EV Biotech is to revolutionize engineering of microorganisms combined with computational modelling. By using computational models EV Biotech is able to bypass the 95% of options that fail in silico, and immediately focus on the 5% research outcome that is the most promising for success.  You can watch her keynote right here.

After the outstanding keynotes, participants had the chance to visit one of the four breakout sessions to increase their knowledge on a specific topic in biotech and entrepreneurship:

A healthy planet, healthy foods, without compromising taste might sound too good to be true, but if it’s up to Cristina Prat Taranilla (FUL foods) and Maarten Bosch (CEO Mosa Meat), it is not. FUL foods makes super healthy drinks from CO2 negative microalgae. Mosa Meat produces 100% real beef in a non-cow incubator.  During the workshop ‘Seducing consumers while leading a biotech’, these visionaries showed a glimpse of the future of food.

Life of a biotech entrepreneur isn’t always easy. There are often major challenges, and many great ideas eventually fail. Paul Iske (Institute of Brilliant Failures) gave a workshop about how brilliant failures can be turned into brilliant successes. He showed the audience several ways and options how plans fail and why this could be very good news, too.

Jan-Willem Plomp (Kempen & Co) and Geraldine O’Keeffe (LSP) discussed a ‘new’ financing trend that has come over from the United States: Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, also known as SPACs. They explained this financing model, gave insights in the upcoming trend, advantages and disadvantages in order to inform biotech entrepreneurs.

In the last session, Pieter Duisenberg (VSNU) and Annemiek Verkamman (HollandBIO) informed the attendees about their joint growth fund proposal ‘Biotech Booster’ that aims to overcome valorization challenges and increase the translation of academic knowledge into innovative products that benefits patients and consumers. 

All in all, over 200 participants celebrated the power of biotech while enjoying each other’s company and a great BBQ at beautiful venue InnStyle.

We thank all our attendees and everyone who has contributed to this wonderful event. We like to welcome all of you soon at one of our other events!