Science2Startup 2023: Innovation And Entrepreneurship
Science2Startup (S2S) is back! In April 2020, we were planning the 3rd annual S2S conference for university-focused biotech entrepreneurship – but it was unfortunately scuttled by COVID. A subsequent event in 2021 was also precluded by the pandemic. But as we all regain some normalcy, so too with S2S. We’re relaunching the event on May 3, 2023 at the Broad Institute.
This year’s conference once again aims to build connectivity across academic, tech transfer, and investor communities, while sharing perspectives on innovative therapeutics coming out of universities across the globe and how to translate those ideas into great companies.
S2S is unique in that it is put on by the biotech investment community. Though our investment strategies differ, we all share an interest in cultivating scientific innovation at academic institutions worldwide. The better we can connect great science with the investment community, the better chance we all have at eventually benefitting from the future impact of these innovations.
We invite a mix of biotech-focused venture investors, biotech entrepreneurs and operators, Pharma leaders in both R&D and business development, as well as individuals from across the academic innovation spectrum (think investigators, researchers, tech transfer professionals, etc). Since its founding, S2S has aspired to have a this “big tent” approach; this isn’t exclusive to one set of investors or institutions. In 2018 and 2019, we had more than 250 guests registered, split roughly equally across venture investors, academics/tech transfer colleagues, and corporate biopharma. We expect similar participation this year.
It’s important to highlight that although we’re hosting this at the Broad Institute, this isn’t a Boston-focused event. Although the Cambridge/Boston cluster is a rich and dynamic ecosystem for starting and scaling biotechs, this community is very much an “importer” of science from around the world. This year’s ten S2S Finalists reflect this geographic diversity: picked from over 125 submissions from 61 institutions, across 8 countries, all the Finalists are from outside Boston/Cambridge, and the farthest hails from Australia!
S2S has grown over time, now hosted by 5 venture firms: Atlas, F-Prime, OUP, RA Capital, and newly 5AM this year. The Advisory Group represents some of the best from the investor community and as a group of 17 is equally comprised of men and women, including partners from additional firms like Avoro, Canaan, TPG, Vida, Sanofi, MGB, JJDC, Apollo Health, and Takeda, as well as S2S sponsors Evotec and Deloitte. These individuals will be mentoring the S2S Finalist presenters, along with mentors from the MassBio community. In addition to Deloitte and Evotec, S2S is also sponsored by Goodwin, JLL, USQ, and SVB, all of whom will be leading workshops to share their expertise with the presenters.
We are thrilled to have Sangeeta Bhatia, member of the National Academy of Sciences, join us for a keynote address; as a prolific scientist and entrepreneur, she’s been involved in the translation of innovative science into medicines, and serves on the Board of Vertex Pharmaceuticals as well as a number of startups.
This year’s ten Finalists include innovative technologies across a broad range of diseases and modalities: inhibitors of MYC, treatments for fibrosis, cell surface degraders, agents for ischemia-reperfusion injury, novel targets for both athero and neoplasms, approaches for opioid replacement, addressing heparin reversal, and treating lysosomal storage disease.
Worth noting that in the past this event has helped academic entrepreneurs raise capital. Of the 23 prior S2S presenters in 2018 and 2019, at least 10 have gone on to raise capital from investors for their startup ideas. Hopefully we’ll continue to see a high hit rate out of S2S 2023.
While registration for S2S is by invitation-only, if you’d like to be considered for attendance you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.