At the Innovationsakademie Biotechnologie creative minds meet to develop new ideas for products or services from the perspective of markets and demand. The best ideas receive funding of 50,000 Euro during an exploratory phase.
Many spin-offs from scientific institutions are oriented towards research results and technological possibilities. At the same time, finance doesn’t get enough attention. The BMBF founded the Innovationsakademie Biotechnologie to develop ideas that are directed towards market opportunities. Between 2010 and 2015, the Innovationsakademie Biotechnologie took place six times as part of the “Gründerwoche Deutschland”.
Creativity and entrepreneurial spirit on the road to success
The Innovationsakademie Biotechnologie is looking for people who are motivated to start a business in the life sciences and to develop a business idea. Target group of the event: scientists interested in setting up their own company in the life sciences, economists or lateral thinkers. Their professional background can be as diverse and colourful as the workshops of the Innovationsakademie itself: Researchers from natural and engineering science or medicine are targeted as much as creative minds or experts in communication, business, design, with merchant experience or investors who are looking for pioneering business ideas. It doesn’t matter what your professional background is if you share important virtues like open-mindedness, courage, curiosity and a passion for entrepreneurship. In every round, there will be 50 participants chosen from all applications.
Thinking from the customer’s point of view
In one to two days workshops moderated by a professional participants develop innovative product and service ideas together. First of all, the participants should think from the customer’s perspective: What do we need that hasn’t been developed yet? Is there a problem for which a solution has yet to be found? Small teams develop ideas from the perspective of the market and demand. Each team must present their idea to the other teams several times and from different perspectives – short and sweet.
BMBF funding for the best
Only the best and most promising are chosen from all the ideas compiled. The teams receive initial financing of 50,000 Euros for an exploratory phase. That investment should serve to determine the state of technology, to find project partners with the required scientific and technical know-how, and to define the necessary steps from research and development to the implementation of the idea. The analysis of customer needs, and the market and competition situation are also developed. If the exploratory stage is promising, a second funding phase with up to 250,000 Euros may be granted by the BMBF. In this so-called feasibility phase, the teams must show technological feasibility and develop a business plan.
To date, the BMBF has funded 20 exploratory and 10 feasibility projects chosen by the Innovationsakademie Biotechnologie.