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Oxford Session 3: Quelling fears; runways, risks and expectations

  • Saïd Business School, University of Oxford Park End Street Oxford, England, OX1 United Kingdom (map)

The Science Innovation Union is offering a groundbreaking bio-entrepreneurship course aimed directly at the UK’s top scientists and budding entrepreneurs. The programme consists of a series of four exciting sessions lead by high profile leading academics and industry experts. Head to our website to sign up now!

Links to other three session in the SIU360 series:
Session 1:
Session 2:
Session 4:

Session 3: Quelling fears; runways, risks and expectations.
Translational scientists at the very beginning of their careers face a choice, do they elect to stay in academia and to some extent minimize their involvement in the running of their start-up, or if presented with the opportunity, should they take on the start-up as a full time occupation. The prospect of translating research into commercially useful products has its risks, indeed the statistics on success rates of start-ups are superficially quite alarming, but is taking on a postdoctoral position really much less risky? After all the proportion of PhD students that end up in a permanent academic position is also very low. Here we will explore the different areas of risk along the trajectory of a new start-up, from securing protected IP, to gathering funding, developing a technology to choosing the right people. If a young scientist decides to take on an idea and decides to develop the start up as their full time position how does one set appropriate targets by which to judge progress and succes. If the project ultimately ends in failure from a business point of view, where does that leave the founder? What’s next? What are the benefits of being fully involved in your start up, whether it succeeds or fails, from both a learning, enjoyment and scientific point of view?

Speaker: Steven Zimmer
Trained as a Biochemist and Molecular Biologist, Steven has had a long career as an analyst, investment banker and portfolio manager on Wall Street and in the City of London. He was a co-founder, Protein Sciences Inc., Steribottle Ltd and Tissuomics and has been an investor and advisor to many ventures and companies over the past 30 years. His latest position was as an advisor on Business and Strategic Development at e-Therapeutics plc, an AIM-listed network pharmacology-based drug discovery company based in Newcastle, UK.