EIT Health Investor Forum & EHC Biotech Semi-final

Delft, The Netherlands | 26 September 2019

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Speakers, Jury & Coaches



Cindy Gerhardt, Campus Development Director at Biotech Campus Delft

Starting as a scientist in medical biology / molecular pharmacology, Cindy first learned about the difference between invention and innovation. Triggered by the challenge to valorize science and technology, she moved to the Food industry in 1999 to work as R&D manager in Unilever. Here she learned about the fun and value of open innovation. In 2006, she moved to DSM Food Specialties where she held jobs as R&D program manager, business development manager, global innovation manager, and COO of the DSM Biotechnology Center. As of September 2018, Cindy is developing the industrial site of DSM in Delft into a Biotech Campus.



Eric Goossens, Managing director BPF

Eric is an executive with over 25 years of experience with experience in general management, operations management, technology transfer, project management and change management. He brings his experience from large and medium sized (international) industrial and R&D companies in the areas of biotechnology, (bio)pharmaceutical and (petro)chemical. He is currently Managing Director at Bioprocess Pilot Facility, an open access facility for scaling up biotechnological and chemical processes to pre-commercial scale. Eric has Master degrees in Chemistry and Process Engineering as well as business school training from INSEAD and IMD.



Pim van Hee, Innovation Manager Dairy and Dairy-alternatives at DSM Food Specialties

Pim started his career with DSM about 14 years ago after finishing his PhD in Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology. At DSM he has had positions as scientist, R&D project manager, project manager manufacturing and innovation manager. In his current role as innovation manager he is responsible for innovation in dairy and dairy-alternatives. He has a strong focus on value creation by linking technology with customer needs.


Sarah Fisher, senior director of global markets at Johnsen&Johnson

Sarah Fisher, senior director of global markets for external innovation at US-based healthcare company Johnson & Johnson’s medical devices division, is even more of a rarity in being a serial intrapreneur. She has risen up through the corporation’s ranks over the past 13 years in part due to having had various commercial and operational roles within five different intrapreneurial ventures, as well as one post-acquisition commercial integration venture, according to her biography for the Corporate Entrepreneurs conference.



Alberto Noronha, CEO and founder at Nium

Dr. Alberto Noronha has focused his research on how the gut-microbiome. among other factors, influences individual responses to food and how they can contribute to health or disease using computational modelling approaches. With a background in informatics engineering and bioinformatics, Alberto decided to turn his research into innovation by founding Nium, a spin-off of the University of Luxembourg. The startup is developing a digital clinic for personalised nutritional guidance based on the unique metabolic profile of each individual.



Pete Rowe, Co-founder Deep Branche

Molecular biologist turned entrepreneur, Pete is an expert in innovation management, biotechnology and a certified AgTech consultant. As CEO, he leads the team’s effort in transforming the polluters of today into the producers of tomorrow.

Previously, Pete has held technical and commercial roles in biotechs and academia, running projects spanning from developing CRISPR-based genome editing tools to developing circular economy solutions for the poultry sector.




Charlotte Koster, PhD Candidate at TU Delft

Charlotte obtained her master’s degree in Life Sciences & Technology, where she developed a fast and efficient method to generate new genetic variants of yeasts by ‘crossing’ parental strains with specific desired characteristics. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Industrial Microbiology at the TU Delft, developing new approaches for editing and building DNA of synthetic cells.





Pablo Gabriel Cironi López, Caixa Capital Risc Group

Pablo graduated in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, and holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Barcelona. From 2005 to 2009, he was a postdoctoral Fulbright Fellow at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard University. In 2009, he joined the Botín Foundation in Madrid as Senior Innovation & Technology Transfer Manager, responsible for identifying new business opportunities, managing the IP portfolio and defining business strategies to bring academic and public-based research ideas to market. From 2013 until 2018 he was the director of the Technology and Business Development Office at the Center for Genome Regulation (Barcelona) where his main role consists of defining the innovation and commercialization strategy for the institute research output and channeling CRG´s discoveries to market. In September 2018 he joined the Caixa Capital Risc group as Principal where he plays a role in identifying business opportunities, provide support and manage Caixa Capital Risc companies in the portfolio. In July 1st2019, Pablo has been promoted to Director of the Life Science Invest Funds. He focuses on investment in therapeutics and medical devices and he currently serves on the Board of Directors at Medlumics, Aelix Therapeutics, Minoryx Therapeutics, iProteos, Proteodesign and Laboratoris Sanifit. Pablo has more than 12 years of experience in business development, technology transfer and in early stage investment.




Ricardo Perdigão Henriques, Hovione Capital

Ricardo is the CEO of Hovione Capital, a VC firm that invests in early-stage life sciences projects across Europe. Hovione Capital was founded by the shareholders of Hovione Pharma, an International Pharmaceutical Company with manufacturing sites in the US, Ireland, China and Portugal. Ricardo is a Harvard/MIT-educated Scientist with experience in Venture Capital, Drug Development, Licensing, Business Development and Market Analysis.

Ricardo performed his PhD work at Harvard University from 2009 to 2015 at Prof. Judy Lieberman's laboratory. There, he discovered hundreds of new miR-200c target genes and generated the first-ever genome-wide map of miR-200c target genes, a microRNA involved in embryogenesis and cancer. His research has been published in prestigious journals such as Oncogene, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Biotechnology Progress.

Ricardo holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Lisbon, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the New University of Lisbon, both approved with the Highest Honors.




Emmanuel Lacroix, UCB Ventures

Founding member of UCB Ventures (joined March 2017). Most recent deal: $55 million Series A for Locana (with Arch, Temasek, Lightstone and GV). Serving on the boards of Locana and Lumos Pharma as Observer, and Syndesi Therapeutics as Director.
Previously UCB’s Head of Business Development Neurology (2009-2017). Responsible for partnership and license agreements, product acquisitions, and other investments (e.g. discovery collaboration with Q-State Bioscience in Epilepsy; R&D partnership with Neuropore Therapies in Parkinson’s Disease; Series A and B investments in Lumos Pharma).
Prior experience in Sales & Global Marketing (UCB), Research (genome editing at Cellectis SA).




Benedikt Luhmann, VI Partners

Early Stage Life Sciences/ Healthcare Investor (Switzerland/ Germany).
Dr. Benedikt Luhmann is principal of VI Partners and co-founder & member of the executive board of Angels4Health. Prior to focusing on entrepreneurs and innovation, Benedikt collected more than 15 years working experience in the life science industry. As COO of a digital health start-up, as member of the leadership team of international strategy consultant firms (i.a. Monitor Group, The Boston Consulting Group), as assistant to the management of a European hospital company and as scientist at the department of ENT of a major university hospital Benedikt acquired deep industry insights.
Benedikt received a graduate (M.D./ Ph.D.) in medicine from the University of Kiel after studying medicine at the University of Kiel, University of Cape Town, Yale University and Harvard University.




Morten Mølgaard Jensen, Copenhagen Bio Science Park

Founder and CEO of Copenhagen Bio Science Park (COBIS), the leading environment for innovative start-ups and promising companies within Life Sciences.
I have worked with innovation, business, start-ups and growth companies for the past 17 years. My specialties include project development, investment & fundraising, innovation processes, incubation facilities and growth programmes for high tech innovative companies as well as international business development. I hold Master of Science in Business Administration and Law as well as an Executive MBA and a Certificate in Business Leadership.




René Reijtenbagh, Business Angels Connect

CEO of Business Angels Connect* and founder of Angel Funding Germany that is specialized in connecting Dutch growth companies to German investors. He has two decades of experience in helping companies funding their growth via business angels. René is Vice President of Business Angels Europe, the European confederatie of business angels networks. He has a track record in selecting, coaching and introducing promising companies to the business angel community. He was founder of the Business Angels network for Overijssel and Gelderland, Masters of the Future. For the Association of Business Angels Netwerken Nederland he was one of the founders. René has an education in Economic Geography and Business Administration.

Business Angels Connect* is a Partner of the EIT Health Investor Network and takes the Investor Lead role for Belgium–Netherlands.




Tony Sedgwick, Virdis Group

Tony was originally an academic pathologist, part of the linage of Eli Metchnikoff. After a number of senior jobs in Research and development at Roche Tony became CEO of four Biotech companies and chairman of many. Following establishing the Pierre Fabre Fund for innovation Tony has developed his model of being a modern “Eminence Gris” helping CEO and CSOs as a trusted advisor and helping their minds to work through strategy in a systemic way .Tony is an active systemic constellation psychotherapist ,thought disruptor and talent finder working with the Virdis Connect . He recently launched the Agile life science co creative workshop series throughout the UK.







Nuno Afonso

Nuno Afonso has built his career in healthcare innovation for two decades spanning academia and industry in research, biotech, pharmaceuticals and venture capital investments.

He has started his career in Life Sciences and Healthcare as a biomedical researcher at the Pitié-Salpetrière Hospital, Paris (2000-2005). He then moved to Portugal in 2005 to lead post-doctoral research at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal (2005-2010). In 2008, Nuno co-founded a biotech business (CNS & Rheumatology; TechnoZeb business, TechnoPhage). Business Unit Manager until 2013 then Corporate Development Director at TechnoPhage, Nuno led end-to- end operations, financing and portfolio diversification globally (2008-2015). In early 2016, Nuno joined the brand teams of Neuroscience and Immunology of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson as a Therapeutic Area Leader (2016-2017) among other responsibilities. Nuno then took responsibilities as an Investment Manager at Portugal Ventures since late 2017 while serving as a Director of the Board in numerous companies of its portfolio in therapeutics, medical devices and digital health.

In April 2019, Nuno launched HinnovaCare Business Advisory. He is a Business and Board Advisor in Healthcare Innovation working with stakeholders of the sector (healthcare professionals, companies, investors, universities, incubators, public bodies) in strategy, implementation and investment to foster growth and impact in healthcare innovation development and access.

Nuno holds an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry (Faculty of Sciences, Lisbon, 2000), a PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, 2005) and an MBA from The Lisbon MBA (CATOLICA / NOVA, 2012) with which he still collaborates in the alumni network under healthcare sector initiatives.




Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore is a globally experienced professional with over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical / biopharmaceutical industry.

He has spent the 19 years in Asia, working for Novartis, including being responsible for developing its medical nutrition business across the region. He has gained valuable experience in management roles in Vietnam, New Zealand and Malaysia for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

After leaving Novartis, he has worked for Inno Bio Ventures, Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysian Government-owned biotech company focused on contract manufacturing for mAb’s & complex proteins, as Vice President Business Development where he was responsible for s ecuring their first manufacturing contracts and GMP audits from Pfizer, Lilly & Sandoz. Further, Andrew has performed numerous consulting roles for companies from the United States and Europe across a range of portfolios.

Additionally, for four years Andrew served as the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Vital Food Processors, a New Zealand-based digestive health company, part of the Inventages portfolio.

Currently Andrew is Chief Operating Officer of The ERA Consulting Group, based in London. ERA is a strategic product development and regulatory consultancy that has been I operation for 26 years and has supported the development of more than 600 biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy products. With operations in UK, Germany, Australia and USA the ERA has considerable experience in supporting clients interacting with FDA, EMA, TGA, PMDA and EU National agencies.

With a proven ability to grasp the complexity of a new business, understand key drivers and build strong trusted sustainable business partnerships with stakeholders Andrew is able to develop and deliver ‘out of the box’ solutions that create long-term value.




Iris Orhn

Biochemist, PhD, MBA, with over 15 years of experience as a Life Science and healthcare professional working in an international environment with matters related to scientific research, business development, technology transfer, regulation, internationalisation and financing.

Currently employed as an Investment Advisor for Life Science at Business Region Göteborg, Iris provides advice and support to key executives from international investment firms and Fortune 500 companies looking for novel breakthrough technologies that could impact or disrupt the market.

She is currently involved in several European organisations either as an expert or as a member of the board. For instance she is one of the experts and jury members of the European Commission / EIC investment committee that selects and funds with 3Beur Europe’s most disruptive SMEs. Iris is also in the Health Committee of EBAN, the European Business Angels network and part of one of OECD’s Innovation and Technology Committees.




Laura Rodriguez

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Barcelona (UB) and a Postgraduate course in Innovation Management (UAB).

Five years of experience in research in gene therapy applications in the cancer field that led to publications in peer-reviewed journals and collaborations with biotech companies. She has more than 2 years of experience as a Project Manager in the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Unit at the Research Institute of the Vall d'Hebron Hospital (VHIR) in Barcelona.

She is an active member in the EIT Health Alumni Network, after her participation in the EIT Health Innovation & Business Creation Summer School, in 2016, co-organized by the Trinity College in Dublin and IESE business school. She usually collaborates with different entities of the health innovation ecosystem as a start-up mentor and evaluator (COMB, EIT-Health, Ship2b, Imagine IF!, FIPSE and CIMTI, among others).

Since January 2018, she works as investment analyst in Healthequity SCR and Invivo Ventures FCR, venture capital funds focused in early-stage companies in the Healthcare sector.




Wouter Spek 

Wouter Spek has a vast experience at the regional and European level in execution and management of RDI strategic partnerships in the Life sciences & Health domain. He has profound know how and expertise in developing and implementing research & innovation policies in Europe and in forging public-private-partnerships in Europe. He has led and managed different teams of professionals in numerous settings and organisations. He maintains a large network comprised of a variety of international and national key decision makers in academia, governments, industry and financial world. Currently he is active in the domain of P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalised & participatory medicine) in Europe and is special envoy for the SAPHIRe project (Securing Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions).