Medical Research and Beyond . . .

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Driven by a fascination about viruses, my medical research path took me from molecular research on Hepatitis B virus to laboratory diagnostics of Dengue virus and their health economic evaluation to the management of biological threats in a public health context. After I embarked on a clincical research project investigating the immunologic features of HIV infection at the Burnet Institute I found much joy in "incorporating" my PhD project under the HiACT brand. A participation in the AusBiotech Student excellence awards further triggered an interest in research commercialisation and a desire to learn more about the business side of life(sciences).

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Seeking to obtain fundamental training on the business side brought me to California where the Stanford Graduate School of Business is running the Stanford Ignite course specifically for scientists and engineers. Then called the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship, hands-on work in small teams developing a business idea to a pitch to an investor panel was guided by Stanford GSB staff with relevant lectures and workshops from the MBA and Design Thinking programs. A horizon widening experience, the Ignite programme provided a solid skill set and a new view on possible science based career paths - and lead me to venture out of actively pursuing lab experiments myself.

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After submitting my PhD the opportunities arose to gain a real-life introduction to the world of early-stage lifescience entrepreneurship through temporarily joining the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and Brandon Capital in Melbourne as well to learn about the larger business perspective with QIAGEN in Hilden, Germany. Both experiences shaped a passion to give scientific research impact through its commercialisation, a path that I continued with my current work at the Spinnovator in Munich.

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At Ascenion's Spinnovator I found an exciting opportunity to deepen my involvement in early-stage life science investing, this time more with the technology transfer perspective. Working with Ascenion's team of experienced technology and business managers we are focussing on the translation of Germany's top research projects into investment-ready companies and accompany our nascent start-ups through all phases of financing and early growth. To further support the local start-up community I also serve as a judge for the Münchener Businessplan Wettbewerb, the Munich Business Plan Competition.