During 2011 and 2012, the SusChem inspired European project BIOCHEM will provide entrepreneurs wishing to develop new bio-based products with a unique opportunity to promote their company and meet face-to-face with top European biotech investors, venture capitalists and other industry players.
Four ‘Accelerator Fora’ are being organised by BIOCHEM as part of its mission to boost innovation by smaller enterprises in the emerging bio-based sector.
The first forum is now scheduled for 5-7 October in Milan. In 2012, two more fora will be held in Frankfurt and in London. The first forum was initially planned for Madrid in May 2011 but this has now been postponed until 2012.
Networking is key
The BIOCHEM Accelerator Forum offers a partnering system to assist in identifying potential partners from academia and industry, venture capitalists and test facilities all over Europe.
Recent research is showing that this type of networking is critical to small business success in the biotech sector. Writing in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Cristina Sousa and colleagues at "INETI" - the National Institute of Engineering, Technology and Innovation based in Lisbon, Portugal claim that the opportunities that arise, and whether or not they are exploited by biotechnology entrepreneurs, depends to a large extent on how well connected the individual business person is and how well they mobilise their social network.