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Got a scientific project but need an opportunity to take it to market? Are you a business professional looking to execute new projects? On November 3, the fifth Health & Bio Team Dating will be held as a virtual event for scientists and executives to partner up and create new startups and business synergies. The event features 30-minute speed-dating meetings, in which scientist and executives/mentors or business development specialists meet and set up teams to create and manage companies in digital health, medical technology, diagnostics, drugs, medical devices and agrifood.

Organized by Biocat, BStartup - Banc Sabadell and CataloniaBio & HealthTech, in its previous editions, the event has facilitated nearly 530 meetings with over 250 professionals. At the 3-hour event, participants can have up to 6 meetings to establish potential collaborations, which illustrates the initiative’s potential. 85% of the participants have found strategic contacts and new business thanks to the initiative. The deadline to sign up is November 2.


Facilitating collaboration among groups

Health & Bio Team Dating got its start in 2015 with the aim of covering an unmet need: “Catalonia has an ecosystem rich in scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and institutions, but lacks collaboration among these groups,” explains Biocat CEO Jordi Naval. “We needed an event to bring these profiles together, a place where research groups could find the expertise they need to bring their project to market,” adds Yolanda Pérez, director of BStartup - Banc Sabadell.

The initiative aims to help scientific projects that have the potential to reach the market through new startups but need someone to take care of the business plan and fundraising. At the same time, it offers a wide range of options for experts in management and administration who want to be entrepreneurs and find new projects in the life sciences and healthcare arena but don’t know where to look for them. “It is a simple yet effective action that facilitates a very significant number of interactions that would otherwise never happen,” says Judit Anido, president of CataloniaBio & Health Tech.


MiWEndo, one of the latest success stories

This year’s event will kick off with an inspiration talk from MiWEndo Solutions, a spinoff of the UPF in collaboration with the UPC, Hospital Clinic and ICREA that is developing a project to apply microwave technology to endoscopy to better identify malignant polyps, the precursor of colorectal cancer. The chat will feature co-founders Ignasi Belda and Marta Guardiola, CEO and CTO, respectively, who were introduced at the 2018 Health & Bio Team Dating event. Guardiola explains that both she and current CMO of MiWEndo Glòria Fernández wanted to find someone to professionalize the business management and allow them to devote their time to tasks where they could “contribute more”. “At that time, I was looking for new business projects to work on and I attended Health & Bio Team Dating in hopes of finding something that would fit,” explains Belda. “If I hadn’t gone, I would probably be doing something else right now,” he says. “Ignasi was a key part of negotiating the partners’ agreement and the technology transfer deal with the universities, and he gave us the security we needed as researchers to decide to create the company,” continues Guardiola.

Other success stories to come out of previous Health & Bio Team Dating events include Leukos Biotech, a spinoff of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Foundation that is developing a new class of drugs for acute myeloid leukemia, and Elem Biotech, a spinoff of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center that does virtual organ and tissue simulations for drug research.

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