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Ona Therapeutics, Aortyx, Glycardial, ABLE Human Motion and Pebble Analytics to compete in the final on September 28 to choose the best pitch in the BioRegion
Ona Therapeutics, Aortyx, Glycardial, ABLE Human Motion and Pebble Analytics are the 5 startups chosen as the finalists in the Àlex Casta Awards, which were created to recognize the best pitch in the BioRegion and promote talent, raise awareness and incentivize entrepreneurship in the life sciences and healthcare ecosystem in Catalonia. The final will be held on September 28 at the presentation of the BioRegion of Catalonia Life Sciences and Healthcare Outlook 2020: Challenges Ahead, compiled by Biocat and CataloniaBio & HealthTech, with support from Amgen -at a Forum that will receive support from the European platform EATRIS.
The Àlex Casta Awards are for startups in the life sciences and healthcare arena set up between 2015 and 2020 and based in Catalonia. The panel of judges that selected the finalists features representatives of the organizations promoting the awards, including Biocat, Genesis Biomed, UPF Ventures and CataloniaBio & HealthTech, plus other professionals from the sector. The companies were chosen taking into account aspects like the innovative and differential advantage of the project, potential market and social impact.
Growing the ecosystem
The Àlex Casta Awards are a joint initiative of the ecosystem in memory of Dr. Àlex Casta, a renowned professional in the Catalan life sciences and healthcare sector who died in December 2018. Casta was the director of UPF Ventures and had previously held leadership positions at Biocat and Caixa Capital Risc, as well as founding the startup RadisMed.
“Alex had one guiding philosophy: giving to get back. Giving to the ecosystem so it would grow and give back to everyone. He was an extremely generous person and always willing to guide any entrepreneur who asked him for help,” explains Esther Riambau, Life Sciences director at UPF Ventures, who worked side by side with him. “He also said the expression ‘3Fs’ was wrong, that it’s really 4: friends, family, fools and founders. And that if the founders don’t put all of their resources and hard work into the project it means they don’t really believe in it,” she adds.
Training for finalists
The 5 finalists will be invited to two virtual training and feedback sessions with experts from the participating organizations to help prepare their pitch for September 28. The event will bring together professionals from the sector, connected online, who will vote in real time.
The winning company will get a prize worth €5,000: €2,500 in cash and €2,500 in consultancy hours, thanks to the support of Genesis Biomed. They will also get a commemorative trophy provided by UPF Ventures, a 1-year membership to the CataloniaBio & HealthTech association and visibility in the communication materials of the organizers.