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Sixth BioEmprenedorXXI call for proposals now open

"la Caixa", Barcelona Activa and Biocat are repeating their commitment to creating new companies and recognizing talent in the life sciences arena.

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By Biocat

"la Caixa", Barcelona Activa and Biocat have launched the sixth edition of the BioEmprenedorXXI program to start up new companies in the life sciences arena. The presentation was held last monday at Palau Macaya in Barcelona and featured Carles Trenchs, general manager of Caixa Capital Risc; Susana Tintoré, executive director of Services at Barcelona Activa, and Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of Biocat.

Unlike other years, BioEmprenedorXXI was presented in conjunction with EcoEmprenedorXXI (clean technology and sustainability) and EmprenedorXXIDigital (digital technology), programs promoted by "la Caixa" and Barcelona Activa, with the aim of jointly coordinating the three initiatives as they all aim to support projects with high potential for growth in their respective sectors, to foster the development of the productive fabric and to transfer research findings to society.

In the five previous editions, the BioEmprenedorXXI program has worked with a total of 141 projects from companies and entrepreneurs and awarded nearly €175,000 in cash prizes, in addition to providing guidance and training activities during the start-up process. The 2013 call for proposals is geared towards university graduates, researchers, professors, doctors and entrepreneurs with a business idea or a company in the initial stages that is based on proprietary technology in the fields of biotechnology, biomedicine, medical technology or agrifood.

Those who apply will be included in a selection process to choose the projects with the most potential. The program lasts six months and gives the selected projects access to specific training activities for entrepreneurs, guidance in developing a network of contacts in the sector and a personalized feasibility analysis of the business idea. It also includes tutoring and mentoring in management skills and on the different ways to access available funding for innovative projects.

Examples to follow

Once the program has concluded, the entrepreneurs will have developed their project to a point where they can take the step to creating a company. The founders of Mosaic Biomedicals, Dr. Joan Seoane, Dr. Josep Baselga and biotechnologist Judit Anido, say that "it was an idea we had been working on for a while, but we began to consolidate it as a result of the BioEmprenedorXXI award." Mosaic won the 2012 BioEmprenedorXXI award.

Other success stories include bioinformatics company Intelligent Pharma, which won the first edition of BioEmprenedorXXI in 2008 and currently has subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom; VCN Biosciences, of which Grifols acquired 40%; iMicroQ, which will begin to market their first product, a salmonella-detection kit, this year; and Minoryx Therapeutics, which has recently received a €1.5 millions investment from Caixa Capital Risc and Inveready. Marc Martinell, CEO of Minoryx, said at the presentation of the sixth edition of BioEmprenedorXXI that if he had one piece of advice for new entrepreneurs it would be “to bring as many people as possible into the project, to bring in collaborators, to bring in partners…”

The EcoEmprenedorXXI and EmprenedorXXIDigital programs have the same characteristics and function in the same way as BioEmprenedorXXI and to participate candidates must apply on their respective websites.

Registration (Deadline: 19 May 2013)

The 2013 edition of the three programs is sponsored by Almirall, Asphalion, bdigital, Ferrer, Grifols, Osborne Clarke and the VirAudit Group.

Business Development Department
Carlos Lurigados (Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Growth)
Tel. +34 93 310 33 89

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Over these five years, BioEmprenedorXXI has received a 141 projects, 34 of these have already become companies.