On February 23, BII closed the two open calls for BII’s Venture Lab and Creation House programs. In the coming months, the business development team will deep dive into all applications to identify tomorrow’s life science start-ups.
We sat down with Chief Business Officer Bobby G. Soni to learn more about the selection process. Before joining BII, he was Partner in the London-based IC Group plc, and he has spent seven years in Novo Holdings where he held the role of Investment Director at Novo Seeds.
Find an interview with him here.
What have you seen so far from the applicants?
We just closed the call and again saw an increase in the number of applications – especially from companies from abroad that matches BII’s international ambitions. We have increased our focus on health tech and bioindustrials and this also shows up positively in the applications. As several applicants have used the offer of a 1:1 meeting with us up-front, we already know that the quality is really good. I look forward to diving into the many interesting projects.
What is the first thing you look for in an application?
We look for applications that address large unmet needs with a strong scientific rationale that are likely to appeal to investors and industry at the end of their incubation period. We also look at the willingness of the team to develop their team and company while they are at the BII. Our experience is that founders and companies that fully engage with the BII process have the best chance of success.
What are the steps of the selection process?
BII’s Business Development team makes the first assessment and cut based on our combined experience and expertise within health tech, bioindustrials and therapeutics. Around those we select, we create a due diligence process which implies getting input from professional due diligence partners such as Back Bay on commercial aspects, Høiberg on patentability and input from selected key opinion leaders within the respective field. Based on their feedback, we make a second cut before presenting the selected projects to our advisory groups of VC’s and industry experts. We eventually do a final recommendation to BII’s Board of Directors who makes the decision.
How long is the process?
The process takes four months as we go in-depth with all aspects and involve many experts in the assessment. The majority of applicants receive an answer within one month. An ambitious approach to due diligence is key not only in choosing the right projects but also in helping them succeed in and beyond our programs. In concrete terms, we use the output from the due diligence process as part of creating the initial gap analysis in collaboration with the selected start-up and agree on a milestone- and development plan while at BII.
Will rejected applicants get any feedback from BII?
All shortlisted companies receive concrete feedback from the BII and their assigned BII anchor actually helps them prepare their pitch to our Program Advisory Group. We share our diligence material as well so the applicants can use this to mitigate risks and re-apply in the future.