Miranda Weston-Smith.

Beating the odds: growing biobusinesses today

25 April 2013

The article at a glance

One day conference at Clare College, Cambridge on 3 October 2013 How do you build successful biobusinesses in these tough and fast-changing …

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One day conference at Clare College, Cambridge on 3 October 2013

How do you build successful biobusinesses in these tough and fast-changing times? The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Cambridge Judge Business School is working in partnership with independent consultant Miranda Weston-Smith and the membership organisation for international life science and healthcare companies, One Nucleus, to stage a one-day conference on 3 October at Clare College in Cambridge to answer this question and more.

Cambridge is home to Europe’s largest life science and healthcare cluster so a natural place to host a forum on current challenges and developments in the bio sector. The conference will explore new approaches and strategies for enterprise, funding and growth. It is a rare chance for bio entrepreneurs, industry experts, academics and students to attend, participate in meaningful discussions and network with those who want to be part of the next wave of bio innovation.

The conference will bring together a speaker line-up of leading women biobusiness leaders, from the UK and beyond, to inspire, debate and deliver fresh perspectives. This highlights women’s contribution to the sector but more importantly offers the opportunity to learn from and tap into female talent for the benefit of bio businesses. Research studies (Ernst and Young 2012 High Achievers: report and Women on Boards: A Life Sciences’ Perspective, RSA Report) have suggested that women adopt different strategies for business growth from novel ways of building companies and working in teams to raising funds and attitudes to risk. Understanding the success factors can pave the way for new business models that embrace diversity of talent, are more inclusive and people-centric, and so are more responsive to the fast-changing needs of the bio sector.

Current guest speakers and contributors include:

  • Dr Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune
  • Dr Helen Lee, Director of Research at the Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, and Founder of Diagnostics for the Real World
  • Dr Julie Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Abcodia
  • Catherine Beech MB ChB OBE, Entrepreneur and investor
  • Dr Deborah Harland, Partner at SR One
  • Dr Anne Dobrée, Head of Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds
  • Dr Jane Osbourn, VP Research & Development and Head of Site, Cambridge MedImmune

Miranda Weston-Smith commented:

We’ve had a tremendous response so far, not just from women who want to grow the industry but also from men who want to understand how diversity can work better in practice. This way, everyone wins.

Harriet Fear, Chief Executive of One Nucleus, added: “We are delighted to be a key partner supporting this conference because its focus is about getting the sector to think about new, creative and improved ways to maximise global competitiveness – and this includes learning from women who have been there and who are doing it.”

The conference partners are delighted to have the additional support of a range of organisations and student groups including St John’s Innovation Centre, the Humanitarian Centre, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable, the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE); and the Cambridge University Technology Entrepreneurs Club (CUTEC).