Investing at the Earliest Stages – Meet the Seed Fund Panelists at RESI Europe

7 Mar

By Karen Deyo, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Investing in the seed stage is always a risky proposition, especially in the life sciences. Startups at an early stage face risk on many fronts – scientific, regulatory, execution, market –  and many investors prefer to wait until an asset is derisked before committing capital. Seed funds specialize in the early stages, each with their own strategy to help their portfolio companies cross the ‘valley of death’ to reach the more traditional venture investment stage. RESI’s focus on early-stage life science includes these earliest investors, who will share some of their insights on how investment decisions are made at the seed stages. These investors will discuss how they mitigate their risk at the earliest stage, what they look for in these companies and how they get involved in the development of the company.

To learn about Seed Funds and how they help companies grow out of infancy, attend the panel at RESI Europe to hear the panelists speak. The participants are:

Philipp Rittershaus, Senior Investment Manager, High-Tech-Gründerfonds

Dr Philipp Rittershaus studied technical biology in Stuttgart and also obtained an MBA in engineering management alongside his doctorate at B.R.A.I.N. AG. Prior to becoming an Investment Manager at HTGF in 2015, he was a self-employed consultant and implemented a range of life science and spin-off projects. At the HTGF Philipp nurses a portfolio of 10 Life Science Companies.

Pierre Socha, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners

Pierre joined Amadeus Capital Partners in 2012. Pierre has a current investment focus on digital health, medical technology, AI and machine learning and cybersecurity. He is a non-executive director on the boards of Inotec, Repositive, Doctify, Congenica and oversees Amadeus’s investments in PhoreMost, Organox and Antidote (formerly TrialReach). Pierre brings operational experience to these investments, having managed the growth of several life science businesses in Asia and Europe. During a decade at biotech company Avesthagen, he guided the group’s strategy and European activities, contributing to acquisitions, joint ventures and exits. Pierre is French and holds an MSc in Environmental Economics (Hons.-SciencesEco) from Université de Provence, France and a BSc in Finance & Econometrics (Math Spe.-SciencesEco) from Université Louis Pasteur, France. He has attended executive programs at Harvard, MIT and Stanford.

Markus Wanko, Managing Partner, IST CUBE

Following a fifteen-year career in investing and strategy consulting and upon returning to Austria, Markus joined IST to start TWIST, IST’s tech transfer organisation, and has been driving the development of IST PARK, the technology park adjacent to IST Austria, and IST CUBE. His background is in venture capital investing with Safeguard Scientifics and the European Investment Fund, strategy consulting with the Boston Consulting Group, and principal investment with QIA, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. He has supported a broad range of startups in the process, energy and tech industries. He has an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School, an MSc from TU Vienna, and an MIM from WU Vienna and HEC Paris.

Sabine Kaiser, Venture Partner D/A/CH, NLC

Sabine Kaiser has more than 20 years of experience in consulting and entrepreneurial investing. Previously, she worked as a strategic consultant with McKinsey&Company, as a venture capital investor for Technologieholding VC GmbH and 3i plc, and in asset management for BTV, an internationally active German single family office. Sabine is passionate about technological and social innovations that have a significant positive impact on peoples’ lives. She believes in the ability of individuals and companies to create positive externalities while pursuing their business and in the potential for sustainable growth. Sabine holds a Diploma in Human Biology from the Philipps-University of Marburg and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She is also an IHK-certified business mediator, specialized on conflict resolution in Venture Capital financed companies.

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