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Swapping a Microscope for a Business Model Canvas

EIR Patricia Anguita supported Bioincuba to implement a unique program that marries research professionals with startup fundamentals to translate important research into impactful solutions through generating more science-based tech ventures.

If startup niches had disclaimers, like medicine commercials, the science spin-off ecosystem would tell you: Approach with patience, side effects include longer wait periods but incredible impact if done right.

A science spin-off refers to a company that begins as lab research and goes on to find commercial applications for its discoveries.

This is a longer and arguably tougher road than that taken by most high-growth, high-impact ventures because of the notable difference between a researcher’s and an entrepreneur’s world view – both with much to learn from the other.

At the beginning of 2021, Bioincuba, an Ecosystem Support Organization born to bridge these two worlds, took a leap and designed a program for researchers and innovation managers to propel them into entrepreneurship. As daunting a task as this was, it provided an opportunity for Bioincuba’s team to prove its hypothesis of betting on startups with a science/research component.

Olga Timoteo, CEO of Bioincuba comments: “We believe in fostering the transfer of scientific knowledge to the market because of the potential impact on society. There is an opportunity to become a more efficient ecosystem in terms of innovation. Bioincuba acts as a conductor which channels discoveries into business models and helps government research spending be more impactful. We also trust in the high-quality job creation that can be generated from science-based tech companies.”

Swiss EP EIR Patricia Anguita joined the adventure and worked with Bioincuba for 3+ months; planning, promoting, and implementing Bioincuba’s first-ever Science-based Tech Ventures Program.

“The experience of working with Bioincuba in training researchers and professionals in science entrepreneurship was a fascinating challenge. Tools were provided that will allow the researchers and professionals to see the world beyond the laboratory and understand how they can contribute to society with their developments. Bioincuba is well-prepared to face the challenges that Peru has today and to contribute in a very professional way to the Peruvian innovation ecosystem.”
Patricia Anguita, Innovation & Science Entrepreneurship Consultant

For promotion, Bioincuba hosted a Fireside chat with Patricia and a successful researcher-turned-entrepreneur from Chile. The webinar had 60+ highly engaged participants, further proving the science community’s desire to engage in entrepreneurial activity. The program was able to generate incredible traction: 32 participants (53% female) forming 9 teams from 3 countries (Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina) and 6 regions in Peru paid for the course.

The program structure was inspired by existing methodologies such as I-corps and Lean Startup, which are methodologies akin to the scientific method – something the participants know well. The 15-week program started off with a 4-week Bootcamp where they dove into customer discovery. Afterward, they held workshops and mentoring sessions to continue working on an initial pitch deck.

The program culminated with a Demo Day on May 27th with invitees from Ganeshalab, Fondo Alerce (Chile), Winnipeg Capital, ProInnóvate, and many other organizations from the Peruvian ecosystem.

Though most teams’ technologies were not ready for commercialization, the progress was striking. From not knowing any of the buzzwords or methodologies, to having a clean and focused first pitch deck – participants took away many valuable learnings.

“Our experience in the PGEBCT was very is very difficult to find programs and mentors that help you to expand your path in the way Bioincuba did...I want to thank the entire Bioincuba team, especially Olga Timoteo Pedroso and Patricia Anguita for their commitment and rigor until the last minute of the program.”
Oscar Christian Medina Carpio from Touch Academy

This program reinforced Bioincuba’s mission of creating a better country through the support of Science-based Tech Ventures which can have a great impact on local and regional economies.

Though the road is still long for the development of the niche ecosystem that is science spinoffs, these are the small but necessary steps that need to be taken to build further momentum.