Swiss ISCB Student Council

Entrepreneurs' stories: opportunities and challenges of starting your own company

Date: Friday, 15 September
Room: Sydney



Patrizia Spoerri (D-BSSE, ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Amel Bekkar (University Lausanne & Swiss Institute of
Bioinformatics, Switzerland), Athos Fiori (Biozentrum University of Basel & Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics,
Switzerland), Eleni Karamasioti (D-BSSE, ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Nottania Campbell (University Hospital
Zürich, Switzerland), Lukas Widmer (D-BSSE, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)



Henning Schmidt and Anne Kümmel (IntiQuan GmbH, Basel, Switzerland)
The story of IntiQuan

IntiQuan GmbH is a Basel based consulting company working in the area of model based drug development. Business started in December 2015 with one person and it has continuously grown to currently four full time people. Main areas of consulting work are modeling & simulation based data analysis tasks in order to support clients in regulatory interactions, and with internal decision making about the next steps in the drug development process. In addition, IntiQuan supports clients with improvement of internal business processes. Typical examples for projects are:
  • Prediction of human dose-concentration-response relationships based on pre-clinical data
  • Analysis of clinical data to support regulatory filings both in Europe and US
  • Evaluation of preclinical data of multiple compounds to support definition of combination therapies in human
  • Modeling and simulation methodology and workflow development to increase efficiency, quality, and compliance to regulatory requirements
  • Development of software tools to implement the new methodology and workflows

In this talk we will discuss the motivation behind starting this business, as well as cover topics such as: What background is needed, how to find customers, where to find support, and some unexpected things that made it on the frequent to-do list. We will also try to motivate how our area of work links to the field of computation biology.



Elke Schaper (Co-Founder Carbon Delta, Zurich, Switzerland)
The story of Carbon Delta

Elke Schaper is a bioinformatician turned climate change environmentalist. She co-founded the Swiss-based environmental fintech startup Carbon Delta where she currently heads the software engineering team. The Carbon Delta team identifies and analyzes the climate change resilience of publicly traded companies. To date, very little is known about the extent to which individual companies are exposed to climate change and the costs that they will face to adapt to these effects. Estimated financial losses from climate change range from US$2.5 to 72 trillion by 2060 - numbers which would even make the Bill Gates’ of our time shudder. To help investors understand and quantify these risks within their portfolio, Carbon Delta developed a software model to assess a company’s Climate Value-at-Risk (Climate VaR), thus how much of its market value is possibly affected by climate change. Our method uses big data analysis (heard that before have you?) and can be used to calculate the Climate VaR for thousands of equities and other asset classes. Three core risk scenarios are evaluated for calculating a company's overall Climate VaR: Emission regulations, extreme weather events, and the Paris Agreement's 2°C target.



Steve Pascolo (founder of spRNA GmbH, Zurich Switzerland)
The funding and development of biotechnology companies with different structures

Performing research leads to discoveries or inventions. In both cases, patents can be filed in order to secure the development of related products. This also gives the opportunity to researchers to create their own future. I will present my experience in (co-)creating spin-off Biotech companies that have very different structures. I will also present possible features of a patent, license and initial financial support particularly in the context of Switzerland.



Dragan Grabulovski (ieLab, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Get started with your own company!

ETH Zurich has been supporting the foundation of companies based on its research achievements since the 90’s. The objective is to turn such research results into marketable products and to create qualified jobs. This talk will give you an overview how founders will get support from ETH Zurich.