News by biopôle
25.03.2020 Interview with ND-BioSciences
Dr. M. Bilal Fares
Why did you choose to move to StartLab?
When founding our company, we believed that StartLab would be the ideal venue for ND BioSciences to launch its activities and develop as an R&D biotech company. In addition to offering well-equipped laboratory space and world-class infrastructure, StartLab offers a unique ecosystem at the heart of the ‘Swiss Health Valley’, comprising a network of leading academic institutions, vibrant life sciences industries and business experts. This ecosystem provides a dynamic and rich environment for the founding team of ND BioSciences to interact with experienced professionals, learn new skills and accumulate vital knowledge to drive and realise the full potential of the technologies pioneered at ND BioSciences.
What do you like about StartLab and its environment?
What we love most at StartLab is the flexibility that is offered to us at every stage; StartLab understands and fosters the dynamic nature of early-stage start-ups. In our case, this flexibility was clearly demonstrated because we joined at multiple levels. Advantages we experienced include:
1) Allowing flexible expansion of lab space and desk space needs on a quarterly basis.
2) Quickly modifying modules of certain StartLab instruments to adapt to specific experimental needs, and acquiring new instruments that are needed by multiple companies in the community.
3) Continuously improving, modifying and upgrading the lab space and desk space open areas, to adapt to the increasing number of residents and their changing needs over time.
Also, we love the collaborative spirit and supportive community at StartLab, which fosters interactions and allows for a faster learning curve for young entrepreneurs.
Why did you choose to apply to the START programme even though you were already in StartLab?
Being part of StartLab encouraged us further to apply for the START programme, as we had the opportunity to meet and connect with leaders of other START programme companies that shared their positive experiences thus far. Furthermore, we learned about the many advantages and resources that are provided to members of the START programme, which promote the growth and development of start-ups and help the transition into the next exciting phases.
What advantages does the START programme have? Which one is the most important for you?
The START programme presents many advantages, which range from material incentives (including subsidised rent, access to state of the art IT services and servers, and access to basic lab consumables), to support in developing the founding team and building needed managerial and entrepreneurial skills. Examples include taking part in a coaching programme by members of the StartLab Entrepreneurs’ Club, enrolment in an advanced management course co-organised by Biopôle, and support to attend conferences and training sessions off-site. All these incentives are very important to any young start-up.
What advice do you have for young start-ups that are interested in applying for the START programme?
Young entrepreneurs with interesting ideas should not hesitate and apply for the next round of selection. Preparing the information required for the application process is a very useful way for them to develop their business plan, and to better understand their market positioning and the key upcoming milestones that they need to achieve. Moreover, even if they are not selected, they will receive valuable feedback from the selecting committee on what they need to improve and further develop to increase their chances of success in upcoming application rounds!