On the 9th of December, the annual SwedenBIO Summit took place, “A thousand paths to success – which one is yours?” Discussions about financing, IPO’s, and skills supply with speakers from the industry was mixed with mingle in digital groups.

Our CEO Björn Henriksson together with Frida Lawnius, VP SwedenBIO, Martin Olovsson, CEO OnDosis and Annika Muskantor, CFO Frisq, discussed the challenges with finding the right competences and knowledge exchange in smaller Life Science companies. These businesses do not always have the financial possibilities to permanent hire the competence needed for the different stages in the company’s development.

Björn Henriksson says that it can be issues about raising capital, perform an IPO or go-to-market strategy, where a specific skill is important for a limited period. “In such situations it is a great idea to engage an interim manager who has done the same thing many times before, to get support and wisdom.”

They all agree on the fact that smaller companies will need to share resources. New platforms and networks where people can take on time-limited assignments or even have several part-time assignments in different companies at the same time. In this way, knowledge and experiences will be easily shared between the businesses. Martin Olovsson, CEO OnDosis, knows from his experiences from AstraZeneca that a good judgement ability demands seniority. By engaging skilled persons who are involved in start-ups, they will gather an enormous knowledge. “Where do you learn the most? By being in the same company for 10 years, or by working in different teams for 10 years?”, Martin says.

Another area where you can engage ’competence-on-demand’, is for example when you want to enter a new market. Björn explains: “Here a local interim manager can drive the process with his/her knowledge in local laws and rules regarding the specific products, investors, contacts with authorities etc. As we are now part of the French company Valtus Group, we have the muscles to help our clients internationally on a whole new level.”

Annika Muskantor answers the question about how to attract talents to a start-up and states that you must not forget to ask the candidates what they want, how they want to develop themselves and how they want to work. “Ask the question: ‘how do I get you to work with us?’”

The event ended with Calliditas Therapeutics receiving the SwedenBIO Award 2020 for their drug candidate for chronic inflammation of the kidneys

You can see the event here (in Swedish):

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SwedenBIO is the national non-profit association for the life science industry in Sweden, with almost 300 members. Sweden has an innovative life science industry, strong academia, and world-leading infrastructure for research.